I have written many times in the past, as have much better people than myself, about the inability of any person to abrogate the ancient Mass. It is not possible. It is not licit, nor is it valid. The timeless Mass is handed down over ages; it is of immemorial custom. It has the force of law.
I have also written many times in the past, as have much better people than myself, about the putative abdication of Pope Benedict XVI and whether it was valid, noting that there are, AT LEAST, LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS concerning its validity. If the Pope did not abdicate, there was no vacancy of the See. If there was no vacancy of the See, there was no lawful conclave and Bergoglio could not have been elected Pope. Please tell me I’ve mentioned this before?
And yet, here we are, seemingly led by sleepwalking or worse prelates who all believe, or pretend to believe, that Bergoglio is pope. But, but I’m a father of 8, you may say. What difference does it make to my duties of my state of life just who is the pope? I need to focus on my salvation, my own personal holiness!
In the most basic sense, of course, that sentiment is true– whether we have a good pope, bad pope, or antipope, we need to remain in the state of grace, have faith, hope, charity and final perseverance. The identity of the pope matters not in many areas of our lives, whether we sin, whether we pray, etc.
But that is not the entire story by a long shot. Leaving aside the defined doctrine that it is absolutely necessary for salvation for every human being to be subject to the Roman Pontiff (Unam Sanctam), let me list a few questions that may convince you that it may in fact matter very much whether Bergoglio is or is not the pope. These quesions, at the moment, are hypothetical:
Can the pope forbid a priest from ever celebrating the traditional Mass, or the faithful from assisting at it?
Can the pope excommunicate a priest for celebrating this Mass, or a layman for assisting at it?
If the pope places under interdict or excommunicates an Order, Society of Apostolic Life, a Diocese, a Parish, or a Priest or Bishop, is it permissible for a layman to assist at a Mass celebrated by such person or group? Does it satisfy my Sunday obligation?
If the pope excommunicates such a group, is it valid? What effect does it have?
If the pope excommunicates YOU for assisting at the timeless Mass, is it valid? What effect does it have?
Will a person under a sentence of excommunication for celebrating or assisting at the traditional Mass go to hell for that?
Do I have your attention? Because I think we can all agree that any order or rule or disciplinary action or exercise of raw power by an antipope has zero effect morally. That all of the above questions, if “antipope” is substituted for “pope”, could easily be answered with a resounding “NO”.
And yet, if we assume arguendo that Bergoglio is pope, we are going to be made very uncomfortable indeed. And we will be reliving the journey of the priests and faithful who followed Archbishop Lefebvre. They had to face these questions a generation ago.
I will not speculate on the response of anyone else, whether layman, priest, bishop or institute. But I wish the College of Cardinals OR MEMBERS of the College OR EVEN ONE MEMBER of the College had done a serious study on the question of the abdication– you know, the thing that doesn’t matter in our daily lives. Because now, should the response be to finally declare a belief in the abdication’s invalidity, it will seem a matter of convenience. And if one still maintains the legitimacy of the abdication and subsequent conclave, who will have the courage or moral authority to resist?
I submit that any monster who has the unmitigated temerity to try to destroy the Mass will have no qualms in destroying an order, an institute, a diocese, a bishop, a priest, or a layman who stands in the way.
Christ help us.
Richard Malcolm said:
“Will a person under a sentence of excommunication for celebrating or assisting at the traditional Mass go to hell for that?”
And yet, as I think we all more or less suspect, most of the sorts of people trying to suppress the traditional Roman Rite (and indeed, all traditional liturgical rites) do not appear to even believe in hell in the first place!
I suppose this just leaves them with their own version of modern cancel culture: All they can do is make your life as materially unpleasant as possible, and assume that will force most people into the necessary preference falsification, as it has succeeded in doing in academic, professional, and corporate realms.
I think most of these prelates (and Francis himself) now appreciate that traditionalism is never going away. I wonder if their strategy now isn’t just to eject it into some sort of perpetual Old Believers status, as the rest of the Church marches happily on to the broad sunlit uplands of the Omega Point.
Article 5. Whether subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things?
On the contrary, It is written (Acts 5:29): “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.
Accordingly we may distinguish a threefold obedience; one, sufficient for salvation, and consisting in obeying when one is bound to obey: secondly, perfect obedience, which obeys in all things lawful: thirdly, indiscreet obedience, which obeys even in matters unlawful.
A) Bergoglio was validly elected and continues to be pope.
B) Bergoglio was validly elected but has lost the office.
– He has lost the office automatically due to heresy?
– He has lost the office due to heresy, but it must be formally
investigated/declared by the college of Cardinals?
C) Bergoglio was not validly elected.
– He was not a valid candidate due to being a heretic before
– The conclave did not follow JPII’s instructions for selecting a
– Benedict did not properly abdicate so the conclave was null
– Benedict did properly abdicate but Bergoglio was not validly
An error in the beginning is an error indeed. We need to have the answers to these questions because they greatly impact not only our present time, but future conclaves. I am no expert, but the way I understand the situation is if we have a valid pope, his appointed Cardinals can vote in future conclaves. If Bergoglio has never been a valid pope, then his appointed Cardinals would not be eligible to vote in future conclaves. If he started out as a valid pope, but lost his office due to heresy, we would need to know when he lost the office to determine which cardinals are valid electors going forward. If he has lost the office due to heresy, but the college of Cardinals need to recognize that, then we are waiting on the successors of the Apostles to do something. If the Cardinals are unable to depose him, then we are waiting on God to come to our assistance.
I can’t answer any of these questions, but I have been inspired to consider the martyrdom of Joan of Arc, and to pray for her intercession. Imagine being a saint, with the great sensitivity of soul and conscience that that would entail and being branded with excommunication and heresy before being executed at the behest of your fathers in the faith. The moment of her death would have required a fierce faith and trust, not unlike Our Lord showed on the cross, knowing that He was right with His father even though the High Priests had condemned Him.
I can’t read the section of the catechism in which it describes the Church needing to follow in the Passion of Her Bridegroom at the appointed time, without thinking of St. Joan. Taken literally, it would mean that Catholics will, at some point in history, be put to death because their religious superiors denounce them to the State. God gives us the saints we need for our particular time, and I don’t think it was a coincidence that St. Joan was canonized May 16th, 1920, the feast day of St. Simon Stock. St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite, received the brown scapular from our Lady. Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared during the miracle of the sun at Fatima. Francis also handed down the death sentence for the Tridentine Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
I’m actually not sure about the cardinal bit. First, if Benedict XVI did not validly resign, then he technically “accepted” all of the Cardinals appointed by Bergoglio. Second, if if this is not so, this may or may not be covered by “ecclesia suplet”. I leave it to more knowledgeable minds to resolve.
Whether or not he “accepted” or “made” the Bergoglio cardinal candidates Cardinals in reality is a matter of speculation.
It is a difficult question, and I can see the argument that only pre-B cardinals could vote. However, I could make a case that if the pre-B cardinals participated in a conclave (the contents of that proceeding being subject to papal secret) and acknowledged the results, it could produce a valid pope.
Yes, I am in no way an expert, and would appreciate clarification from someone who is.
At any rate, we are living the fog of war, diabolical disorientation, and I doubt that anything less than the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is going to solve this mess.
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