What doth it profit a man to attend Latin Masses, but not live like the Good Samaritan?
Email: torontocatholicwitness@outlook.com

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Part II: Pope Francis ~ Pope or Antipope? Is Pope Francis a heretic, schismatic?

Abbe de Nantes in Rome

Following on my previous post regarding the question of Pope Francis being  "deposed" for schism and heresy, in essence NOT being Pope Francis, but rather Cardinal Bergoglio etc., it is important to clarify for Catholics my modest claims. Firstly, the claims I make are not my own. I am merely repeating what the Church has always taught. Nothing new, nothing different. Catholics seem to be conflating two separate issues, either due to confusion, or deliberately, due to a schismatic intent. In other words, some are legitimately (and who can blame them) confused, given a Pope who is scandalizing the faithful through his words and actions, to those who already in secretum have broken Catholic unity, and are working backwards to "prove" the Pope is an Antipope, and hence justify their bad break with the Church. 

The Abbe de Nantes
Catholics should be aware that there were at least five Popes who were heretics at one time or another during their papacy. Liberius, Vigilius, Honorius, Boniface IV, John XX and perhaps Alexander VI. There have also been in recent years strange and confusing statements and actions by Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Bizarre and outrageous actions and words which could easily be argued were scandalous, if not heretical. However, NONE of these men were ever excluded from the List of Popes. All men mentioned remain, to this day, listed as Popes. In fact two of them have been canonized. Yes, a sinner can repent and die in the state of Grace. If you do not believe me, go and look it up. As such we historically have had heretics on the Throne of Peter, and these same heretics, remained Popes during their heresy, and these same Popes, following their deaths, were retained by their successors as legitimate Popes.  

Let us now review a possible solution to the crisis in the Church. The Abbe de Nantes, who was suspended a divinis in the mid sixties, for his opposition to the innovations at the Council, had a horror of schism and heresy. He saw no need for a Catholic to fall into these twin evils just because the Pope and most of the bishops had gone out of their Catholic minds. The Abbe fought equally against those who had entered into sedevacantism and schismatic dissent, as he fought the modernist innovators. His motto was "neither heretics nor schismatics, we remain Catholic". I reproduce the part on what Catholics can do when the Pope engages in heresy, schism or scandal.


The Abbe warned Catholics years ago:
The successor of St. Peter and Vicar of Jesus Christ is reiterating the perfidy of Caiaphas, with a view to perpetrating the new deicide foretold by the Scriptures, that of man dethroning Jesus Christ in his own temple to enthrone himself there instead and so receive the world’s adoration of himself as God and Saviour.
The full essay can be read here


III. WHAT ACTION CAN BE TAKEN
AGAINST PAPAL HERESY, SCHISM, OR SCANDAL?


1. IMPRACTICABLE SOLUTION

Bellarmine put forward a solution that sounds extremely drastic, but we must remember that he regarded the possibility – and hence presumably the solution – as merely academic. “ PAPA HAERETICUS DEPOSITUS EST… A heretical Pope is deposed ”. The reason is simple. Heresy being a form of spiritual death, a Pope who should fall into it would be spiritually dead and cut off from the Church, thus ceasing to be her Head.

Such reasoning, however excellent it may be in theory, does not take into account the psychological and sociological aspects of the situation. We have seen over these past ten years that such a solution is inapplicable in practice. To be effective, it would require two preliminary conditions which are, today, inconceivable. The Pope would, in the first place, have to have a clear understanding that he was renouncing the Faith in favour of heresy, and to be doing so deliberately and in consciousness of the mortal sin involved. Secondly, the priests and faithful would have to grasp fully the heresy in the papal teaching and to be unanimously agreed that the Pope was in fact a heretic. Today, however, the heretic sees himself as one ahead of his time, not a rebel but a prophet who is to save the Church! The priests and faithful, for their part, no longer have a clear idea where lies heresy and where the true Faith, or indeed if there is any contradiction between the two...

Thus we have today a situation where a Pope can be guilty of heresy, schism and scandal while believing himself to be engaged in founding Christianity anew, and where he is able to convince the great mass of priests and people into following him, just as they followed the greatest and holiest Popes of the past!
To admit the idea of the automatic deposition of the Pope on account of heresy would entail two possible consequences, the one disastrous and the other absurd. Either we should be left without any possibility at all of ridding ourselves of such a Pope, because the masses would continue to follow him regardless, or else any Tom, Dick or Harry who happened to have some grievance against the Pope could declare, on any ground whatsoever, and claiming for himself the justification of St Robert Bellarmine, that the Pope was a heretic and deposed on this account!

2. OPEN SOLUTION

The solution which we regard as a practicable one is that proposed by Cajetan, followed by John of St Thomas and others: “ PAPA HAERETICUS DEPONENDUS EST… A heretical Pope must be deposed ”. This implies not only that a heretical Pope must be deposed from his office, but equally that anyone who feels impelled to bring a charge of heresy against the Pope has an obligation to take the necessary steps towards a judicial process of deposition. He has no right to raise his personal judgement into a legal verdict.

There remain, however, unanswered questions regarding the manner of bringing about such a deposition. Who is to depose the Pope? The Church, evidently. But has the Church the competence to pass judgement on him who is the Head and Sovereign Judge of all? Cajetan maintains that in undertaking such a process of deposition the Church is not in fact passing a verdict on the offender, but only bringing before God’s own Tribunal the evidence required.

It is God Himself alone from whom the process of deposition can emanate. It is hard to see just what Cajetan had in mind and at this point his discussion becomes somewhat nebulous. We are left only with the idea that any ecclesiastical tribunal would be competent merely to institute proceedings, but not to pass sentence.

The Libellus fidei addressed by Adrian II to the Eighth Council of Constantinople gives us some further guidance. In it he reminds the faithful, in connection with Honorius, that they have the right to resist a Pope who errs against the Faith and to refuse the directives of superiors who are in heresy. He adds that even in such a case, no patriarch or bishop would have any right to pass a sentence (of anathema) except with the consent of the Sovereign Pontiff himself. “ Cuipiam de eo quamlibet fas fuerit proferendum sententiam, nisi ejusdem primae sedis pontificis consensus praecessisset auctoritas. ” When Adrian II said that the consent of the Pope was necessary before a condemnation could be issued in such a case, he was thinking, evidently, of a posthumous sentence. But why should we not follow a similar argument and apply it within the lifetime of the Pope concerned? When souls are in danger, there is no case for waiting until death takes its course.

3. MODERN SOLUTION

The solution that we are putting forward takes account of the dogma of Papal Infallibility as it was defined by the Vatican Council over 100 years ago. Indeed, though strange at first-sight, this application of the dogma could well seem to future historians a providential one. For the dogma of Infallibility shows us that the only person able to pass judgement on a Pope guilty of heresy, schism, or scandal, is none other than the Pope himself, speaking with the authority of his infallible Magisterium.

The Church must therefore make AN APPEAL TO THE POPE CONCERNING THE POPE. This is precisely what I have been asking for over the past six years – but public opinion is as yet so little prepared for such a solution that I am constantly being accused of having “ condemned ” the Pope, or of having passed “ judgement without appeal ” on him, when I have rather been calling upon him to pass such a judgement, and limited myself to the role of accuser. For the proposed solution is the only one that would do justice to the Pope. Whether his accusers are right or wrong – whether he is guilty or innocent – a Pope whose orthodoxy has thus been called into question cannot honourably extricate himself except through a process in which everything is set out with precision.

Who is to bring the charge? We can have no doubt but that any Catholic, any member of the Church, is entitled to do so. If there should be found a Prince or Emperor to take on the task, so much the better, for his standing would give it added weight. History shows that though force may be a dangerous tool for settling an argument, it has sometimes been used in the service of the Faith. Better still would be a Saint, and we can only regret the passing of the ages of faith when there would come forward Saints who not only expressed their reprimands with the greatest boldness, but followed them up with prophecies and miracles, showing that they were indeed inspired by God. The next best would be a member of the Hierarchy – the higher his rank, the better.

But failing a Saint or a Prince, a Curial Cardinal or even a Bishop, the last and least among Catholics is entitled to bring his charge against the Pope and therefore, for want of anyone better qualified, I decided to undertake the task myself.

If the Pope’s accuser should be in the wrong, he will suffer for it, and that would only serve him right. But, as long he is inwardly convinced that the Pope is in heresy, there remains on him the moral obligation to say so openly. In remaining silent while he is in a state of inward rebellion against the Pope he puts himself into peril of damnation for, if he should be wrong, he is cutting himself off from the Pope and hence from the Church. If he is right, he fails in his obligation of charity by not warning his brethren.

Before which tribunal? The only tribunal competent in matters of Faith is the CHURCH herself, by virtue of her authority as the SPOUSE of the LORD. Her judgement is infallible. The “ believing Church ” owes her faith to and retains her “ sensus fidei ” through the constant help and support given by the “ teaching Church ”. The Process would have to be instituted before the eyes of the whole Church, either by representative members of the Hierarchy, or by a tribunal consisting of ordinary theologians, whose brief would consist merely in establishing whether or not the teaching and acts of the Pontiff were compatible with the Catholic Faith and the Tradition of the Church. Their decision would be subject to the verdict passed by the Pope himself speaking infallibly.

It would fall to the Pope himself to pick the members of the tribunal charged with instructing the Process in all freedom and impartiality. It would seem to me preferable if the members were simple theologians rather than bishops and cardinals who might be tempted to set themselves up into a Council and claim for themselves the right to pass judgement upon the Pope – thus coming back full circle to the erroneous theory of Conciliar supremacy.

Who will be the Sovereign Judge? The Church, of course, but she would have to be represented by one man – the only man – competent to speak in her name, the same who is the lawful Head of every Conciliar Assembly – the Pope himself. He would be called upon, forced, to pass judgement on himself. Here we have the updated solution of the ancient problem – the Pope, speaking ex cathedra, is assured of the help of the Holy Spirit and cannot err either from ignorance or malice. Even if he were a “ demon in his very soul ”, to use the words of Cajetan, he would nevertheless be “ holy by virtue of his office ”. And everything will be saved by God!

What could be the possible outcome of such a Process?
Three alternatives spring to mind:
  1. A new definition of belief. This would be the most glorious way for the Pope to show that he had been wrongfully accused, and to rebut his accuser. The Pope would repeat, this time in the form of a solemn pronouncement, what he had said before in the ordinary way and the orthodoxy of which had been challenged. His opponent and the followers of the latter would have to submit and recant under pain of excommunication for formal heresy.Let us illustrate this by an example: Paul VI had authorised the giving of Holy Communion to a Presbyterian. The opponent claims that such an act was against the Faith and the Church’s God-given Law. The tribunal would have to establish that the facts had been correctly stated, that it was not a misunderstanding or some other accidental confusion but a genuine conflict between two different interpretations of the revealed Faith. It would be for the Pope to show that his interpretation had a sound theological basis, founded in Divine Revelation, and to make an ex cathedra pronouncement justifying intercommunion as compatible with the Faith. In that case, we should have to bow before his decision.
  2. A recantation by the Pope. “ But that is surely impossible ”, is what you may well say. In that case, you are either speaking without reflection or else you are lacking in faith. For if a Pope who has been guilty of serious error is faced with the alternatives of either affirming the Catholic teaching – which would involve admitting his own error – or denying it in order to persist in his own view, it is surely to be expected that he would recant. The five Popes who were guilty of heresy in the past all recanted!This should remind us that, while there is an obligation to take steps against a Pope guilty of heresy, it is also vital to pray for him as well as for the Church. It would be a glorious termination of such a Process against a Pope guilty of heresy, schism, and scandal, it he were to make an act of humility and submission to the will of God, for His greater glory and the inestimable benefit of the Church.
  3. The formal establishment of the Pope’s defection. The Pope might refuse to listen to his accuser. “ Does he have to present himself here? Close the doors; I will have nothing to do with him. “ So the case might drag on until others take up the charges. One day the priests of the Pope’s own diocese might come and demand a reply. “ No, I do not wish to reply ”. In such a case, the Church of Rome would have to draw up an acknowledgement of this refusal and this abuse of authority: the Pope is not willing to exercise his supreme Magistrature!But perhaps the process will commence with a series of procrastinations. The Pope shilly-shallies. He is pressed by his very own Church, the Church of Rome, which is particularly qualified to exercise this role. He is summoned to abandon his calculated inertia: “ The world is waiting for you to settle this question. You cannot stay silent, you must assume your role as Supreme Judge ”. If he again refuses to listen to his Church, further decisions will have to be envisaged.
The Church of Rome would then have to threaten the Pope with deposition. In such a summons, it would be the Pope's own act, his repeated refusal to exercise his responsibilities, that would constitute a resignation. His deposition by the Church would be only a consequence of this. The sentence of deposition would thus be the canonical conclusion of this acknowledgement of the Pope’s resignation. The Church of Rome would then declare the Apostolic See vacant and she would call a conclave for the election of his Successor. For she owes it to herself to have a Head who will teach with authority, judge and punish, and uphold the peace and unity of the Church. She cannot remain for any length of time – to use the term applied to the Republic by Marcel Sembat – “ a woman without a head ”.

Then, once again, the memory of a heretical Pope would fade from people’s minds

17 comments:

Jovan-Marya Weismiller, T.O.Carm. said...

The little known, and even less remembered, Abbé Georges de Nantes had a handle on the crisis before most people realised there was a crisis!

Barona said...

Correct. Whilst others were crashing off into schism, heresy and leaving the Church, the Abbe remained to fight for Christ. He realized that there would laughter in Hell to think the solution to evil prelates wrecking the Church was to leave it and throw oneself into schism. The Abbe always sought the solution was to drive unrepentant schismatics and heretics out.

Christoph Rebner said...

As long as conscience trumps church discipline scope remains.

John Haggerty said...

Thank you for introducing me to the Catholic Counter Reformation blog, and the post on the Abbe de Nantes. I have been reading about the Abbe on the internet, and about his enemies in secular France. I hope I can order a scholarly biography of the man.

*Even if he were a demon in his very soul, to use the words of Cajetan, he would nevertheless be holy by virtue of his office.* This troubles me.

History records that Thomas Cajetan was daunted by Luther's knowledge of the Scriptures; as great as Cajetan's scholarship was, Luther was more deeply learned in the Word of God.

The Canons of Dort, Fifth Head, Article 10, states that Roman Catholics are looking for *a peculiar revelation contrary to, or independent of, the Word of God.* The plain words of Scripture - received by faith - are insufficient for Rome.

Thus in the mythos of the medieval papacy, Cajetan is looking for some kind of extra-biblical, mystical, special revelation.

Even on a very bad pope Cajetan is ready to bestow these mystical properties quite beyond anything Christ bestowed on Peter. No wonder good Christian men all over Europe were pressing for reform!

I am adapting an argument by Joel R Beeke from his book *Knowing and Growing in Assurance of Faith* (page 37) published in 2017. He is a professor of systematic theology.





John Haggerty said...

If the skeletons are not yet tumbling out of the cupboard in Bergoglio's Vatican, they are in the United States.

Watch, *The Vortex - Episcopal Incest.*
23 January 2020. Church Militant. YouTube.

These sleazy American cardinals and bishops promote priests who never make waves. But not for much longer. A day of reckoning is on its way.

Barona said...

Thanks John. I have known about the Abbe for a number of years. The Abbe, a humble man, even as he was denouncing Paul VI, wrote that a Catholic had a thousand more reasons to follow the Pope than himself as a priest. In other words, though he put forward very logical arguments that the Pope was materially heretical, he also kept in mind that he, as a priest still had to await the judgment of the Church.

Today, we see many "traditional" Catholics who have taken it upon themselves to judge that the See of Peter is vacant, or that the Pope is a heretic, apostate and/or schismatic.

Much of this confused thinking goes like this: the Pope is a liberal, therefore liberalism is good. Or, the Pope is a liberal, liberalism is bad, therefore he is not the Pope.

I think a primary source (interestingly) is liberalism having seeped into so many men's minds, that they no longer realize they are liberals. This applies to even "tradiitonal" Catholics. For to take upon oneself an authority one does not have, namely to judge to See of Peter vacant, is an act of liberalism.

Another example, let us imagine a corrupt judge. Do I have the authority to declare the judge removed, to declare my own personal sentences? Let us take the Office of Prime Minister. I strongly dislike Canada's PM, I believe him to be an evil man, a destroyer etc. But I cannot deny the fact that he was legally elected, and that according to law, he is the PM. I may not like, find him disgusting, but my feelings are irrelevant. He is the PM, until such time that legally he can be removed from Office.

John Haggerty said...

*Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.*
Luke 22: 31-32

*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.*
Matthew 16:19

A prime minister or a judge can only be removed through the proper constitutional and legal means. Agreed.

The lay Catholic (even if he is a trained theologian or versed in canon law) is not in a position to judge whether any pope is heretic, apostate, schismatic. Agreed.

The essay by the Abbe de Nantes offers a solution.

The Abbe is judicious, logical, subtle, if at times cryptic. How could a demonic pope (and there have been some when the church was a temporal power) *be holy by virtue of his office*? For if the bad popes of history were demonic, Satan must have sifted them like wheat. The Holy Spirit could not indwell in their souls.

That said, I agree that liberalism/progressivism/modernism has seeped into human minds. This was true in France before Britain; even Clemenceau detested the church. Unlike France, Britain once had Christian socialists, though the Labour Party has long been anti-Christian.

And I write as a Francophile, with a lifelong fascination with De Gaulle and Andre Malraux, with Gaullism, and the old royalist cause. Hilaire Belloc, being half French, knew that the church lay under the shadow of the French Revolution. Yet France had saints like Bernadette, Jeanne Jugan, and Theresa of Lisieux, whose journal is on sale in my local Protestant bookshop.

Today we have to contend with the *luciferian media* as Michael Voris puts it. I am shocked to be using such language, since it runs counter to my social democratic impulses; but secular people in my own small country are very media-led; and it is impossible to have a moral discussion about abortion, gay adoption, transgender, the Bible, or the rights of Christians.

In my comment I was not using Sola Scriptura as a weapon against the papacy, since I accept that Roman Catholics hold to the three pillars of Scripture, tradition, and the teaching of church councils.

The thought the Catholic Church become an ideological battleground, like the Church of England and the worldwide Episcopal communion, is a nightmare scenario.

It was why Dr. Graham Leonard the former Bishop of London, became a Catholic after his retirement. Happily married with two daughters, Dr. Leonard defiantly and always kindly, campaigned against the ordination of women.

As you say Pope Francis and most of his bishops have gone out of their Catholic minds.
How do we say that without sounding reactionary, bitter, or plain silly?

We must pray that Satan does not sift the church like wheat.

The reading from Matthew was taken from my late father's Douay-Rheims Bible, which I remember holding as a small boy. On the title page, it carries the papal keys and the name of Pope Pius XII.

John Haggerty said...

May I just add that the canon comes from *tradition* - we trust the Bible because of (or owing to) tradition. See the following online ...

1) Cajetan and Luther: Evidence Against Self-Authentication. St. Joseph's.
2) The Catholic Luther. First Things. David S Yeago.
3) Beggars All: Reformation and Apologetics - Cajetan on the Canon.
4) Cajetan's Birthday. Fred Saunders.
5) For Luther, the Stumbling Block was Papal Authority. The Tablet.
6) Cardinal Cajetan Renaissance Man. William Seaver.
7) A Messianic Commentary on Each of Martin Luther's 95 Theses.
Tabernacle of David.

The last blog is by a Messianic Jew, so like me he would hold to Luther's dictum that the Pope does not have the power, in himself, to remit sins.

It follows that medieval papal pretensions must be considered bogus, leading to the charge of *antichrist* or *that man of sin* as the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland still maintains from its catechism - well worth reading online.

Cardinal Cajetan held that the pope is holy *even if he were a very demon in his soul.* An idea that flies in the face of what Jesus teaches us about sin; sin as *that blackness of darkness*.

Papal worship was seen by the reformers as idolatry. (In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter stops a man from genuflecting before him.) John Calvin rails against this in the preface to his masterly Commentary on the Gospel of St. John (published in two volumes by Eerdmans). But Innocent III's blasphemous claim that the pope is *mediator between God and man* dies hard with trad Catholics, I'm afraid.

The sale of indulgences derived from the mistaken idea that the church was overflowing with graces, the good works of the saints having contributed to this fountain of graces. So graces could be sold off in indulgences, like job lots, the very abuse which the post-Trentine church only partly corrected.

It was on Paul's *justification* that Luther set in motion the wheels of the Reformation. There is no salvation with works. Good works flow from the sanctified soul who knows that he has been saved by Christ alone.

*And whatsoever thou shall bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven* could NEVER legitimise the paying of hard cash for the remittance of sins. All Catholics must hang their heads in shame over this sordid chapter of church history.

On his deathbed Luther may or may not have said *We are beggars all, it is true* but the words summarise the reformed view.

We are beggars, it is true, because we depend only on the finished work of Christ on Calvary. *May the blood of Christ bring me to everlasting life.*

Barona said...

The Abbe de Nantes is a man who causes us to really start to think, rather than emote. There is so much emotion driving all of this. The other day, e.g. I was informed via Twitter that the Pope was the "false prophet" predicted in the Book of Revelation. When I tweeted back for further information, I was informed that it was "obvious". The Abbe himself discusses this position (as it was taken up by sedevacantists in the late 60s), when ill-educated priests, disturbed by some of Paul VI's strange remarks and behaviour immediately concluded that he had lost the Papacy. The Abbe, until his death, fought against such thinking as a horrible act of schism.

I notice that when real scholars such as ++ Burke state the Pope is the Pope, we are met with either silence, or these heretical schismatics rump down another rabbit hole. I refuse to engage in such a game. One cannot win with people driven by emotion. The best we can do is lay out Church teaching, and pray for these people.

But I am with the Abbe" neither schism nor heresy. I refuse to leave the Catholic Church for some Synagogue of Satan.

John Haggerty said...

I am familiar with the phrase *Synagogue of Satan* Barona, but could you define the term, and give examples? In what way do these assemblies worship the devil? Who are they? That you wish to remain loyal to the Catholic Church is understandable, but do you mean that schismatics and reformers are in league with the Accuser of the Brethren?

Barona said...

The Synagogue of Satan, as I see the definition by the Abbe it is any false church that is not united to the Catholic Church. "He who is not with me, is against me". So yes, schismatics and "reformers" are within the camp of Satan. Some obvious examples would be "the Church of England, the United Church of Canada, various evangelical sects that follow Darbyite dispensationalism and so on. John Hagee's "Cornerstone Church" would be an example of an extremist Darbyite sect that truly is imbued with the spirit of Satan.In leading people to Hell through false doctrine, separated from Christ's Mystical Body, these sects are truly satanic.

John Haggerty said...

WHOEVER IS NOT AGAINST US IS FOR US

'Master,' said John, 'we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.'

'Do not stop him,' Jesus said. 'For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.'

Mark 9: 38-41


John Haggerty said...

Canon law recognises as valid any baptism that includes 3 elements - water; the wording of *I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit*; and the desire on the part of the baptiser to perform a valid Christian baptism. In an emergency baptism, it is not even necessary for the baptiser to be a Christian or Catholic, as long as the wording from Matthew 28:19 is adhered to.

The Catholic Catechism states that *one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities (i.e. Protestant churches) that resulted from such separation and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers. All who have been justified by faith in baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.*

The Catholic Church sees Protestant denominations as *means of salvation*.

Again the Catholic Catechism states that *many elements of sanctification and of truth are found OUTSIDE the visible confines of the Catholic Church: the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity ... Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation.*

The Catholic Church co-operates with Protestant bodies on matters of worship.

Pope Pius IX (Giovanni Ferreti) invited A.A. Hodge the Presbyterian leader and principal of Princeton Seminary, to attend the opening of the First Vatican Council, convoked in 1886.
In a stiff formal letter Hodge declined the pope's generous invitation.

Pope Pius XII described the Protestant giant Karl Barth (1886-1963) as the greatest theologian of the 20th Century.

Pope John XXIII invited Barth, among other Protestant theologians, to attend the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican (Vatican II) which opened in 1962 and closed in 1965 under Pope Paul VI.

Barth had a private audience with the pope, attended open sessions of the Council, and engaged in dialogue with the bishops.

Barth said he felt his work was better understood by Joseph Ratzinger, Hans Kung and Hans Urs von Balthazar than by fellow Reformed theologians.

John Haggerty said...

*The attacks of the Enemy are so strong, so virulent, that most cannot withstand them, and will be damned.*

The brave words of Michael Voris. See YouTube:
The Vortex - A Thief in the Night. Church Militant. 28 January 2020.

If only Michael could spend an hour with those pro-LGBT Catholic teachers in Toronto!

But would they listen to him? Would they recite the Rosary with him? Would they beg the Holy Spirit to lead them into the truth?

Life is short; death and Judgement can come at any moment; and Satan attacks the children of God with every spiritual weapon in his arsenal.

Michael says only *heroic Catholics* will make it into Heaven.

John Haggerty said...

*The debates of the second Vatican Council (1962 to 1965) raised hopes among those who wanted a more open and politically engaged Church. In fact, especially after the death of Pope John XXIII in 1963, reform exasperated conservatives without satisfying radicals. In 1968, the Archbishop of Milan complained that his diocese was now divided between Vatican I - i.e. unreconstructed traditionalists - and Vatican III - i.e. those who had gone way beyond the moderate reforms that the Catholic hierarchy had originally envisaged.*

From *The Long '68 - Radical Protest and Its Enemies* by Richard Vinen published by Penguin Books 2019.

A book notable for its lucid and compelling narrative as well as its wide survey of experience and impartiality.
Richard Vinen is Professor of History at King's College, London, and a recipient of the Wolfson Prize.

John Haggerty said...

*There are a disconcerting number of people on the social media trading in hateful, divisive speech often deeply at odds with the theology of the Church.*

These are the puzzling words of Bishop Robert Barron. I say puzzling, because I have NEVER read or heard any *hateful* or *divisive* speech on independent Catholic social media. What planet is the bishop living on?

What I HAVE heard are the agonised and angry words of Catholic men and women who love the Church, and who wish to save her from heresy and homosexual predation.

Chief among these defenders of the faith (whom Bishop Barron would no doubt characterise as *hateful*) is Michael Voris, whose latest post is essential viewing:

The Vortex - The Bishops' Bad List, Church Militant, 30 January 2020.
YouTube.

I wish my late Catholic father could have a few quiet words with Robert Barron, for he would tell the bishop to start LISTENING to Michael Voris, Michael Matt, John-Henry Weston, Patrick Coffin etc. For they are in truth the Loyal Opposition.

If these responsible critics of the hierarchy go unheeded, the Church will continue to sink into a swamp of sleaze. And Bishop Barron will end his days as a hollow man, preaching to fewer and fewer of the faithful.

Even 20 years ago nobody could have imagined that the Roman Catholic Church would descend into Sodom and Gomorrah.

Those are the words that my father (1915-2000) would have used. He was a member of the Men's Sacred Heart, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, the old Catholic Truth Society, and the Catholic Book Club.

Wake up Bishop Barron before you and your fellow bishops are history!

Unless you start listening to Michael Voris, the ruin of Catholicism that we see in once holy Ireland, will be repeated throughout America, Canada and Europe.

Speak out now against the LGBT heresy, Bishop Barron, or the Catholic Church will become just another sect.

J Haggerty said...

Readers of Toronto Catholic Witness may be in doubt as to whether there are just two visions for the Church - one being Bishop Robert Barron's and the American hierarchy for whom he speaks, and the other being that of faithful and loyal Catholics like Michael Voris and Michael J Matt etc.

So please revisit *The Vortex - Fr. Barron and the Planned Parenthood Videos.*
7 August 2015. Church Militant. YouTube

Also, revisit your own Toronto Catholic Witness post for 3 January:
St. John Chrysostom vs. the Pontifical Biblical Commission: The Sin of Sodom was homosexual depravity.

The abject failure of the hierarchy to speak out boldly against abortion, planned parenthood and homosexuality will bring down God's judgement on them.

These issues are all related because they are all anti-life. Saint Pope John Paul II would be the first to tell us so!

Members of the American hierarchy who are *soft* on abortion and homosexuality are preaching a kind of *Sex And the City* theology, which is anti-Christ and anti-Church. It pleases the fashionistas in the media and in Hollywood, but it makes the Church an object of ridicule.

Bible-believing Protestants are saying, *The Catholic Church wears a thousand different faces for the world; she alters her teaching to suit the mood of the times, and to please our sinful world.*

In late 19th Century England there were men who said that the Oxford Movement saved their souls, because they had been practising what was then called *the public school vice* - buggery. The public schools were chiefly Eton and Harrow, but the vice was widespread in other boys' boarding schools.

Bishop Barron now thinks buggery perfectly all right in God's eyes; and he compounds his sin by telling us that *all men have a reasonable hope of being saved*. Soon he may want to rewrite the Catholic Catechism and endorse universalism and sodomite marriage.

The Church needs *heroic Catholics*, men and women who will step forward and bring the Robert Barrons to their senses.

There is no shame in being wrong. The evil is to knowingly persist in serious sin and error. Bishop Robert Barron is complicit in both.