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September 21, 2006

Comments

John E

Thanks Tim F., I knew somebody here would do it. A Gnostic without Gnoss -- love it.

Mary

In case you don't remember, Tim is also the guy who did the wicked takeoff on the "Gilligan's Island" theme a couple of months ago, during the whole "Womanpriest" idiocy. (I think it started, "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of some heretics...")

Credit where credit is due - the man is talented!

Mary Kay

stand up applause for Tim F.

Tim J.

Tim F., sir, I doff my chapeau.

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

LET MARRIED MEN RECEIVE PRIESTLY ORDINATION!
DO IT NOW!

After all, priests need to experience personally the contemporary high divorce rate.

They deserve to suffer like the general population.

Priests need to have the experience of child custody battles, and need to know the pain of paying alimony and child support.

The priesthood does not have enough trouble already.

Marriage is in a bad way in Western society now, and priests compassionately need to learn that by living through it themselves.

Dioceses bankrupted by paying for priestly sexual sins need to know what suffering really is. They won't know that until they are forced to support the wives and children of married clergy.

This is what we really need right now.

Right now!
.
.
.

We should be so stupid

Kasia

Fr. Stephanos, you crack me up almost as much as Tim F. does! :-)

J.R. Stoodley

Fr. Stephanos, you scared me for a moment when I read your first two lines. I'm just waiting waiting for someone to actually start a debate on this.

Great song Tim F. I wish I remembered the original enough to follow the tune all the way through. "Trappist hermit" notwithstanding. It's the Carthusians who are into the whole hermit thing. Maybe there are a few Trappist (OCSO) hermits out there though. Thomas Merton (Fr. Louis) did manage to more or less pull that off, but it didn't end well.

Tim Ferguson

yeah, but Carthusian has too many syllables :)

NW

>We should be so stupid.

Wow. Forget priests. Anyone would be stupid to get married taking that perspective.

Kasia

NW, I was recently at a family get-together where I was told, in essence, not to bother getting married. That was bad enough. The worst part was that the person told me to count on my hands how many couples I know who have good, strong, happy marriages, and bet me that I couldn't fill both hands.

I didn't take the bet, but on the way home I started thinking about it just for grins. I even included deceased couples - just had to be people I had personally known, who seemed to have had fulfilling, happy marriages.

I couldn't fill both hands. Doesn't mean they're not out there, but I guess I haven't known very many of them.

Sad. Very sad.

Jeannette

Fr. Stephanos,
The divorce rate among NFP couples is more like 2% (I suspect it has to do with PMS days being conveniently pinpointed on a chart for the husbands). One would hope that the married Catholic priests are falling into this category.
I'm with NW. Thanks for the support-NOT.

(I'm fine with whatever the pope says on married/celibate priests, BTW.)

Isn't there an automatic sanction that kicks in for Archbishop Nutjob, though?

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

I absolutely support the charism of marriage.
However, it is in need of renewal in our culture right now.

I absoutely support the charism of the celibate priesthood.
It is also in need of renewal in our culture right now.

The point of my comment is that now is not a wise time to combine the two charisms.
.

Tim J.

Was it Chesterton who said that where the celibate priesthood is healthy, marriage is also healthy?

Sounds right to me.

"The divorce rate among NFP couples is more like 2%... One would hope that the married Catholic priests are falling into this category..."

Well, one would hope that priests wouldn't molest kids, too.

If, in our present cultural climate, we discontinue the celibate priesthood, we will add to headlines about child molestation NEW headlines about adultery and freaky open marriages.

BTW, my wife and I will be married 25 years in February. No affairs (not even a stray smooch), no shouting matches... we feel pretty much the same as we did when we were 20-ish. We grew up together, converted to Catholicism together (with a little help from a good friend).

Just want to encourage all of you seeking discernment of marriage. We are happier than we have any right to be. I think there are more people like us than you might think.

Mary

Fr. Stephanos,

I got what you were saying there. You weren't saying that marriage is bad or wrong, just that the whole concept that a married clergy is somehow better than a celibate clergy, or that allowing clergy to marry would magically solve all the Church's problems is just farcical.

I wasn't offended, speaking as someone who still hopes for a godly Catholic marriage.

KristyB

That was HILARIOUS! I've watched The Sound of Music so many times that I pictured the nuns walking through the abbey as they were singing. I especially loved "They say it Sr. Margaretta!" Great job!

KristyB

Argh... the one time I don't preview my post...

"TheN say it Sr. Margaretta!"

Margaret

Anyone who's read much of Fr. Stephanos' stuff knows he's not anti-marriage. But I think he's spot on, here-- Our society's understanding of and appreciation for the vocation to marriage has been crumbling in parallel with our understanding/appreciation of the celibate life. I hope the converse is also true-- to the extent that we can help people see the beauty and value of either vocation, we will strengthen their apprecation of and love for the other vocation as well. They are two sides of the same coin.

Kasia

Thanks for posting that, Tim J. - it helps. :-)

J.R. Stoodley

I can think of more happy marriages I know of personally than unhappy ones. I even filled up both hands with happy marriages. Then again I don't know for sure that some of the "happy" ones don't have problems that I just don't know about.

Suzanne

Tim J., congrats on your marriage!
Kasia, don't despair, there are lots of good marriages out there. Mine's darn good even though we are only coming up on our 14th year of marriage. Out of forty non-contracepting homeschooling families in my area, I know of only one family who has had serious marital problems. All the rest seem very strong and happy. It could be a deception, but I don't think so.

Beau

For what it's worth, my wife and I have been married for 12 years. We both converted about 5 years ago...finished the RCIA program 4 years ago. We frequently pray for deeper faith and conversion, and we've recieved it, and our marriage has only become stronger for it.

I can use up all of my fingers counting couples I know who have good, strong, happy marriages (all of whom have been married over 20 years). I can use up most of my toes too.

The sad part is that I can count just as many divorced couples. Only most of them have been married less than 10 years.

Allena

I agree with Beau, in fact I am his wife. We went from no religion to tradtional Catholics in the last 5 years. When you pray a rosary for a deeping of faith you get it!

I think we have a wonderful marriage, rough sometimes, but great overall. There is no such thing as no bad feelings or not ever fighting, but I've found since we converted, stopped contracepting and live as best we can to be Catholic in everyway, things are so much better, words can't describe our happiness.

Marriage can be wonderful, be careful who you pick and live according to Catholic faith and I think God will make it possible to stay together no matter what.

Millinge is not as bad as you are making him

Tim Ferguson

I (speaking for myself) am not saying that he's bad - just that he's not a stable fellow - he's publicly professed belief in the Unification Church and submitted to marriage according to their heretical teaching; he's left his post in Rome, then returned repentently, then left again; he's publicly agitated against the discipline of celibacy and defied a papal request to remain silent. Pretty darn loonie from my perspective.

Josh

I absolutely think that respect for marriage and respect for celibacy go hand in hand. When one suffers the other does. We live in an era that is so obsessed with sexuality that it is actually surprising when someone is a virgin when they get married. Heck, it's surprising for kids to get out of high school with virginity intact. This cultural obsession with sexuality also has unfortunately affected some men in the priesthood, as well. We need to pray for vocations - to the priesthood, religious life, and godly Catholic marriages.

S.W.

Where can I find the Womanpriest Song? I must have missed it.
Thanks Tim F., needed a good laugh. My daughters watched the original not long ago so it was fresh in my mind.

He did not confess to the Unification Church. He did get married. The Vatican did treat him bad.
Fr. Amorth believes he was a true and gifted exorcist.

Tim J.

The Vatican SHOULD treat him bad.

Eileen R

Fr. Amorth also believes he's unstable. Leave that part out, will you, Anon?

The Vatican should NOT treat him bad. He is a bishop of the Church and a child of God.

bill912

This child needs a good spanking.

J.R. Stoodley

The Vatican should treat him with love and respect, but must not spare the rod. What this Archbishop is doing, if he persists despite warnings and exhortations, deserves excommunication, and perhaps removal from clerical status. There needs to be some enforcement of Church laws or we will have complete chaos.

To belong to the Catholic Church is a choice. With that choice comes certain responsiblities, and consequences for not fulfilling those responsibilities and breaking promises. It is not cruel to penalize this bishop for his disobedient deviance. At any time he can repent and start acting like a Catholic Archbishop again.

All this though assumes a basic level of sanity. If the Archbishop indeed is psycologically unstable and/or possessed by a demon then he needs help, not punishment.

Francis

The basic level of sanity is not an assumption regardless of any bad he is doing or any good he has done in the past through healings or other good work he did in Africa.
He did make a lot of interesting points.
The Vatican did seem harsh and spying on him.
He did NOT convert to the Unification Church.
The Stallings alliance (which is loose) is not good as Stallings is not good. However, Amorth thinks he is a good man and a real exorcist and suffered from brainwashing, he makes good points even if not ultimately right on specifics on cultural issues in Africa, and seems to have brought many people relief either or both from evil and psychological malady.

He is not as bad as you are making him out here.
You do not know what he has been through.
Certainly he has mental health issues.

Joshua

This is a disrespectful song that is unnecessary. It is in poor taste. I am not a supporter of the Archbishop. I can have sympathy on him as a man to want to be married, and marriage is more of a discipline than theology per se (not to say there are not theological implications). Although usually not bishops, there are many MANY married priests Catholic priests who are married and are good priests there is not a theological necessity of not being married (although certainly logical reasons and certainly current Church law) Bishops in the early Church were married. This archbishop seems to have done some stupid if not crazy things, he does seemed to have been put through psychological stress, maybe brainwashing but certainly reprogramming or propaganda, and to be under a house arrest by Rome, in addition to issues in Africa--this all creates a lot of psychic anxiety, depression and stress. I would of not married a Korean acupuncturist but people do wierder things, Archbishop Weakland wrote love letters to a seminarian, a Bishop in Springfield was openly gay, Bishop Law covered up for serial sexual abusers---This African Archbishop is not the worse. Pope John Paul II seemed to deal with him as a brother and in a pastoral way, I hope the current Pope does the same thing. Tim J should direct his sarcastic poetry to Cardinal Law or others who really did harm to others and the faith. The poetry is disrespectful to a prince of the Church, a successor to the Apostles, and someone who may have really cast out tangible evil and actual demons and brought issues of importance to Africa to light when many do not want to listen.

Bill123 needs a good spanking. But let God determine who really needs a good spanking.
Maybe Tim J deserves a good spanking for being disrespectful.

bill912

LOL at anonymous idiocy on display.

Bill please don't talk about idiocy after all of your posts. Please you are embarassing us and Catholics. If Cardinal Emmanuel is a clown, you are the king of clowns, at least intellectually.
Your one liners are like balloons of animals at a ld childrens birthday party.

bill912

This guy is obviously obsessed with me. I am evidently the center of his life the way Christ is the center of mine.

Bill912 is blaspheming, comparing himself to Christ, that is much worse than the exorcist archbishop married schismatic.

bill912

Why don't you try ignoring me? You know, act like an adult.

tonydoc

Disrespectful? Probably. Bust still terribly witty! I couldn't keep myself from laughing. If we can't laugh at ourselves and the loons within our midst, we all need to remember the words of my wife's patron saint (Teresa de Jesus), "God, save us from serious saints!"

Mary Kay

Bill912, anyone who consistently posts anonymously doesn't deserve a response. I'd say ignore him (or her).

J.R. Stoodley

I agree, more because of the idiocy of the posts than the anonymity alone.

Allena

I would point out to those of you being insulting and jibber jabering back and forth about bill and the other guy (includinging them) that you should read Jimmy's rules.

http://www.jimmyakin.org/2004/06/da_rulz.html

Certainly opinions are to be respected, and really we should leave off the name calling and pettyness. It really isn't conducive to discussion, I often feel like some people use this as a place to go and be rude and hateful, because there are no reprecussions. You can say all the things you want because your anonomous, even if you post a name.

Could we please try to be kind to one another?

Brother Cadfael

Bill912,

For what it is worth, I don't believe you're worse than a schismatic bishop in need of an exorcism who is pretending to be married. :-D

William Chiles

It seems that TimJ and Bill912 are the ones that get to insult people without reprucussions. The illogical zingers and insults of Bill912 are tiresome at best. TimJ is no doubt funny, and I can sympathize with his post, and agree with the women priests stuff, but I think that this one does go too far. Jimmy clearly likes it and does not agree with me. I don't think St. Teresa of Avila was talking about public poems mocking an archbishop (maybe he is emotionally disturbed and not a loon) (or maybe he was wronged in some way and is right about some of the things he said)(I know some on this board would be shocked if I did a poem about other Cardinals who did things far worse either in the present day or in history)

The poem states: (understanding it is meant in humor, but humor can hurt more, and humor is not an excuse for stating lies)

1. Accusses him of heresy (a charge not brought: opposition to priestly celibacy is not heresy, getting married also is not heresy even if a violation of his vows or canonical laws; sin is not heresy). The Church is not saying he is in heresy (even if She excommunicates him). This bishop believes in a real devil (unlike many bishops, the reality of exorcism (unlike many bishops), a statement that where the Eucharist is the Church is (and converesley where it is not) (Many do not teach this)--So in terms of heresy you can look elsewhere.

2. Worse than Charles Curran: He wants married priests, perhaps to justify his own sin. I am for a celibate priesthood (at least in the Latin Rite) but Charles Curran had teachings against almost every MORAL (not priestly discipline or canon law) teaching of the church including homosexuality (which Millinge condemned in Africa and among clergy), abortion, and many others.
So how again is he worse than Curran????

3. Comparing him to a dog. Like some Muslims compared the Pope to the "dog of Rome--they believe he is in error. See how words and hyperbole can be extrapolated.

4. A nutcase, a clown: even though he may have legitimage and serious mental illness. There were Cardinals in ages past who had serious mental illness (including one in Chicago) who went "crazy". Mocking him as a will-o-wisp, a nutcase, a clown--when it may be a legitimate and real case of mental illness is disrespectful, unpastoral, and downright UnChristian.

5. Compare him to Martin Luther. HE IS STILL CATHOLIC. Unlike media reports against him, he stated he is NOT starting his own Church with the Moonies. Luther had a 30 year war that followed him, a Peasants revolt, and real schism--Again, I understand analogy, poem, humor, comparison BUT HOW IS HE LIKE MARTIN LUTHER?

6. Rosemary Reuther: Have you read her? I had a friend who took her courses in Boston--she won't even allow men in them. Millinge doesn't teach anything near like her.

7. Stating he is a Gnostic: Again WHERE? HOW?
Does he believe in the "gospels" of Thomas or Phillip? Is he teaching you do not need a priestly class, or the Church? I have read a lot on this an he teaches this no where?

8. Respect: Certainly Dante criticizes Bishops, and even Popes apparently and others in his incredible allegory---But this churchman deserves or sympathy and prayers and not our derision. There is no respect for him as a human being, the good he may have done, nor his office.

He is not a Gnostic nor a heretic. He is not worse than Martin Luther, Rosemary Reuther, nor Charles Curran--not by a longshot.
He is a man who served the Church loyally for many years, did many stupid things especially as of late and may have had a great gift of healing and casting out demons. As a human being he deserves some respect. As a Catholic he deserves not to be compared to Martin Luther and called a heretic. As a person with a probable mental illness he deserves sympathy. As a bishop he deserves some respect for his office and authority.

J.R. Stoodley

William Chiles,

For one thing the poem was written by Tim F. not Tim J.

For another, this is an Archbishop of the Catholic Church; he has to be held to high standards. He has the potential to do terrible harm to the Church. I think a fun little song is nothing compared to what he really deserves were justice the only criterion for how to treat someone, so what's the big deal? And let me remind you that Martin Luther similarly tried to "reform" the Catholic Church, only founding another because he got excommunicated, as this guy will soon be I imagine. Throughout his episcopal carrier Milingo has displayed his disobedience and wackyness.

Mary Kay

William, the topic of humor is large and all I have to offer are some random thoughts.

The difference between lampooning something and an academic treatment is that the lampoon, by nature, doesn't make an attempt to be 100 percent accurate.

The dog reference is one thing that doesn't have Muslims' name on it. Prior to his election as pope, the liberal press referred to Cardinal Ratzinger as "the Pope's rotweiller," prompting a good many Catholics to refer to Pope Benedict XVI as "my German shepherd." That's how I took the dog reference in this parody.

Milingo certainly needs to be prayed for. His actions are asking for him to be suspended.

As for lampooning him, all public figures are fair game to a certain extent of humor.

The line between what is funny and acceptable, what is not really funny but tolerated and what is clearly unacceptable is not easy to define. Personally, I thought this parody was funny and acceptable. You clearly don't. All I can do is agree to disagree with you.

Robert Goellner

It is funny and acceptable but perhaps in poor taste. The innacuuracies can be forgiven in the nature of the sarcasm.

Let's do a poem on Cardinal Law and how he allowed serial sexual molesters and predators of children.

Brother Cadfael

The illogical zingers and insults of Bill912 are tiresome at best.

Fortunately, the illogical ones are few and far between. The logical ones are often quite good.

bill912

Thanks, Brother C.

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

I've just read news reports that Milingo has now ordained four other schismatic priests as bishops.

J.R. Stoodley

Fr. Stephanos,

Are you serious or just comparing him to Archbishop Lefebvre?

I almost posted on how this shows he really is as defiant as M. Luther and wacky as Rosemary Reuther when I caught the parallel to SSPX.

John Roeser

Millingo has not ordained anyone illicitly. I see the parallel and the joke but don't fictionalize sin that he has not created when he has plenty actual sin he can take "credit" for.

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

I am not telling a joke.

However, I have looked up the news again, and it says that today, Sunday, he has installed four married men as bishops. It says "installed" rather than "ordained"

http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0906/363694.html

.

J.R. Stoodley

That settles the debate for me. Milingo realy is THAT bad, folks. Yet somehow the story is sort of silly, even without the song (which I don't think is really that inaccurate, or overly-insulting if you interpret the "if bishops are dogs" part charitably), unlike the very unfunny case of Cardinal Law that someone keeps harping on to try to make us feel bad.

It sounds to me like Milingo has decided to give up being a real Catholic and is trying to go out with a headline-making bang.

This is very dangerous.

Stallings is very dangerous.

I was willing to give Millingo the benefit of the doubt, and I do think he was mentally ill, but this is dangerous and can go down the road of all the problems Thuc started. Remember before Millingo went left to Stallings he was a favorite of the RadTrads as they are called on this board because he was anti-homosexuality and said some in the hierarchy were influenced by demons.

Kasia

I echo Mary Kay and J.R. I thought the song was HI-larious. Maybe not quite as fall-out-of-my-chair-and-roll-on-the-floor-with-tears-in-my-eyes funny as the womenpriest song, but quite funny.

This got me thinking, though, about the nature of humor and some of the 'appropriateness' questions that have been raised. I still think this is well within the bounds of 'appropriate', although any lampoon probably is of questionable taste. (I grew up on lampoons and parodies, so I'm indicting myself more than anyone. Tom Lehrer, anyone?) One thing about consistent good taste is that it's hardly ever funny.

That said, some things go beyond the pale. The anonymous poster who suggested a parody of Cardinal Law made me shudder...I don't know if it's the same person who suggested gassing Bp. Gumbleton over on Closed Cafeteria the other day, but it gave me the same reaction.

So now I'm thinking: The main reason that I laugh at these parodies of Milingo and the womenpriests, quite apart from Tim F's considerable talent, is that sometimes I laugh to keep from crying. On the other hand, the priest-abuse cases are so horrifying that I can't laugh at them. It seems intuitively obvious to me that they're entirely different things, but I can't put my finger on why.

Any thoughts?

Mary Kay

Kasia, I've pondered the difference between acceptable and unacceptable humor many times with not much to show for it.

The only thing that I've been able to clear tease out is whether or not someone's humor is done maliciously, as in wishing it to be true or that the object of the humor deserved something bad.

That's clearly not the only difference, but that's as far as I've gotten.

ßBack

THE SOCIETY OF PIUS X, A FALSE SOLUTION TO A REAL PROBLEM
Rama P. Coomaraswamy, M.D.

A Recent publication of the Angelus Press claims to demonstrate that Sedevacantism is a false solution to the crisis in the Church, and that the only truly Catholic position is that of the Society of Pius X. They do this by falsifying the Sedevacantist position and by refusing to recognize the theological errors and cultic practices of their own organization.

1. Throughout the text the author repeatedly and persistently claims to base his position on prudence, the assumption being that Sedevacantists lack this moral virtue. Let us be clear about the definition of Prudence. According to Prummer, “St Thomas and Aristotle define prudence as correct knowledge concerning things to be done… or the intellectual virtue whereby man recognizes in any matter to hand what is good and what is evil… the acts of prudence are three in number: to take counsel carefully, to judge correctly, and to direct.” One can certainly question to what degree Fr. Simoulin has fulfilled these criteria.

2. The author categorizes sedevacantists as either “Rigerous, “Conclavist” or followers of the Cassiciacum thesis. Let us first of all consider the latter, which can be superficially characterized as holding that we have a pope who has no authority, but whose authority would return if he returned to the faith. Now while this latter position is advocated by some highly intelligent individuals – Guerard des Lauriers, Bishop McKenna, Bishop Sanborn and Fr. Racossa, to name those who write in its defence, the fact remains that the average Catholic sedevacantist neither understands this thesis nor believes in it. If one were to go to a sedevacantist parish and ask those attending what the Cassiciacum thesis was, they would not know what you were talking about. Les than 1% of traditional Catholics would fall within this category.[1]

2. While it is true that there are a moderate number of “conclavists” and a plethora of “popes,” either self elected or followed by relatively small groups of people, the fact remains that the sedevacantist position is in no way tied to such groups. Let it be clear that there is nothing going on in the Churches today that prevents anyone from being truly Catholic. While it is regrettable that we do not have a true pope able to direct the activities of the Church, it should be clear that there is nothing that prevents any Catholic from being Catholic. Such has always been the case during periods characterized as being “inter-regnum.” As Catherine Emerick said, if there is only one Catholic in whom the faith exists, the Church resides in him.

3. To characterize sedevacantists as “Rigerous” is inappropriate as it implicitly suggests that they are fanatical. Such is far from the case for Sedevacantism is simply a logical response to the situation one finds in the post-Conciliar Church today. One can no more speak of a rigorous sedevacantist than one can speak of a lax or liberal sedevacantist.

4. Two issues which the author raises require clear cut responses. A) the author holds that the sedevacantist denies the indefectibility of the Church. This is to put it mildly, nonsense. Anyone who is not as blind as the proverbial bat can see that “the Pope and the Bishops in union with him” have defected from the true Church. It follows that both the “pope” and those that follow him risk the anathemas of Peter and Paul such as were applied to those who forbade the so-called Tridentine Mass. (St Catherine of Sienna in regard to a somewhat similar situation bluntly stated the pope involved and those who followed him would go to hell.) It should be clear – indeed obvious - that it is not the Church which has defected for such is impossible. It is the new and post-Conciliar organization which has defected from the true Church which still continues to exist and against which the Gates of Hell cannot not prevail. That the true Church is in a certain sense “underground,” but by no means “invisible” is a fact of our days. A somewhat parallel situation existed in England during the early Reformation years where priests continued to function in a manner seemingly independent of any hierarchy. (Incidentally, the author in one place confuses the indefectibility of the Church with the indefectibility of the teaching hierarchy.)

5. The author claims that the “Rigorist” sedevacantist position holds that “the teaching Church no longer exists.” Now in so far as the sedevacantist holds that the Church continues to exist, it clearly follows that he holds its teaching function continues to exist. The Magisterium is not a dead organ once a pope dies – rather it is a live organ to which the sedevacantist adheres with all his heart. The sedevacantist does not believe the ordinary Magisterium can contain error as Michael Davies holds; nor does he believe that the various statements of the post-Conciliar hierarchy are part of this Magisterium except by accident when they hold views that are consistent with what the Church has always taught. I would remind the members of the Society that Paul VI characterized the documents of Vatican II as “the supreme form of the ordinary Magisterium” which John PauL II reiterated by calling it the “highest form of the ordinary Magisterium.” Vatican I made it quite clear that the ordinary Magisterium was infallible. Moreover Paul VI told Ardchbishop Lefebvre that he had to give his “intellectual consent” to everything in the Documents of Vatican II. To give one’s intellectual assent is to accept them as true –quod absit.

6. The Society holds that the post-Conciliar “popes” are true popes. If such is the case, according to Catholic teaching, they should be obeyed. A pope is “one hierarchical person with our Lord” and when he speaks or acts within his function, he is to be obeyed. Now quite apart from the fact that Archbishop Lefebvre et all were excommunicated, the Society does in fact accept all the new sacraments, the new Code of Canon Law and what it chooses to accept of John Paul II’s teachings promulgated through the organs of the ordinary Magisterium. This puts the Society and its members in the position of “picking and choosing” just what they will and will not accept – a truly Protestant principle. As such they lead the faithful who turn to them into a fundamental Protestant faith.

7. The author casts doubts on the validity of the Thuc consecrations on the grounds that he consecrated some individuals who were in one way or another unqualified. Now it is a matter of common sense that Bishops who use their consecratory powers will occasionally consecrate individuals who are unworthy. To imply that they knowingly did so is a calumny. For example, I know that Archbishop Lefebvfre ordained a priest who was homosexual. Is this grounds for casting doubt on all his ordinations? I hardly think so, for the good Archbishop had no way of knowing that the individual involved was homosexual. Indeed this criticism might well apply to the innumerable priests who have left the Society to marry, enter the new church, or become sedevacantists. Many of us have gone through a long history of trying to accommodate to the new Church only in the end to find it is impossible. To criticize those who are at various stages in the process of clarifying their thinking (bringing it into line with the thinking of the Church) is to say the least, unjust if not a calumny.

8. The Society persistently claims that no one can judge the Pope. Now clearly no one can judge another soul, but one can certainly judge the popes actions. Moreover, one has to be blind and deaf not to recognize that the post-Conciliar “popes” have defected from the faith on innumerable occasions – that is to say, embraced and taught heresy. Listen to the words of St. Robert Belarmine: “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.” Similarly, St. Francis de Sales teaches that “when the Pope is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso fact from his dignity and out of the Church…” If the Pope is not a heretic, than why does the Society of Pius X exist? And if they do not think he is a heretic – both material and formal – then I suggest that the members of the Society read a basic text on theology or even the Catechism of the Council of Trent. If however if these “popes” have fulfilled the criteria of St. Belarmine, what other possibility is there than that we are in an inter-regnem and sedevacantism is the only truly Catholic position.

If the Society holds that we cannot judge what is heretical and what is not, what is true and what is false, then the Society holds that we have no responsibility to be Catholic as opposed to any other pseudo-religion.

9. The author makes a plea in favour of Un Cum, that is to say, the appropriateness of listing John Paul II in the Canon of the Mass as a true and Catholic believer. To do so once again confirms our need to obey and follow him without picking and choosing. Traditional priests replace this with the phrase that we are in union with the Apostolic See – with all the true popes going back to Peter, but hardly with self proclaimed heretics.

This does not mean that sedevacantists do not pray for the miserable man who currently sits on the Chair of Peter.

10. Returning to the need for prudential action, let us once again consider the words from Prummer’s text on Moral Theology. “St Thomas and Aristotle define prudence as correct knowledge concerning things to be done… or the intellectual virtue whereby man recognizes in any matter to hand what is good and what is evil… the acts of prudence are three in number: to take counsel carefully, to judge correctly, and to direct.” Given the fact that there have been innumerable periods in the Church when there was no pope reigning, and given the fact that the Church continued to exist under such circumstances, and given the fact that there is no way that the post-Conciliar “popes” can claim to be “one hierarchical person with our Lord,” and given the fact that obedience to false popes endangers our salvation, what is the prudential thing for a Catholic to do? If he is a true pope obey him, if not his commands have no authority and he is not a true pope.

11. One last comment. One will find an excellent discussion by Father Stepanich, O.F.M., a former professor of theology and a traditional sedevacantist priest on my web page (Coomaraswamy-catholic-writings.com). Those who wish for greater clarification are urged to turn to this source.

12. In conclusion, let us face the reality that to follow the post-Conciliar “popes” requires that we apostasize as they have. The choice is clear. Either we obey the post-Conciliar hierarchy and give up our faith, or we declare that the current pseudo-pope and the bishops in union with him are themselves not in the true Church. To join one of the various groups that do declare him to be a true pope whom one need not obey and to accept highly dubious if not false sacraments is not to remain in the Catholic Church, but to join a cult the number of which seems to be

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January 2012

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