REALITY CHECK (oct6rea.htm)

October 6, 2005
vol 16, no. 249

Opposition to the Anti-Sedevacantists
The evidence is overwhelming: If anathema sit, you cannot acquit!

by Joseph C. Maurer
      "The traditional press has had a difficult time with this issue because it puts obedience, emotion, sentiment, fear of logical conclusions and possible loss of business above all other considerations. It falsely assumes something that not even the Vatican assumes, that the "Catholic" Church is the Church of Christ. The Vatican crowd told us that the "Catholic" Church is an anti-Church when Cardinal Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) informed us that Gaudium et Spes was an anti-Syllabus. (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology.) Of course the New Church needed a new order of mass, a new catechism and a new code of canon law. Whatever the mistakes of the sedevacantists you can give them credit for intellectual honesty and for recognizing and acknowledging what is going on before their very eyes - which is a far cry from the errant sedevacantist bashing that Mr. Ferrara, CFN and Fr. Gruner are engaging in."

    As a long time subscriber to Catholic Family News (CFN) I was both shocked and puzzled by the lengthy article by Christopher Ferrara in the August '05 issue attacking sedevacantists-or, the "Enterprise", as he calls them collectively. It is understandable that there might be differences of opinion and spirited debate on the subject of sedevacantism but I never imagined I would see an article in CFN that exhibited such a steady stream of personal disparagement, insult and mean-spirited hectoring. What ever possessed Mr. Ferrara to assault his readers (many of whom are sedevacantists no doubt-hence the article) with such a barrage of highly charged invective? I lost count of how many times he used the word "absurd" to describe "Enterprise" opinions. In addition, he claims that the sedevacantists views are "perfectly insane," they possess the "self enclosed reasoning of a madman," they "use facile arguments" and are "self appointed heresy sleuths." Furthermore, they have nothing but a "jumble of unverifiable private opinions" based on "conjecture, hearsay or rash judgement." They promote the "ultimate aberration" and finally, are heretics themselves. Whew! Talk about the Axis of Evil.

    This bitter and angry tirade is even more surprising because of its lack of any respect for CFN readers or any editing for good taste, and the absence of at least a token gesture to the principles of Christian persuasion and fraternal correction. Has CFN become so inbred with the same daisy chain of contributors year in and year out that it is getting brain lock?

    Mr. Ferrara's scathing harangue is quite ironic in view of the fact that no publication has done more to engender sedevacantist thinking than CFN and its stable of writers (including Mr. Ferrara himself) who for many years have treated their readers to an endless recital of the heresies of the Conciliar popes, with special emphasis on John Paul II and his principal spokesmen (Kasper, Ratzinger et al). In addition CFN has heavily promoted such books as: Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, Quo Vadis Petre?, The Great Facade, Previews of the New Papacy, World Youth Day and Animus Delendi books I and II. It is scarcely possible that anyone could read these books (not to mention CFN's related publication, Fr. Gruner's The Fatima Crusader) and not become a sedevacantist.

    Let's take a close look at Mr. Ferrara's argument and then apply it to John Paul II. Ferrara cites St. Robert Bellarmine's assertion that a pope could indeed lose his office if he becomes a formal heretic and "openly and pertinaciously denies or doubts an article of divine faith." Mr. Ferrara agrees with Bellarmine when he states (CFN, Nov. 03) that "John Paul II has held the line on certain irreducible minima of Roman Catholicism, failing which he would not be Pope." (Emphasis added) O.K.? Both Bellarmine and Ferrara agree that a pope can lose his office through heresy. Ferrara doesn't cite the authority for his standard of "irreducible minima" or what this minima consists of. Is it simply his opinion as to what comprises this minima? Is Ferrara's opinion as to what constitutes the minima any better than that of his readers? Absent any help from Mr. Ferrara on this issue I will offer a standard for "irreducible minima" that was published in CFN (March, 2004) in an article titled From Ecumenism to Silent Apostasy. The Society of St. Pius X author writes as follows:

    "For this reason whoever refuses but one truth of the faith known to be revealed loses completely the faith which is indispensable for salvation: 'Anyone who, even of only one point, refuses to really assent to the truths divinely revealed renounces entirely the faith. Because he refuses to submit himself to God as the Sovereign Truth, the very motif of the faith.'" (Interior quote from Leo XIII, emphasis added.)

    Of course any reasonably informed Catholic will recognize immediately that the teaching of Leo quoted above is derived from the Epistle of St. James, 2.10, "and whosoever shall keep the whole law but offend on one point, is guilty of all."

    When Leo says "renounces entirely the faith" I presume "entirely" means "entirely" and would necessarily include the "irreducible minima" as also being renounced. Therefore when the heretic refuses to assent to just one point, he also renounces the "irreducible minima." Does Ferrara believe Leo XIII or St. James? Obviously not. He has deluged us over the years, along with other CFN writers, with an interminable litany of John Paul II's heresies but claims John Paul II still believed the "irreducible minima" of doctrine. It seems obvious that Ferrara's arcane "irreducible minima" formula is all smoke and mirrors, a "construct" of his own making that is clearly contradicted by St. James, Pope Leo XIII and CFN itself.

    Mr. Ferrara states that for a pope to lose his office there are two requirements. First, he must have uttered a truly manifest heresy which requires denial of an article of divine and Catholic faith. Second, the pope must "knowingly and pertinaciously deny the article of faith. Has John Paul II uttered manifest heresy? Numerous examples of heretical statements by John Paul II have been reported by CFN over the years but let's look at just one. John Paul II stated on a number of occasions that the Old Covenant with the Jews was still in effect, not superceded by the New Covenant. As Mr. Ferrara must know, it has been a de fide teaching of the Church that the Old Covenant came to an end with Christ, who instituted the New Covenant. The scriptural authority for this fundamental Catholic doctrine is so copious that we run the risk of over-stating the case here. In referring to A Textual Concordance of the Holy Scriptures we find that there is an entire section entitled, Abrogation of the Covenant of the Old Law. Abrogation means to abolish, to annul. The Concordance has an Imprimatur. The abrogation of the old covenant is an article of divinely revealed faith. Only a few citations need be quoted here:

    "Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt: the covenant which they made void." (Emphasis added.) Jeremias 31:31,32

    "The law and the prophets were until John; from that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every one useth violence towards it." (Emphasis added.) Luke 16:16

    "For if that which is done away with is glorious, much more that which remaineth is in glory." (Emphasis added.) 2 Corinthians 3:11

    "But now he hath obtained a better ministry, by how much also he is a mediator of a better testament, which is established on better promises. For if that former had been faultless, there should not indeed a place have been sought for a second. For finding fault with them, he saith: Behold, the days shall come, saith the Lord: and I will perfect unto the house of Israel, and unto the house of Juda, a new testamentůNow in saying a new, he hath made the former old. And that which decayeth and groweth old, is near its end." (Emphasis added.) Hebrews 8:6-8,13

    For 2,000 years the Church has taught that the Old Covenant was revoked, as was defined by Pope Eugene IV and the Council of Florence, 1441: "The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law---, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began." Obviously, John Paul II's new teachings of the Old Covenant are a direct contradiction of Sacred Scripture and Divine Revelation and are by definition heretical. This is confirmed by numerous sources within the traditional community including The Fatima Crusader, (Summer 2003) in an article by Fr. Paul Kramer in which he states the following:

    "On November 17, 1980 John Paul declared in a speech to the Jewish community of Mainz, Germany that the "Old Covenant" was never revoked by God." This is heresy. It is still heresy despite being the "official" doctrine of the Vatican (of the Vatican but not of the Roman Catholic Church)."

    Here is another case of a critic of the "Enterprise" denying the words of St. James, Leo XIII and Bellarmine. It is quite amusing to see Fr. Kramer, (ordinarily astute) separate the Vatican from the Roman Catholic Church. CFN denounces the "Enterprise" for separating the "pope" from the Church but when Fr. Kramer detaches the Vatican from the Church, CFN and Ferrara see no problem. I ask Mr. Ferrara, is the pope a part of the Vatican, (which Fr. Kramer says is distinct from the Church) or is he not? If he is, then John Paul II must have been the "pope" of an institution officially teaching heresy. It should be added that the qualification of Fr. Kramer in parenthesis is somewhat of a circumlocution because the issue is not whether or not the heretical statement was promulgated ex-cathedra but whether or not John Paul II fell into manifest personal heresy, which he obviously did. Perception is everything. If Catholics believe what John Paul II says on the subject because it is stated repeatedly by him and his proxies, it is pure sophistry to absolve John Paul on the grounds that, after all, he didn't declare it ex-cathedra. Catholics believe his false teaching because the pope teaches it, thereby assuming it to be official.

    The Fatima Crusader again (Winter 2004), in another article by Fr. Kramer emphasized the heretical nature of John Paul II's Old Covenant doctrine. Fr. Kramer wrote:

    "It is the defined teaching of the Catholic Church, solemnly professed at the Council of Florence, that the Old Covenant ended with the coming of Jesus Christ, and the New Testament began.

    This is the teaching, after all, of the Apostles, of St. Paul, who clearly states under divine inspiration in the Scripture that we profess to be divinely revealed, that the Old Covenant came to an end. John Paul II says not so, "never revoked by God." This is not only the personal heresy of John Paul II but it is---vigorously promoted by the Vatican, what we can truly call apostate Rome." (Emphasis added.)

    I think even Mr. Ferrara will concede that John Paul II fell into personal heresy. Furthermore, his ally in sedevacantist bashing, Fr. Kramer, admits that the heresy is against divinely revealed faith. Therefore, by their own statements and logic, contributors to CFN and The Fatima Crusader have proven that John Paul II lost his office.

    Still, will Ferrara be satisfied that John Paul II's heresy is "manifest"? The dictionary defines "manifest" as "easily understood" or "recognized by the mind-obvious-evident." It must certainly be obvious in view of the numerous citations above that not only is John Paul II's heresy evident and manifest but that the anti-"Enterprise" traditional press agrees that it is manifest. Of course Ferrara might claim that John Paul II didn't know his Old Covenant heresy was in fact heresy. Are we supposed to believe that John Paul II wasn't aware of the numerous passages from Scripture regarding the Old Covenant quoted above; that he wasn't aware of the de fide pronouncements of numerous popes and Councils regarding salvation outside of the Church and the status of the Jews; that he didn't know the 2,000 year old teaching of the Church regarding the Jews; that he didn't know that the Jews reject and revile Christ; that John Paul II didn't know one tenth as much as your readers? Are we to believe that a man who had been praised for over thirty years for his intellectual powers didn't know the traditional Church teaching on the Old Covenant? I think we may dismiss as totally absurd any idea that John Paul didn't know that what he was teaching was heresy.

    Referring again to The Fatima Crusader (Summer, 2003, p. 57) Fr. Kramer discusses the Vatican document Notes on the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis. Fr. Kramer writes:

    "The document states in paragraph three that Judaism is a "present reality" and not a superseded "historical reality." The document cites the authority of John Paul II and quotes the words of his above noted speech, where John Paul speaks of "the people of God of the Old Covenant which has never been revoked." John Vennari pointed out in a recent article that, "Far from claiming that the Notes misrepresented his words, John Paul spoke of his unqualified support of the document" on October 28, 1985."

    We certainly can't say John Paul didn't know what he was doing.

    If the Old Covenant is in fact still in effect then it must necessarily be a legitimate path to salvation because then the Jews would still have the promise of God to rely upon. This is the obvious conclusion that Cardinal Kasper, John Paul II's proxy, began promoting as he proclaimed that "the Church believes that Judaism---is salvific for them (the Jewish people) because God is faithful to his promises." (Let's overlook for now the fact that there were a number of Old Testament covenants that were superceded). As any reader of CFN should know, Judaism, as a "religion" has as its most fundamental tenet the rejection of Christ, His mission, His divinity and His Church. How then is it possible for Judaism to be "salvific"? Are we to believe that Christ and Talmudic hatred of Christ are equally authentic paths to salvation? What did Christ have to say in Divine Scripture about how "salvific" Judaism was?

    "He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36

    "No man cometh to the Father but through Me." John 14:6

    "Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father." John 2:22-23

    "But he that shall deny Me, I will deny before My Father Who is in Heaven." Matt. 10.32,33

    "Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers, you serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgement of hell?" Matt. 23: 31-33

    Does this sound like permanent election? Does this sound like the Old Covenant is still in effect? Christ declares quite plainly that those who reject him shall not see life and are damned. But John Paul II and his spokesmen said, "not so." Well, whom are you going to believe? Jesus Christ or John Paul II, Cardinal Kasper, Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and their hirelings?

    It would seem to be belaboring the point that John Paul's teaching on the Old Covenant denies a basic truth of Divine Revelation and the Catholic faith. In making his case for the Old Covenant being "salvific" he is simply agreeing with the Talmud that Christ is an imposter and liar because John Paul denies the truth and the authority of Christ's words. He is saying, by extension, that Christ isn't who he said he is, therefore the Catholic Church is a false Church, its doctrines are without foundation, and its hierarchy is without authority. In sum, John Paul II has repudiated his own legitimacy.

    The new doctrine of the Old Covenant, that Christ and anti-Christ are equally salvific, is actually worse than the Arian heresy, which at least retained some of the outer trappings of Christianity. With John Paul's novel Old Covenant doctrine there is no reason to be Catholic at all. This heresy demolishes the very foundation of Christian faith and brings down the entire house. Now, religions that permit abortion, divorce, contraception, homosexuality, usury etc. are salvific. Immorality is now "dear to God". But Ferrara doesn't think that this disturbs the "irreducible minima". Perversely, religions that reject the "pope" are honored by the "pope".

    That gang of pedophile/homosexual protecting charlatans known as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops knew where this thinking was going. In their document Reflections on Covenant and Mission the bishops (taking their cue from John Paul II) stated that "campaigns that target the Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church." Can these traitors give us an explanation of what St. Peter was doing when he preached to the Jews, "Do penance and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost---." (Acts 2.38). Also, St. Peter again, "Neither is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4.12). Once again, whom are you to believe? St. Peter or John Paul II, Cardinal Kasper, Benedict XVI et al. The bishops and the Vatican clearly contradict the most basic mission of the Church. According to them, what St. Peter was doing was theologically unacceptable and he deserved to be locked up for badgering the Jews about converting. St. Paul is also an embarrassment to the Conciliar Church. In Acts and in his Epistles there are countless narratives and quotations concerning his attempts to convert the Jews. Acts 17.1-4 relates how St. Paul, in his travels, always went to the synagogue first to preach Christ to the Jews, "and that this is Jesus Christ, Whom I preach to you, and some of them believed and were associated with Paul and Silas." John Paul II and the bishops protest, "theologically unacceptable." Have we touched yet on Ferrara's "irreducible minima"?

    Of course the Gospels, particularly that of St. John, are overflowing with quotations from Christ, teaching that the Jews must believe in him to be saved. No, no, said John Paul II, the Vatican and the bishops. Not so. Jesus Christ isn't being ecumenical and is using unacceptable theology. If Mr. Ferrara doesn't see where all of this logically leads to, the bishops certainly do. Upon a complete reading of Reflections one could easily come to the conclusion that Catholics (or all peoples for that matter) should be converting to Judaism. Reflections recognizes and confirms this with the astonishing admission that "It is important to stress that notwithstanding the Covenant, there is no need for the nations of the world to embrace Judaism." This incredible statement shows that the bishops are quite aware that a careful reading of Reflections would lead one to conclude that Judaism is the true religion and that the world should be converting to Judaism. In case anyone has missed the message here, Reflections also extols the missionary character of Judaism, claiming that the Jews "have a mission of witness to God's redeeming power in the world" and "the Jewish people have a mission that is addressed to all human beings." The bottom line to all of this is that the Catholic Church doesn't have a mission to convert the world to Christ. The Jews have a legitimate mission to convert the world to Judaism. In other words, after cutting through all of the verbiage, Judaism is the true religion.

    Does Mr. Ferrara believe that this denies some "irreducible minima" of the faith? Considering all of the papal and Vatican statements made concerning the new doctrine of the Old Covenant and comparing them to scripture, tradition and the magisterium, it is not logically possible to come to any conclusion other than that John Paul II knowingly and pertinaciously denied an article of Divine faith, in a most manifest way. According to Mr. Ferrara's own standard (not to mention Leo XIII's and St. Robert Bellarmine's) John Paul II lost his office because of manifest personal heresy. To put the final nail into the coffin of Ferrara's "argument" we return to Bellarmine, "A Pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be Pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church." (Emphasis added. De Romana Pontifice, II, 30.) The problem for sedevacantists has been that John Paul's heresies were approved by his hirelings, who would never judge or punish him. Consequently he occupied the throne of Peter as an imposter for decades, pretending for all the world to be a real pope, bamboozling the Catholics of the world, including CFN and Mr. Ferrara.

    In the ordinary course of logic Mr. Ferrara's "case" would seem to be dead on arrival and laid to rest. Of course I am not so na´ve as to believe that Mr. Ferrara has now been converted to sedevacantistism. He has a few more questionable arguments that were thrown out to prop up his lame "case". For example he cites Pope John XXII and Pope Honorius as examples of heretics who were still considered popes. Now Mr. Ferrara is arguing against himself. Pope Honorius apparently "approved ambiguous formulas---which favored the Monothelites." Does one Catholic out of a million (excepting academics and clergy) have any idea of what the Monothelite heresy consists of? I doubt it. I also doubt that Mr. Ferrara would include this in his irreducible minima so why bring it up? It has no application to his own standard. The same can be said for Pope John XXII. At least he could claim it took a Council to clarify the situation. Does possessing the faith hang on someone's belief or disbelief regarding when a deceased person witnesses the beatific vision. Does the average Catholic even have any notion about what the alternative views are? Hardly. Is the correct doctrine here part of Mr. Ferrara's "irreducible minima"? I wouldn't bet on it.

    Mr. Ferrara's claim that only a Council or Conclave can declare a pope to have lost his office is a bit disingenuous. He knows better than anyone that the College of Cardinals is dominated by John Paul's own appointees and their doctrines and aberrations are even more revolutionary than John Paul's (if that's possible). Was he going to be removed by those to whom he had given the red hat and who basically agree with his heretical initiatives? Mr. Ferrara himself sees how ridiculous this is when he wrote in CFN (Nov. 2003), "As things now stand, John Paul II's legacy is this: a thoroughly liberalized and widely corrupted episcopacy that fails and refuses to govern the Church (except to repress elements of Catholic Tradition in the name of Vatican II); a College of Cardinals composed almost entirely of men whose theological views would have horrified any Pope before 1960." Is this the same Mr. Ferrara who said that only a Conclave can declare that a pope has lost his office? Does Ferrara know more than Bellarmine, quoted above, who said the heretic automatically ceases to be pope?

    Mr. Ferrara chides the "Enterprise" for using the device of deus ex machina (God from a machine) to solve their unsolvable (in his eyes) dilemma. A deus ex machina is defined in the dictionary as a person or thing in fiction or drama that is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly to provide a contrived solution to an apparently unsolvable difficulty. Just what is it that Mr. Ferrara is doing when he writes in the same article referenced above, "absent a direct intervention of the Holy Ghost we have no reason to expect that any successor emerging from the conclave he has created will reverse course." In other words Ferrara sees no solution other than direct intervention by the Holy Ghost. This is the exact accusation he levels at the "Enterprise". Ferrara would look less foolish if he had a better memory for what he had written in previous articles. I have news for Mr. Ferrara. If a conclave won't do the job, it does not mean that an automatically dethroned "pope" still holds his office. It just means that his handpicked stooges won't do anything to remove him. The Chair is still vacant even if an imposter and manifest heretic is sitting there.

    The reader of Mr. Ferrara eventually becomes exhausted by his contradictions. He states, "Never in Her history has the Church, even for a moment, been without a successor of Peter---." (Emphasis added). In the very next sentence he says that there was an interregnum of two years and five months (1292-1294) in which there was no pope. Even Ferrara should agree that two years and five months is longer than "never" and his face should be crimson from embarrassment for uttering such a blatant contradiction. Furthermore who says that two and a half years is the outer limit of an interregnum? Why not five years, ten years, fifty years or one hundred years? Is it possible that the Church was guaranteed that there would always be an office of the papacy, not meaning that such office would always be filled, since obviously the office has not always been filled. I think some further discussion on this point would be welcome.

    As for his argument that a supposed heretic can't be judged because we don't know his state of mind or intentions, that is just plain silly. If that were the case no one, not even Luther or Calvin would be heretics, since we are not mind readers and cannot know their true intentions. St. Robert Bellarmine quickly dismissed this nonsense in De Romano Pontifice 11,30 "for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple, and condemn him as a heretic." (Except CFN, The Fatima Crusader, Ferrara, Fr. Gruner et al.)

    Further support for sedevacantism comes from CFN contributor Atila Sinke Guimaraes and his lengthy article Is the Catholic Church Becoming a Branch of the Synagogue? which appears on the Web site This article analyzes John Paul II's visit to the synagogue of Rome on April 13, 1986 and begins with a lengthy historical survey of the various declarations of popes and cardinals affirming the cessation of the Old Covenant and highlights the numerous declarations made by the Church regarding the Jews. He then examines John Paul II's apologies for past attitudes towards the Jews and concludes as follows:

    1) John Paul II condemned numerous popes.
    2) He condemned the judgments of numerous Councils.
    3) He condemned the teachings of Saints and Doctors of the Church.
    4) He condemned Canon law.
    5) He generally defended the Jews and condemned the teachings of the Church.

    Has John Paul denied any "irreducible minima" here? We have already seen that his new Old Covenant teaching implicitly promotes the conversion of all Christians and all peoples to Judaism. However, as Guimaraes reports on the Rome meeting, it gets even worse. Guimaraes informs us (as have other commentators) that John Paul II told the Jews that "the Hebrew religion is not extrinsic to us but is somehow intrinsic to our (Catholic) religion." Then John Paul II listened reverently as the Jews sang "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. And even if he takes a long time coming I will wait until he comes." That a supposed "pope" can sit through such a performance is the "ultimate aberration" from hell. Since John Paul II claimed that Christ hating/Christ rejecting Judaism is intrinsic to the Catholic religion, I suppose it is not really necessary to convert to Judaism to be saved. John Paul II said the Catholic Church had already embraced and contained the Jewish religion as part of its essence. We are all religious Jews now. This is the supreme blasphemy - the final apostasy. This is the "mystery of iniquity" which Mr. Ferrara still thinks does not touch on his "irreducible minima." The mind reels at the thought that any such "pope" could still retain his office. Mr. Guimaraes summed up as follows:

    "John Paul II went to the synagogue to:
    A) Annul the foundation in revelation for the crime of deicide.
    B) Praise their false faith and anathematize whomsoever should criticize or censure the followers of Caiaphas from the religious standpoint."

    And further, "with this, the offense to the honor of the Holy Church reached its apex. True faith in Jesus Christ is implicitly denied by a Vicar of Christ, present in the synagogue to assist at a profession of faith of those who are the heirs to deicide and whose relentless design is to destroy Mother Church." I don't know if Mr. Guimaraes is a sedevacantist but he has made as good a case for sedevacantism as any. We will leave to Mr. Ferrara to explain how a pope can

  • Implicitly deny Christ
  • Explicitly contradict the words of Christ
  • Annul Revelations, if not the entire New Testament
  • Promulgate and promote a theology that logically implies that Catholics should convert to Judaism
  • Disregard 2,000 years of declarations by popes, Saints and Councils
  • Proclaim that Judaic rejection and hatred of Christ is intrinsic to the Catholic religionůAND STILL BE POPE?

    What is going on at Catholic Family News? How can Ferrara and CFN rush to defend the papal integrity of a "pope" who was certainly a greater heretic than Luther or Calvin? It is also most inconsistent of John Vennari, the editor of CFN to publish the attack on the "Enterprise" when just two months before (CFN June 2005) he wrote:

    "A Catholic prelate who visits and prays at a synagogue betrays Jesus Christ, as the visit grants public legitimacy to a religion that holds Jesus Christ in disdain, believing Him to be a liar and deceiver. It tells Jews that their religion which spurns Christ is of equal value with the Catholic religion in which Christ is the center of all."

    Here is another case of timid, waffling word games. John Paul II's visit was not a case of "it" telling the Jews anything. It was a case of John Paul II telling the Jews that their religion which spurns Christ is of equal value with the Catholic religion. I ask Mr. Vennari and Mr. Ferrara, does this touch on the "irreducible minima"? Does this or does this not constitute heretical/apostate behavior? A fawning visit to the synagogue is something that not even the "Reformation" heretics would have dreamed of.

    There is another aspect of Ferrara's attack on the "Enterprise" that should be dealt with here. That is his objection to some sedevacantist claims that there has been no true pope since Pius XII (whose own pontificate had many disastrous and questionable consequences). The fact is that the sedevacantists don't have to prove anything because the Vatican establishment agrees with them. How is this possible? It's really quite simple. The Vatican II document Lumen Gentium states that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church. This means that the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are two different things. This meaning was confirmed repeatedly by the Conciliar "popes" and is reflected in such documents as The Balamand Agreement, The Lutheran/Catholic Accord and in such actions of public idolatry as kissing the Koran in public and denying Christ before assembled Jews in a synagogue. Lumen Gentium teaches that the Church of Christ is larger than the Catholic Church and encompasses other religions. This is consistent with basic Masonic "philosophy" on the equality of all religions.

    When we examine Scripture we find no basis for the ecumenical claptrap of Lumen Gentium. In fact, as has been demonstrated here with abundant documentation, quite the opposite is true. We know from Scripture that Christ gave the keys to the kingdom of Heaven to St. Peter and that Peter was the rock upon which Christ would build his Church - singular, not Churches - plural. It is quite clear that Peter was made the head of Christ's one true Church, or Church of Christ if you will. However Lumen Gentium says that the Catholic Church is not the Church of Christ. They are two different entities. Therefore it logically follows that the Conciliar "popes" are not successors to St. Peter because they belong to a different church. If protestant "churches" belong to the Church of Christ, and we are assured by Mr. Ferrara that there will always be a pope, then is the "pope" also the pope of the Protestant Churches? Are Protestants now sedevacantists or is the Vatican "pope" the pope of Protestants, Jews and Moslems also? Since only the Church of Christ can have a true apostolic succession, and the Catholic Church is not the Church of Christ, then who and where is the pope?

    CFN and other traditional commentators have assured us that Vatican II was a legitimate Council and acted with valid authority in promulgating and legislating its various decrees. Many in the traditional press have said that Vatican II decrees possess magisterial infallibility. Therefore it can be seen that what Lumen Gentium did was to officially decommission the papal office. By its own words Lumen Gentium dethroned the popes and eliminated the papacy. Now we can see that it is not entirely a question of whether a pope loses his office by falling into heresy, but whether or not, under Lumen Gentium, he was a pope at all.

    The traditional press has had a difficult time with this issue because it puts obedience, emotion, sentiment, fear of logical conclusions and possible loss of business above all other considerations. It falsely assumes something that not even the Vatican assumes, that the "Catholic" Church is the Church of Christ. The Vatican crowd told us that the "Catholic" Church is an anti-Church when Cardinal Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) informed us that Gaudium et Spes was an anti-Syllabus. (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology.) Of course the New Church needed a new order of mass, a new catechism and a new code of canon law. Whatever the mistakes of the sedevacantists you can give them credit for intellectual honesty and for recognizing and acknowledging what is going on before their very eyes - which is a far cry from the errant sedevacantist bashing that Mr. Ferrara, CFN and Fr. Gruner are engaging in.

    It is both sad and somewhat amusing to see the traditionalist press wrestle with the built-in contradiction of its anti-"Enterprise" position. In the issue of CFN under discussion (p. 1) capsule summaries are given for the talks to be presented at an upcoming conference. The description for Mr. Ferrara's talk states that "Mr. Ferrara will show how the post-Conciliar construct is a massive falsehood that cannot endure." I regret that Mr. Ferrara didn't have the courage to say what he meant - that the post-Conciliar church was a massive falsehood. Does he use euphemisms like "construct" to avoid being called a sedevacantist himself? In any case, if he is correct, then John Paul II was the pope of a massive falsehood, as is his successor Benedict XVI. If this "construct" is a massive falsehood is it still the Church? Can the Church/"Construct" be massively false and still claim it has the promise of the Holy Ghost to protect it from error? There seems to be a contradiction at work here. How does Ferrara explain this conundrum? To use some Conciliar "theology", does the Conciliar "massive falsehood" church subsist in the Catholic Church or does the Catholic Church subsist in the Conciliar "massive falsehood" church? Which Church was John Paul II "pope" of? Which church is Benedict XVI "pope" of? Or, to follow Mr. Guimaraes' logic, does the synagogue subsist in the Church of Christ or does the "Catholic" Church subsist in the synagogue? It is evident that Ferrara's thesis leads to nothing but absurdity on a grand scale, leading to blind alleys, confusion, contradiction and feuding. Why not simply take the Vatican at its own word? The apostolic succession ended with Pius XII.

    Lumen Gentium, with its decommissioning of the papacy, along with other Vatican II documents was a necessary pre-condition for moving the "Catholic" Church into the Judeo/Masonic One World Religion. Anybody who doesn't believe it hasn't been paying attention. (See World Youth Day by Cornelia Ferreira and John Vennari, p. 154) And who could forget the scandalous picture of notorious Communist and Freemason, Mikhail Gorbachev, lecturing John Paul II and an assembly of high-ranking clergy and dignitaries, right in the Vatican. (CFN, March 2001) Can anyone doubt that this is an omen for the future? It all conforms perfectly to basic Masonic philosophy as described by the celebrated Masonic author Manly P. Hall, in The Lost Keys of Freemasonry (p. 65):

    "The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as a Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth."

    This describes perfectly the attitudes and behavior of all the Conciliar popes and was carried to an idolatrous extreme by John Paul II in his highly publicized initiatives towards Protestants, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists and African animists. As for John Paul's successor, Benedict XVI he has repeatedly stated that it is his intention to carry on the work of John Paul "the Great". He is proving it by quickly meeting with the Jews, Eastern Orthodox and Moslems while pretending that the traditionalists don't even exist. Just as bad, he has named Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This is the same notorious William Levada who protected pedophiles and homosexual clergy by transferring them around his diocese. As described in CFN (June 2005), "He would have been condemned for his words and actions had he said and done them under Cardinal Ottaviani, his predecessor---."

    The more things change the more things stay the same. In any case, sedevacantists don't have to stew over such appointments because they believe they are not occurring in the Church of Christ but in the Judeo/Masonic/"Catholic" Church. It can be left to the anti-sedevacantists to wring their hands over their inability to reconcile their opposition to the "Enterprise" with what has been going on in the Church the past forty years.

    Finally, this is an appeal to Mr. Ferrara and Catholic Family News to re-evaluate their thesis on the "Enterprise", not to mention their manner and style of presenting it. I realize that for them to express sedevacantist opinions or tendencies would probably result in a loss of some subscribers, advertisers and the support of their network of celebrity traditional priests, who find security in remaining attached to the Judeo/"Catholic" Church. Who likes to be called schismatic? Therefore it is understandable that Ferrara and CFN could never imply any validity to the sedevacantist position. On the other hand they don't have to mug their readers with over-the-top screeds. Since CFN has done much good over the years in supporting Catholic tradition it should be greatly embarrassed to have initiated such a grossly inept, insulting and self-contradicting diatribe against the "Enterprise". CFN, Ferrara and The Fatima Crusader are only splintering a traditional community that is small enough as it is. The wisest course for all of them would be to cease immediately this reckless campaign and to keep to their mission of promoting an authentic Catholic revival. Only then will the anti-Enterprise crowd regain some of the respect that it has lost from its ill-advised attack on its own readers.

    St. Francis DeSales, Pray for Us.

    St. Robert Bellarmine, Pray for Us.

    St. Peter, the Apostle, Pray for Us.

Joseph C. Maurer

    REALITY Check
    October 6, 2005
    Volume 16, no. 249