Search results for cum ex infallible

Is Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio Infallible?

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in | Comments Off on Is Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio Infallible?

On page 395, they quote from my book, 54 Years that Changed the Catholic Church: “This Bull of Pope Paul IV deserves special consideration, especially in light of the fact that it has been ignored by many. … this Bull appears in the Fontes of the Code of Canon Law in several places.  It is considered infallible because it teaches on a matter of faith.”

They devote pages 395 to 407 to the question of Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio. Click through here for various translations.

Their conclusion is that it is not infallible, and they question whether it even still applies as a law.

Their biggest omission is an article published in Si Si No No of the Society of Saint Pius X, which states: “The very particular nature of the pope’s Ordinary Infallible Magisterium was quite clear until Vatican I. While this Council was in session, La Civiltà Cattolica, which published (and still publishes) under the direct control of the Holy See, replied in these words to Fr. Gratry, who had criticized Pope Paul IV’s Bull Cum ex Apostolus: We ask Fr. Gratry, in all serenity, whether he believes that the Bull of Paul IV is an isolated act, so to speak, or an act that is comparable to others of the same kind in the series of Roman popes. If he replies that it is an isolated act, his argument proves nothing, for he himself affirms that the Bull of Paul IV contains no dogmatic definition. If he replies, as he must, that this Bull is, in substance, conformable to countless other similar acts of the Holy See, his argument says far more than he would wish. In other words, he is saying that a long succession of Roman popes have made public and solemn acts of immorality and injustice against the principles of human reason, of impiety towards God, and of apostasy against the Gospel (vol.X, series VII, 1870, p.54).”

What this means is that they do not believe Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio itself is infallible, but that the principles in it are infallibly true, because they are part of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Catholic Church, being “in substance, conformable to countless other similar acts of the Holy See.”

They also propose that this Bull is not contained in the Code of Canon Law.

6. 1. As regards laws published prior to the Code, the general rule is that all former laws, whether particular (for instance, for a certain country, for a Religious Order, etc.) or universal, that conflict with the laws of the Code, are abolished, unless the Code explicitly rules otherwise in reference to any special law. (Canon 6, 1.)
2. Canons of the Code that restate former laws exactly as they were before, must be interpreted according to the approved and accepted interpretation of commentators on the old law. Canons which agree only in part with the former law are to be interpreted like the former law in the points in which they agree; but in the points in which the new law differs from the former they must be judged by their wording and context. When it is doubtful whether a law of the new Code differs from the old law, one must not deviate from the former law. (Canon 6, 2, 3, 4.)
3. All former ecclesiastical punishments, whether spiritual or temporal, corrective or punitive, latae or ferendae sententiae, of which the Code makes no mention, are held to be abolished. (Canon 6, 5.)
4. All other disciplinary laws which have been in force up to the present time cease to be binding, unless they are explicitly or implicitly contained in the Code. The laws contained in the approved liturgical books, however, remain in force. This part of the Canon refers to the common law of the Church, for the Code states in Canon 22 that particular laws, namely for dioceses, individual countries, Orders, are to remain in force unless they are opposed to the laws of the Code. (Canon 6, 6.)


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Infallible Statements of the Church

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in | Comments Off on Infallible Statements of the Church

In addition to the infallible decrees of the Councils, the following are considered as infallible:

According to The Vatican Council on pages 472-3, Dublanchy in his Dictionnaire gives a list of papal utterances, which are considered by common consent of theologians to be infallible. Unfortunately, he only gives a partial list of the twelve instances:

  1. Tome of Saint Leo

  2. Immaculate Conception

  3. Condemnation of the propositions of Luther

  4. Condemnation of the propositions of Jansenius

  5. Condemnation of the propositions of Molinos

  6. Condemnation of the propositions of Fenelon

  7. Condemnation of the propositions of Quesnel

  8. And finally the condemnations of the propositions of the Jansenist Synod of Pistoia.

Although many other things have been condemned by the Church as erroneous, they are not necessarily condemned as heretical. Other things are taught by the Church and also condemned in Denzingers, which accorindg to this book are not necessarily infallible by reason of being taught, but may be of Faith, because they are statements of the ordinary magisterium. (The Vatican Council limited itself in what we are discussing here, to the extraordinary magisterium of the Pope.)

List of Infallible Statements

This is from another source, which we had at the time of the election.

1. Pope Leo I: ‘Lectix Dilectionis Tuae’

2. Pope Agatho: ‘Omnium Bonorum Spes’, DZ 288

3. Pope Boniface VIII: ‘Unam Sanctam’, DZ 468-469

4. Pope Benedict XII: ‘Benedictus Deus’, DZ 530

5. Pope Leo X, ‘Exsurge Domine’, DZ 741-781

6. Pope Innocent X, ‘Cum Occasione’, DZ 1092-1096

7. Pope Innocent XI, ‘Coelestis Pater’, DZ 1221-1288

8. Pope Clement XI, ‘Unigenitus’, DZ 1351-1451

9. Pope Pius VI, “Auctorem Fidei”, DZ 1501-1599

10. Pope Pius IX, ‘Ineffabilis Deus’, DZ 1641

‘Quanta Cura’, DZ 1688-1699

11. Pope Leo XIII, ‘Apostolicae Curae’, DZ 1963-1966

‘Testem Benevolentiae’, DZ 1967-1976

12. Pope Pius X, ‘Lamentabili’, DZ 2239-2250

‘Pascendi’, DZ 2253-2333

13. Pius XI, ‘Casti Connubii’

‘Quadragesimo Anno’

14. Pius XII, “Munificentissimus Deus’, DZ 2331-2333

These things should be considered in light of this from Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII.  (DZ 2313) “Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority.  For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth Me”; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine.  But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time open to dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.”

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Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in | Comments Off on Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio

There are several translations of Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio.  These will be linked from here.

Old Translation of Cum Ex, and probably the best.

Translation by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Dryden.

John Daly Translation, and most commonly used. John Daly’s website.  Daily Catholic has Latin and English.


Article mentioning Cum Ex from the SSPX.  The SSPX was contacted and said they did not know of a good translation, but wished their was one.

Saint Robert Bellarmine says: “The Holy fathers teach unanimously not only that heretics are outside of the Church, but also that they are ipso facto deprived of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity.” (de Romano Pontifice, book 2, Chapter 40) This is significant, because the Fathers of the Church, when they are in unanimous agreement are considered to be infallibly true in their teaching.And Pope Leo XIII teaches in Satis Cognitum: “The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium.” How can one hold an office in an organization he disagrees with? Since this is a matter of the Divine and Catholic Faith, it is heretical to teach against it. And so, the Bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio must be interpreted in light of this proposition.




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Is a Pope Necessary?

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in | Comments Off on Is a Pope Necessary?

Excerpts taken from the Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi of Pope Pius XII 1943

Chapter One

Is a Pope absolutely necessary to the world? To the Church? Is he vital to the existence of the Church? Is the Church itself necessary?
Is a ruler in temporal affairs necessary, or is the State necessary? It depends on how one considers the existence of man. Man existed before the State and long before the Church, but how can there be a commonwealth without a government? The proper end of man is the Beatific Vision of God in Heaven. We must know, love, and serve God in this life and thereby gain eternal happiness in heaven. But salvation comes though the Church, “Outside the Church there is no salvation”(Unam Sanctam. Boniface VIII (1302.) It is necessary for man to be able to obtain this end for which God created him, therefore both the Church and the State are necessary.
Man could not obtain heaven guided by the Old Law. Salvation is necessary to man or he lives in vain. From the time of Christ, the Church is necessary because salvation comes only through the Catholic Church: 1) Sanctifying Grace through the Sacraments; 2) Authority,and the Law.
1025. “The Church is the Body of Christ. And this can be deduced from the fact that Our Lord is the Founder, Head, Support, and Saviour of the Mystical Body.” This expression brings many beautiful thoughts to mind, perhaps not the least of which is that because this Church is the unchangeable Mystical Body of Christ, it is not subject to change in its constitution.”
1033. “In fact, after having solemnly confirmed in his lofty function, the one whom He had previously designated as His Vicar, He ascended into Heaven.” {Having completed its constitution with the designation of its Vicar, Christ left the rest to men. The office of Vicar of Christ though, was to continue in the Popes. As the First Vatican Council (1870) affirms: “If anyone assert that it is not the institution of Our Lord Jesus Christ, or of Divine right, that St. Peter has PERPETUAL successors in the office of Supreme Pastor over the Universal Church; let him be anathema.”}
1018. “It is most certainly to be maintained that those who possess sacred power in the Body are the ones who constitute its primary and principal members, since it is through them, according to the mandate of the Divine Redeemer, that the gifts of Christ, teacher, king, and priest are made perpetual.” {If the gifts of Christ are made perpetual in the hierarchy, then the hierarchy itself is also perpetual.}
1041. “For those who would remove the visible Head of the Church and break the bonds of visible unity, obscure and deform the Mystical Body of the Redeemer.”
1058. “Christ is the Head of the Church. He is the Saviour of His Body. For these words express a final reason why the name Body of Christ must be given to the Church.”
1044. “ must be maintained, although this may seem so in the first place because the Sovereign Pontiff holds the place of Jesus Christ,” {as St. Paul says: The Head cannot say to the foot, I have no need of thee.} “Moreover, just as our Saviour rules the church invisibly by Himself, He Wills to be helped {visibly} in carrying out the work of Redemption by the members of His Mystical Body. This is not a result of His poverty or His weakness, but rather of the fact that He Himself willed it so.”
1052. “He, Christ, lives in the Church, so that She is like another person of Christ. This is what the Doctor of the Gentiles confirms when he writes to the Corinthians, when without saying anything further, he calls the Church, “Christ”, certainly in this imitating the Master Himself, who from heaven cried out to Paul as he was persecuting the Church, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me.?” Nor are you ignorant Venerable Brothers, of the statement of Augustine: “Christ preaches Christ.” {These beautiful and impressive statements about Our Lord and His relationship to the Church, and how He needs His members, demonstrate the necessity of His chief member–His Vicar on earth. We have said that the primary and principal members are they who possess power in the Body. The chief of these is the Pope. Jesus governs His Church in a visible and ordinary way through His Vicar who is part of the foundation.}
1064. “Therefore we deplore and condemn the vicious error of those who dream of some kind of a false church, a sort of society nourished and formed by charity to which, – not without disdain- they oppose another society which they call juridical. But it is useless to introduce this distinction, they do not understand that for this very reason, the Divine Redeemer willed the assembly of men set up by Him to be an organised society, perfect in its kind and equipped with all the juridical and social elements to perpetuate on this earth the saving work of the Redemption.{This Church combines the invisible mission of the Holy Ghost, and the visible juridical function received from Christ; He said: “Receive ye the Holy Ghost {spiritual, invisible}; but also:” As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you {juridical, visible.} These essential juridical, social elements, so necessary to the Church, cannot be confirmed without a Pope.} “Therefore, there cannot be any opposition or repugnance worthy of the name between what is called the invisible mission of the Holy Ghost and the juridical function, received from Christ, of the Pastors and Doctors, for as in us the body and the soul–they complete and perfect one another, and they proceed from one and the same Saviour, who not only said as He imparted the Divine Spirit, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit,” but also clearly gave the order; “As the Father hath sent Me, so I also send you,” and again, “He that heareth you, heareth Me.”
1068. “The very ancient and constant teaching of the documents received from the Fathers shows us that the Divine Redeemer together with His social Body constitutes one Mystical Person, or, as St. Augustine has it, the whole Christ.”{How is the whole Christ constituted in the Church today, left without a Pope? Only if we consider this an inter-regnum and intend to elect a Pope, can we consider that the Church is complete today.}
1070. “Above all, it is absolutely necessary that there should be conspicuous to the eyes of all, one Supreme Head by whom mutual assistance of all in the prosecution of the end to be attained may be directed. We mean the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth. For in the same way in which Our Redeemer sent the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, who acting in His place should assume the invisible government of the Church, so He ordered Peter and his successors, acting in His Person on earth, to provide a visible direction to the Christian community.” {Both visible and invisible Church are necessary. The papal Encyclical [Mystici Corporis Christi] makes it clear why the Church cannot be continued without a Vicar for a long period of time. These impressive statements about Our Lord and His relationship to His Mystical Body and His need of His members demonstrate the necessity of His chief Member, His Vicar, on earth. The Pope [Pius XII ] said that the primary and principal members are they who possess power in the Body. The head of these is the Pope.}

Chapter Two

The Heresy of the Perennial Headless (Acephalic)
“The desire to operate actively is to offend God who wants to be the only agent; therefore it is necessary to abandon oneself wholly in God and thereafter to continue in existence as an inanimate body”.- The Quietist Heresy of Michael of Molinos, condemned by Pope Innocent XI,{Dz. 1222.}
Introduction: The Sect of the Headless (“Acephalic”)
After the Council of Chalcedon, some groups condemned by this Council began to wander without a head or leader (Acephalic) in certain Eastern regions. From one of these groups around 630 AD, the doctrine of “Monogism” was originated by Emperor Heraclius, which later, at the time of Pope Honorius I became the Monothelistic heresy. Today the “Acephalic” or headless has reappeared with another doctrine, but with the same denial of a Visible Head in the Church, not only as a consequence of the papal vacancy due to public heresy, but also as a doctrine which affirms the impossibility, the invalidity and the unlawfulness of the specific juridical means of terminating the vacancy: that is to affirm the perennial vacancy, a church without a head (“non tenes caput” Col;1, 19). Such a horrible heresy is sustained with clear psychological accents in the letter of November 7th, 1990, “Of a Papal Election–A summary of our position {taken from Britons’ Library}.
They set aside the teachings of great theologians like Cajetanus, Vittora, St. Robert Bellarmino, Billot, etc, and the dogmatic moral and juridical foundation of the Church, and they boldly defend “our position” as if in the Church, it were licit for everyone to freely propagate their own opinions without paying attention to what the Catholic Church has always taught. Our objective is not to document directly the doctrines of those famous theologians, but to refute the foolishness and the Heresy that is now being spread (“sub specie pietas”) under the mask of piety {(Ds. 809 ;Dz 434)
Those doctrines originated in France and have ramifications in other countries. They are also related to other heretical doctrines (like the “papa materialiter-/- papa formaliter” from Fr Gerard des Lauriers and the Abbe Barbara.) We believe that even those who say that they are “united” with the heretic disguised as pope. {although they do not obey him at all- like the SSPX}
They deviate from their principal duty by inventing doctrines, and they contradict themselves because they are afraid of fulfilling that duty in the extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances currently existing in the Church. All agree in the books and articles on the situation of extreme need present within the Church; they speak about the heresies that are freely propagated at all levels, but they are frightened when they must define the consequences of such a situation for the social order of the Church.
They attach themselves to human law by opposing divine superior norms, as if the intention of the legislator were to IMPEDE what is of absolute necessity for the existence of the Church: the hierarchy of Holy Orders and the hierarchy of Jurisdiction.
This is the new Sect of the Headless, without an hierarchy, without sacraments, without Pope, without a solution. Because of the crimes of heretics who separate themselves from the Church, they consider that the Church was destroyed or damaged in her juridical perfection and that she does not have “licit and valid means: for her recovery.”
1. The Suppletory Right of the Church
Let us briefly quote some teachings about the Suppletory Right [or remedial right] in the Church to elect a pope in situations where there is not an human law on the subject {“Vacatio legis”} or where there is an human law that is not applicable due to the specific situation at the time, the absence of the electors appointed by a human papal law, or the negligence of those electors to apply it, or genuine doubts concerning the identity of the designated electors, or even due to the impossibility of applying human laws because of a schism or deviations, divisions, and heresies among the electors. We will return at a later point to this doctrine. Presently, we only quote some sentences:

1.1 Cajetanus:
“by exception and by the suppletory manner of this power {that of electing a pope}, corresponds to the Church and to the Council, either by the inexistence of Cardinal Electors, or because they are doubtful, or the election itself is uncertain, as it happens at the time of a schism.” (De comparatione autoritatis papa et concilii, C. 13 and C. ,28)
1.3 Billot (Bellarmino):
Billot examines how the papal “election” would be implemented in an “extraordinary case” when it would be necessary to proceed with the election, if it is possible to follow the regulation of papal law, as was the case during the Great Western Schism.
One can accept, without difficulty, that the power of election could be transferred to a General Council. Because “natural law” prescribes that, in such cases, the power of a Superior is passed to the immediate inferior, because this is absolutely necessary for the survival of the society and to avoid the tribulations of extreme need.” (De Ecclesia Christi.) – {Bellarmino: Contoversiae, De Clericis, 1.1 C. 10}. Therefore: “non est dubitandum” [one cannot doubt], “one must accept without difficulty” that the Church always has and will always have, in any situation, even in the most difficult and extraordinary one, valid and licit means of electing a pope. This is a consequence of the notion of a “perfect society,” which the Church is. “Perennial vacancy” is impossible in a society which must last up to the end of times. let us now examine how the aforementioned Britons Library people oppose this doctrine.
2. The Extinction of the Right to Elect a Pope
Britons simply denies the power to elect a pope, in case of the lack of Cardinals. 1 That article affirms that God cannot change the human papal law, that God must “respect” the papal laws, because upon conferring the power to the popes, He promised “to bind in heaven whatever they would bind on earth.” God would be self-bound and would be unable to change the law concerning Cardinals. Later they say that “theoretically,” “in abstraction”, they were in error according to the authority of the theologians. But, nonetheless, the authors- Britons- affirm “the correctness of this position (of the theologians) is not self-evident as some might think, for it is not antecedently impossible that the right of electing a pope should perish with the last Cardinal.”
Then, instead of accepting the common doctrine of the theologians, the authors oppose it with the doctrine of the extinction in the Church of the power to elect a pope. Yet they allege that since “The Cardinals have the right to preach, administer confirmation and reserve the Blessed Sacrament in any diocese.” Nevertheless, nobody would seriously argue that if all Cardinals perish, these rights would pass directly to the Bishops”(sic) (! )
2.1. Hierarchy of Laws
A contingent of human laws cannot impede a necessary divine law, or that law would become void. The human laws on the dignity of the Cardinals belong to this category, according to common understanding. Therefore, they cannot prevent the election of a pope, because it is a necessity of divine right, that is, it is essential to the Church. The right to elect a pope granted to the Cardinals by the human laws of the popes comes from the absolute necessity for the Church by divine right, and if this is not performed by those in charge, then other people must perform it. Furthermore, the other privileges of the Cardinals concerning the territories for the administration of the Sacrament are already shared by the other Church ministers inside each diocese. And, in cases of extreme necessity, any minister of the Sacraments, even an heretic, can administer the Sacraments, even beyond the territorial limits of their jurisdictions. Therefore the argument opposes what is a contingent human law to a law of the necessary divine Right: it subverts the hierarchy of authority and of the laws between God and men.
2.2 God’s Power of Binding
The power of binding and unbinding given by God to the shepherds of the Church is NOT an absolute power that confers upon men the authority of binding and unbinding God’s laws themselves, in such a way that God is obliged to “respect” and “obey” any human law promulgated by a pope. If that were the case, any pope could change the divine constitution of the Church and eliminate all the divine precepts. “No one, but God Himself can grant a dispensation from the commandments that come from God.” (St. Thomas, 1-2,97,4 ad 4). “The pope cannot alter any law of divine right, neither by dispensation nor by abrogation. This is the conclusion of all theologians, without any debate whatsoever.” (Vitoria, “De Potestate Papale et concilii, Prop.1) Thus, that thesis by Britons is based on gross juridical ignorance
2.3 Denial of Reason and Faith
What is or what is not “evident” in matters of faith comes from Revelation as interpreted by the teaching or “Magisterium” of the Church and not through the free opinion of each person. Even in the natural order, in temporal society, it is obvious to elect or appoint a ruler. In the supernatural order of the Church, Revelation tells us: “Ubi non est gubernator populus coruet.” {Where there is not government, the people are doomed to destruction} (Proverbs. 11, 14.) And the magisterium of the Church teaches solemnly that Peter will always have “perpetual successors”. {Ds. 3058; Dz.1825.} Therefore, it is not variable like the “situations” and the crimes of heretics. It is not relative to situational variations.
3. Practical Impossibility of a Papal Election
Britons says; “The norm of the suppletory power to elect a pope is theoretically possible, “a theological possibility “in abstract.” ”However it is practically impossible to exercise it. And this is so because the validity of an election requires the consensus of all Catholics throughout the world.” But, this consensus is impossible because, even among the theologians, there is not a consensus about who would be the electors of the pope: Billot and Cajetanus say that the election corresponds to the Council; Dom Grea believes that the electors are the members of the Roman Clergy; Bellarmino thinks that they are the Roman Clergy and nearby bishops. Billot quotes Franzelin, who says that in the Council of Constance, Gregory XII, who was the legitimate pope, granted powers to the Council, so the law of Suppletory Right was not used.
Therefore, without a general agreement, some Catholics would have the right of rejecting the elected pope. Without that agreement, there would be arguments and schism. So, the pope would be doubtful and, therefore null. There is a “moral impossibility for a valid election.” There is also the question of whether the lay people should be allowed to participate in the election.
3.1 Impossibility and Possibility
Any universal norm of action has the purpose of ruling the practice, it is a “norma agenda” and a simple abstract theory. Pius XII condemned the “Situation Ethics” of the Modernists, where the norm itself is altered according to the current “situation”: “moral law includes necessarily and universally all the concrete or particular cases in which its concepts are verified.” (Alloc. 18-04-1952. New Moral.) Therefore, Canon 20 teaches that upon lacking a general law or a particular law, “norma sumenda est”…one should act according to the general principles of law, of practice, and of the common sentences of the Doctors. “The Law” is not here for mere abstract sentence; for it has with the imperative authority of the will of the legislator. And, in the case of the “Divine Legislator,” Who made the divine constitution of the Church, and “wanted” that within Her, “popes, shepherds and doctors”, would exist until the end of time.”(Ds 3050.Dz 1821) Therefore God wanted electors up to the end of time. He ordered electors whenever a vacancy would occur. And God never commands things that could be impossible to be obeyed in practice, neither morally nor juridically. This affirms the Jansenius’ heresy that : “Some of God’s precepts are impossible (…) because of the lack of grace that could make them possible” (Ds 2001; Dz 1092 ) Many moral and juridical precepts present difficulties to be obeyed, but none of them could be labelled as “impossible”. What is a necessary dogma in the divine constitution of the Church cannot be either “morally” or “practically” impossible. {Therefore to claim that the line of popes has come to an end before the end of time is to make oneself an heretic.} Impossibility means an absence of means to attain the end and a perfect society juridically has always the means to attain its final goal in itself. In this case the Suppletory Right taught by the Doctors is the “norma agenda” indicated by Canon 20. which comes from the “general principles of the law and the consensus of the Doctors of the Church.” Therefore, it is the law of God and of the Church: On lacking a specific law , the Church always provides a generic law for extraordinary cases, as in the case of the lack of electors appointed by human law. In the First Vatican Council Bishop Zinelli, Defender of the Faith, judged that probably there would never be the case of an heretic {who was invalidly elected as a pope,} but he added: “However, God is never absent in the necessary things, therefore if God would allow such a terrible evil, there would not be lacking ways of solving it.” (non deerunt media ad providendum) [Msi. 52, 1109-Salaverry, De Ecclesia Christi, V.1, p. 696]
3.2 False Inexistence of Consensus
About the universal consensus of Catholics for a papal election, it is necessary to distinguish between the consensus and its cause. Neither is faith the object of free acceptance, nor the general principle of the Law which comes from Divine Right. So, it is not a matter of free choice to believe or not to believe in the necessity of a pope, in the existence of a “perpetual successor” of Peter, and therefore in the existence of “perpetual electors”, and in the duty of electing a pope, when the See is empty. This is not a matter of free choice even for the pope. God granted the pope the freedom of ruling according to his law, or, in contingent matters, according to his prudence. Even in these later cases he has the duty to follow the prudence of the Legislator rather than his personal prudence.
God did not determine the form of the papal election, but the necessity of the papal election continues to be of divine mandate and it is contrary to the faith to deny the possibility of the election.
It is also false to state that Catholics do not have a consensus about the general principles of the law, and about the necessity of the pope and his election. This consensus is a dogmatic consequence; the truths of the faith come “non ex consensus Ecclesiae” but “ex se esse”{not from the consensus of the Church but [unable to be reformed] of themselves} Ds. 3074; Dz 1839. Here there is NO freedom of opinion. There are “theological reasons” to believe and to act this way. The statement about the freedom of opinion belongs to Vatican II, as well as the “aequalitas juridical” of all religions, which are the fruits of the Modernist agnosticism.
We have in the Church of Christ a double unity that is “required by divine right.” Before the unity of the rule and government of the pope, exists the unity of faith, the “coetus fidelium” [assembly of the faithful], which is also united by the rule of the organisation (Ds 3306; Dz. 1838). Therefore, those who previously did not belong to the “coetus fidelium”, do not have the right to participate in a papal election: they have neither an active nor a passive voice in the Church. (Paul IV, Cum ex Apostolatus) {Both of these unities are included in the Mark of the Church}
Those who do not accept canon 20, do not accept the divine principles of the Law of the Church. Therefore, not to accept what is of a necessity for the means of the existence of the Church is NOT TO BE A CATHOLIC. The Creed is the “firm and unique foundation in religion over which the powers of hell will not prevail.”{Ds 1500; Dz 782}
However, it is possible to unite the community of the faithful, not on the consensus of free opinion, but on the general principles of the Law, that are dogmatically imposed on everyone. The Protestants will stay outside: they never participate in a true papal election. Those who follow them are in the same circumstances. The elections in the first millennium of the Church were not invalid because they argued about contingent matters, that generate schisms. Neither did those facts prevent the elections. If the civil society is able to agree on an electoral law in free matter, with much more reason Catholics can. But one who does not consent to the principles and foundations of the Church IS NOT A CATHOLIC.
Consensus among Theologians
This is what Cajetan affirms. Opinions are not equal and equivalent, as if there were nonexistent in the areas of reason and faith a criterion of distinction between truth and error in matters of absolute necessity for the Church. If that were the case, the Church Herself would be dependent on human contingent facts.
3.4 The Council of Constance
To allege that in the Council of Constance all papal laws were observed because Gregory XII, according to the opinion of Franzelin, was the legitimate pope and gave authorisation to the Council for the election of a pope, before his own resignation is a controversial matter, a present position that was [not] clear at the time of the Great Western Schism. Therefore, even if this statement could be proven today, that would not change the doctrine of the Suppletory Right in situations of impossible application of the papal law.
The Right does not come from singular concrete facts, according to the teaching of Pius IX (Ds 2959; Dz 1759): quite the opposite, the concrete facts “must be” conformed and ruled by the Right. If the opposite were the case, we would have the relativist and positivist “Right” of the agnostic democracies, of the atheists, of the French Revolution, and of Vatican II. Therefore, if in Constance, the Council would have followed the papal laws on admitting “other electors” in addition to the Cardinals, that only confirms that the norm of appointment of the electors is a mere human right, and that, on lacking those electors, “the Church” has the power of electing a pope. {And of selecting her own electors}
3.5 Right to Reject
In the Church, the “right” of adhering to religious freedom, “the right of not fulfilling the duty of following and adhering to the truth,” is an agnostic “right” and is precisely what Vatican II preaches, the foundation of all present heresies coming from this new “church” of Vatican II. Even in possible things that are merely probable, it is not morally licit, according to Pope Innocent XI, to follow the “least probable” and the “weak probability.” (Ds 2102-2103;Dz 1152-1153) Then, whoever tries to reject a pope elected according to the only existing means for the election, following the “norm” indicated by Canon 20, on doing so, that person is shirking his moral duty and departing from Catholic Church doctrine and the teaching of Her Doctors, and so he becomes a schismatic.
3.6 Doubtful and Null Pope
To affirm that a pope elected according to the suppletory norms that are founded on the dogmas of the perpetuity of the Church, of the popes and of the hierarchy of jurisdiction, is “doubtful” for that reason, means the denial of the dogma on which that doctrine is founded and the “doubt” of the truths of the faith. (Canon 1325 / 2.) He who “does not hesitate” to adhere to the perennial headlessness of the Church, affirms “the right” of doubting of those norms and is falling into the same denials and doubts of the heretical Protestants. So, that person accompanies the heretics on affirming the “nullity” of the election of such a pope and he is not a Catholic. Catholic popes are neither elected nor validated by heretics, in an ecumenical way. Arguments and existing schism in the elections during the first millennium of the Church, when clergy and people participated, neither invalidated the elections nor made the pope doubtful or null.
3.8 Consensus Among Theologians
Thus it is not true that there is no consensus among “Catholic” theologians about the perpetuity of electors of the pope and about Suppletory Right.
On the opinion about which is the competent electoral college, the Council or the Roman Clergy, Vitoria teaches: “In any case when the Holy See is vacant, paying attention only to the divine Right, the election is the business of all bishops of Christendom” (Pro. 21, ibidem). It is obvious that the participation of the “Roman clergy” as well as the “Roman people” is of human right, and comes from a human law that was abolished by Nicholas II (“In nomine Domine.”), and totally by Alexander II (“Licet”). After these decrees, the “Roman clergy” for all purposes, is the College of Cardinals. Therefore, when this is lacking, the “Roman clergy” is lacking. So if we pay attention only to the divine Right (since in this case we have a “vacatio legis”, that is the lack of a specific law in the human right) there is no doubt that the Suppletory Right of the first level passes to the College of residential Bishops, and if they are missing, because of the same law, then to “ad totam Ecclesiam”.
4. Denial of the Necessity of the Pope
The central question in the dogmatic area in the Britons’ article is the heretical statement that in the Church a pope is not “absolutely necessary” because he is not “essential” to the existence of the Church. Therefore, their conclusion is that “it is not necessary” to elect a pope.
The argument is: if the pope were “essential” and of “absolute necessity”, the Church would cease to exist in any vacancy because “plus et minus non mutat speciem” {species are not changed because of more or less quantity.} However, the Church does not disappear in the short vacancies at the death of the pope; so the pope is neither essential nor absolutely necessary, and a vacancy of a thousand years or even in perpetuity is possible. The lack of a pope is a handicap, an inconvenience, like the amputation of one’s arm. He is “very useful”, but he is not necessary..{so says Britons!!- this is sheer HERESY.}
4.1 Necessity of the Pope
Without the pope, the dogmatic and canonical “Magisterium” of the Church would not exist and the Church would not be necessary for the salvation of souls. But, Our Lord did not trust to particular judgments the explanation of things contained in the Deposit of the Faith, but to the “Ecclesiastical Magisterium.”(Ds 3866-3867). Therefore, without a Pope, the Church would not exist. It is not enough to accept the “empty position”, to accept the magisterium and the ruling norms of the faithful.
In the same way that the Church is perennial, the Hierarchy and the primacy of Peter are also perennial, wrote Salaverry. (Sacre Theol. Summa, V.I, p. 584). These are doctrines defined by the First Vatican Council (1870), which declared “anathema” to those who deny that “Peter, in the primacy over the whole Church, has perpetual successors.” (Ds. 3058;Dz. 1825.)
What Britons’ article says is a flat denial of that dogma. The pope is the “foundation of the Catholic Church, Head and column of the Faith, he always lives and presides and exercises the judgment.” From him “the rights of communion in the Church are coming.” He is the Supreme Shepherd and Doctor of the Church and “Christ willed in His Church the existence of Shepherds and Doctors up to the end of times.” (Ds. 3050-3058; Dz. 1821-1825.)
So we cannot help but classify as a heresy such a doctrine, which is opposed to the defined truth of faith. He rules the Church with a “living voice“(Leo XIII, “Satis Cognitum”; Pius XI, “Mortalium Animos”). Then, it is absolutely false and heretical to state that the pope is only convenient and useful, but not absolutely necessary in the Church that Christ “willed” and “instituted”. A body cannot live without a Head. Where is the adjective “Catholic”, used by Britons coming from? In the Council of Ephesus, St. Leo 1 taught: “Peter, even today and always, lives and exercises judgement in his Successors.”(Dz. 112)
The Council of Trent teaches the necessity of the hierarchy of Holy Orders and also of “the canonical mission” that comes from Peter. (Ds.1767-1777; Dz. 960-967) {How shall they preach unless they be sent?} Pius VI teaches that the denial of the power that comes from Peter is an heresy (Ds. 2603; Dz. 1503 ). Leo XIII affirms that the Church should last “sine ulla intermissione in perpetuitate temporum” [without interruption till the end of time] “if the Church would not last, it would not been founded in perpetuity, and this is against truth,”- “the church founded on Peter will never fail.” “Ergo Ecclesiam suam Deus idcirco commendavit Petro, ut perpetuo incolumen tutor invictis conservaret.” (Satis Cognitum.- Leo XIII). And Pius XI said : “It cannot happen that the Church does not exist today and in all times as completely as the same Church that existed in the times of the Apostles.” (Mortalium Animos).
6.1 Purpose of the Election
The duty of Catholic Morality on ending the vacancy is to obey the divine norm, to unite under one government those who already have the same faith, those who already belong to the “coetus fidelium”. {Distinction here about membership rather than “coetus fidelium” is necessary.} The present objection affirms that the fulfillment of such duty “exacerbates the divisions” (already existent) and that as a consequence would not reach the desired goal. Well, those who are already hopelessly divided before any election, either about the traditional doctrines or the vacancy itself (Canons 188, 188 # 4, 2261 # 2, 2264…), even after repeated warnings, are either Heretics or Schismatics, and they should be legally considered so (Canon 2315 ). The objection tries to maintain an “ecumenical Church”, divided partially in the faith, with equal rights and freedom for opposite opinions. It opposes concrete facts to what should be by Divine Right. Nevertheless, the Church does not consult the Protestants to elect a pope. Pius XI denies the Church “is divided in different areas” because some have gone away from her (Mortalium Animos). Thus such an objection is based on the Ecumenism of Vatican II and the Heresy of Religious Freedom. It makes an alliance of the “free interpretation” of the prophetic revelation with a false idea about the Church. It denies the doctrine of Catholic Morality.
6.3 Individual and Social Action
It is not an “individual” and “officious” action, the one performed by people in agreement with the doctrinal duties and Church’s laws. Ontologically all human actions are “individual” actions and personal initiatives, even those of the popes, cardinals and bishops. However, morally and juridically their actions are ruled by norms of the public Laws of the Church, which confer them rights and duties or suppletory “authority to act;” “The actions of the faithful are spiritually united in the unity of government. Canon 20 obliges all Catholic people to act in a determined way: “norma sumenda est.”[the norm should be taken]. Then, such acts are in agreement with the Public Laws of the Church. They are not self-appointed, those who act in agreement with those laws, but those who act by their personal interpretation of the Revelation, converting the duty of “acting” into the duty of “not acting”. The duty of “personal sanctification” cannot be fulfilled when we exclude our social duties. When the appointed electors exist, it is up to them to fulfil that duty; when they do not exist, this is the duty of the “whole Church.”
6.5 What is really necessary
“What is really necessary; is what must be done;” what is included in the duty of our sanctification is the “fulfilment of all duties” and not only of those freely chosen by “our own judgement” (Titus. 3, 10 ), or selected by the opinions of other people. Britons follows the heresy what Wycliff preached: “Post Urbanum VI non est aliquis recipiendus in papam sect vivendum est more graecorum, sub legibus propoiis.” (Ds.1159; Dz. 589) [After Urban VI, nobody should be accepted as pope, but everyone should live in the ways of the Greeks, and under their own laws.] Britons only changes the name of the last pope, but their article maintained that heretical norm in its entirety, in spite of its being condemned by the Council of Constance.
7. The Duty of Abstention of Actions [by Britons]
Britons say: “God does not prohibit us to do what is in our reach; but one should believe that, in the present crisis, the duty is the abstention of practical actions, we must pray exclusively, until God intervenes.- It was the prudence of Noah in building the Ark under God’s command. Christ disapproved the action of Peter in the Garden of Olives.- “One must reject without hesitation the ending of the crisis by practical initiative; the crisis cannot be solved at the natural level because it is too big. It was produced by God for a specific goal and it will not end until this goal will be reached. We should not frustrate the divine plan by natural means, by a conclave. One already took place and it was a failure {Parallels with Pisa, Constance..} To be orthodox without popes, shepherds, sacraments, Mass, etc…the unique solution is prayer. We believe that the crisis will only be ended by Enoch and Elias, who will extinguish the vacancy, with God’s intervention and the death of the Antichrist. Until then; “only prayer instead of action:” the sole solution is prayer. It is not Quietism, the abstention of the duty of acting, and it is not against the sentence of St. Ignatius. The crisis cannot be solved by natural resources, by practical intervention, because it transcends the natural order, it is extraordinary. It is a lack of faith to affirm that it will be ended by any other way. Cajetanus confirms: “Where there is not a natural resource, as in the case of a bad pope, only prayer is the right and specific remedy; efficacious panacea when human means are inexistent. Well this it the present case. Then as now, only prayer is the means. We are few, without authority and full of errors”
7.1 Free Interpretation
If Noah built the Ark by a direct revelation from God, today God’s Revelation orders us to act according to the doctrine and laws of the Church, and not waiting for a “new revelation” about the papal election, about Sacraments and jurisdiction of Bishops. It is a Modernist Heresy to say that “the revelation, object of the faith, was not completed by the Apostles.” (Ds 3421; Dz. 2021) but that it is “the interpretation of religious actions made by human mind.” (Ds. 3422; Dz. 2022). This IS Exactly what Britons does. Nobody questions either the excellency and efficacy of prayer, or the duty of praying, but the existence of other duties. St. Pius V did not excuse the Battle of Lepanto against the Muslims trusting only in prayer. And the crisis was big and extraordinary then. During the Arian heresy, popes were elected; and at the time of the Great Western Schism nobody thought to put an end to the crisis only by prayer, without an election. They deny the existence of the specific means, the possibility of electing, by adopting the heretical doctrine that the pope is NOT necessary – to the faith.
7.2 Divine Plan
To affirm that acting is “to frustrate the divine plane” is a false doctrine. God does not want sins, apostasies, and heresies {or extended vacancies in the high offices of His Church.} He permits that they occur, but He does not have a “plan” to avoid those happenings. Morally he does not want them to happen while physically He allows the happening of sins. God is not the Author of crimes, even when He prophesies them because of His divine wisdom and knowledge. So, the divine will is that the Catholic faithful act according to the divine duties and laws, and not against them. The exegesis of God’s way of acting and of His will is given by the Infallible Church in Her laws and not by the free interpretation of the “plans” of God.
7.3 Social Quietism
Britons repeats “ipsis litteris” the Quietist doctrine of Molinos, even limiting it to the present social duties. Molinos wrote: “Velle operari active est Deum offendere, qui vult esse ipsis solus agens.” (Ds 2202; Dz. 1222) {To want to operate actively is to offend God, Who wants to be Himself the sole agent.} Pope Innocent XI condemned this heresy. Nevertheless, Britons repeats the same words concerning the social level. They repeat the sentences of Quesnel: “In vanum, Domine, praecipis si tu non das quod praecipis”, and “gratia non est aliud quam voluntas dei jubentis et facientis quod jubet.” (Ds 2403-2411; Dz. 1353-1361.) [Lord Thou orderest in vain, if Thou dost not give that what Thou orderest; The grace is nothing else that the will of omnipotent God Who commands and does what He commands.] Clement XI also condemned this false doctrine. The Council of Trent condemned the doctrine of Luther: “Faith and confidence in God are enough, without works.” (Ds. 1562: Dz. 822) “nihil omnio agere et passive se harbere.”(Ds 1554; Dz. 814) [Absolutely nothing makes and behaves in a merely passive way;] salvation “sine conditione observantiae mandatorum” (Ds. 1570; Dz. 830) [without the condition to observe the commandments.] Therefore, that doctrine of the exclusiveness of prayer and confidence in God is opposed to the fulfilment of social duties, it does not seem a Catholic doctrine but similar to the “faith” of Luther.
7.6 Catholics Without Authority
Vitoria wrote: “Notem est in jure quod non oportet ut electores habeant autoritatem ad quom eligunt”(De Potest. Ecclesiae Rec.2 ) [It is obvious in Law that it is not necessary for the electors to possess authority for which they are electing.] Those who elect a civil ruler do not have his authority. Those who elect an Abbot do not have the Abbot’s authority. Neither do the Cardinals possess the papal authority (Vacante Sede Apost. Canon 1.) Peter did not leave a law on how to apply the papal power to a person when the appointed electors would not exist; the Church possesses the suppletory authority of the orthodox bishops, who received it from the Holy Father. But even if those bishops lacked, because of the same law of substitution, that authority would be passed necessarily to the whole Church, not in order to delegate power to a pope as the ministerial Head of the Church (Ds 2602-2603; Dz. 1502-1503), but only to choose the man who, “jure divino”, will exercise the power that comes from God. In “vacatio legis”, the “only way available would be the election by the Church.” (Vitoria). If nobody else had the “authority” to choose the person who would occupy the position from which comes the authority for everybody, the See, from which the rights(…) for all proceed” (Ds. 3057;Dz. 1824) by canonical mission(Canon 109), then the Church would have died indeed. But this is impossible, so the logical consequence is that there are “Catholic electors” with the necessary and sufficient “authority” to carry out a valid election in any crisis, even in the present one. If in fact there have been wrong and badly prepared “elections” without previous regulation by those who profess the same faith (and only from them) that does not mean that elections could not and should not take place with adequate preparation, only previously excluding those who have self-excluded themselves from the congregation of the faithful people. If there were some who erred, not everybody always and universally is erring as well.
Conclusion: The Duty of Unity
We cannot foresee or prophesy future events, we have neither received special revelation, nor are we the Illuminati nor the gnostics. We do not know either when Elias or Enoch will come, nor how they will act, nor if God will convert those who are merely wandering, scattered among the millions of “Catholics” of the New Church, or even if through them, one day there will be the election of an orthodox pope. These are only “possibilities” that only God knows. We can only grasp the doctrines of the safe and perennial Rock of Peter, based on the dogmas of the perpetuity of the Church, of the hierarchy, of the pope, of the Shepherds and Doctors, of the power of Holy Orders and jurisdiction and of the Right of the Church. We do not invent new doctrines to justify “unity” with an heretical “pope”, neither do we recognise his permanency as “valid” either “formally” or “materially,” to justify the separation from the obedience of a pope who is considered “valid”; we do not invent doctrines about the situation of need, illicitness of the sacraments, perennial vacancy, impossibility of a papal election, or eschatological exegesis. In one point those prophesies are very clear; that there will be many “false prophets” at the end Times, and they will announce that Christ is here or there. Christ warned us so that we will not believe in them, and we will persevere in the same doctrines that have been always taught. Among these doctrines is the one about “perpetual successors” of Peter and the existence of “shepherds” up to the end of times.
It is an heresy to state a “general darkness” of the doctrine (Ds 2610;Dz. 1501) in the Church where “lux lucet in tenebris” (Lo.1, 15). But, “broken from the links of the visible unity, the forms of the Mystical Body of Christ are darkened, so that it can be neither seen nor found by those who ask for the port of salvation.” (Pius XII, Myst. Cor.Christi). Things of the Church “are seen by the one who believes” and are visible “for those who adhere to the right faith and not for the others” (St. Thomas. S.T.2-2, 1-4, and ad 3). Passing from the doctrines of the Church to practical action, since those who profess our faith and belong to the same “coetus fidelium” are dispersed throughout the world, as long as the lack of ordinary jurisdiction is not eliminated because of that dispersion, that is merely physical and not doctrinal, it would be useful to gather those people in a society that could serve for the better knowledge of the faith and of the persons who profess it, and that could help to prepare the necessary base for the end of the vacancy. The unity of government requires a previous unity in the faith and in mutual charity, a distinctive Mark of the true Church.
Laus et Gloria Deo Nostro
Dr. Homero Johas

This was written in 1991 in reply to Briton’s Catholic Library Letter number 7. Martin Gwynne and John Daly of London, England wrote Letter Number 7 as a rebuttal of the book, Will the Catholic Church Survive the Twentieth Century? By T Stanfill Benns and David Bawden. This book was written to call for a papal election. It was written in 1989 and published January 25, 1990

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Alleged Heresy of Pope Liberius

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in | Comments Off on Alleged Heresy of Pope Liberius

From Parson’s Church History

In the year of our Lord 352, sixteenth of the reign of Constantius, son of Constantine, Liberius was elected to the Papal See to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Julius I. The circumstances of the time were difficult indeed, and none but a Pontiff of preeminent sanctity and prudence could have guided the ship of Peter with even moderate success. Arianism, perhaps the most powerful, though not the most immediately destructive, heresy, which the world has seen, was rampant throughout the world, and all the influence of the imperial authority was brought to bear to add to its already excessive audacity. At this time, Athanasius of Alexandria was the bulwark of Catholic orthodoxy in the East, and to defend him, therefore, and to be a good Catholic, were regarded as synonymous. The word Homoousion (Consubstantial), which the Council of Nice had added to the Creed, was looked upon as a test of belief in the Divinity of Christ. The word Homoiousion (Similar) was indicative of rank heresy, although there were some who persisted in its use, and in the rejection of the orthodox term, even while they held the Catholic doctrine. In the year 355, having again, after an interval of reconciliation, become opposed to St. Athanasius, the emperor endeavored to attract the Roman Pontiff to his aid. He sent to him the eunuch Eusebius with magnificent gifts, and when these failed, threats were employed. The sentiments of Pope Liberius are to be judged by his own answer to Constantius. ” How can we condemn one who has been pronounced free from crime by two Synods, and whom the Roman Church has dismissed in peace ? Who would approve of our action, if we were to be hostile to him absent, whom, when present, we have cherished and held in communion ? The Ecclesiastical Canons run not thus, nor have we ever received such a tradition from the Fathers. But if the Emperor wishes indeed to exercise his care for Ecclesiastical peace, or if he wishes that which we have written in favor of Athanasius to be erased, let those things also be erased which have been written against him ; let there then be held an Ecclesiastical Synod at a distance from the palace, where the emperor is not at hand, nor any count is officious, nor any judge utters threats, and where the fear of God and the institutes of the Apostles alone suffice for everything, that in that place, before all else, the Faith of the Church be set forth, just as it was defined by the Fathers in the Nicene Council ; then let all be ejected who are of the Arian opinion, and let their heresy be anathematized ; then finally let a judgment on Athanasius be delivered, or upon any other person deemed guilty : and as many as are found guilty so many let there be ejected, and as many as are pure, let them be absolved of guilt. For it cannot be allowed that those should sit in the Synod who are impious in belief, nor is it proper to question any one’s deeds before we have security as to his religion. Every discord about faith is to be first abolished, and then action may be taken upon other things.” The consequence of this worthy reply was the exile of the Pontiff into Thrace. On his way to punishment, Liberius had an interview with the sovereign, and as we know from St. Athanasius (1) he thus repelled the renewed attempts to seduce him:” Cease to persecute Christians. Do not try, through me, to bring heretical impiety into the Church. We Christians are prepared to sustain everything, ere we will suffer ourselves to be called Arians.” Liberius also declared, ” he thought it more important to keep the laws of the Church than to reside at Rome.” When about to depart, he was offered a sum of money for his journey, in the name of the emperor, but he rejected it, saying. “Thou hast pillaged the churches of the earth, and now thou offerest me alms as to a guilty one ! Go first, and become a Christian. ” Gibbon deems this spirited answer insulting. The exile of the Pontiff lasted three years, and was terminated by a decree of Constantius, in answer to the entreaties of the Roman matrons, on the occasion of his visit to the ancient capital. And now comes one of the most important questions that have ever challenged the investigation of the historian.

What change had come over Constantius that he so readily liberated the Pontiff, or rather, had any change taken place in Liberius ? The character of the emperor had remained the same ; it follows, then, say some, that the Pontiff yielded to the importunities of the sovereign, and to the cruelties of exile. This is a fearful accusation, and is made not only by the bitter enemies of the Church, but by those theologians who, writing before the Vatican Council had settled the vexed question of Papal Infallibility, readily seized upon every fact of history which might be brought to bear in favor of ” Cis-montane ” opinions. Gibbon says that “the Roman Pontiff purchased his return by some criminal compliances, and afterwards expiated his guilt by a seasonable repentance.” Blondel, Basnage, and other Protestant authors, contend that Constantius did not accede to the prayer of the Romans, until Liberius had subscribed to the second of the Sirmian formulas, which was plainly heretical. Quite naturally, Jansenistic writers take the same view. Bossuet holds that the formula which the Pope signed was the most innocent of the three, but that he erred in thus conniving at a dissemblance of truth, for in this formula the con substantiality of Christ to the Father was not stated. As at this time the communion of Athanasius was the true one, so, according to the Bishop of Meaux, Liberius was wrong in condemning him. Cardinal La Luzerne, who, though not a rank, was yet a firm Gallican, asserts that even if the Pontiff signed the first of the Sirmian formulas, he became guilty of heresy. There is a school of authors in which Liberius is treated with some consideration, but by which he is blamed for having condemned Athanasius and for communicating with the Eusebians ; also for having signed the first formula of Sirmium, in which the word Homoousios, the test of Catholic doctrine, was omitted. The most eminent of this class are Constant and Mazocchi. Of the writers who defend Liberius from each and every charge, both of heresy and weakness, the most distinguished Lire Cardinal Orsi, F. A. Zaccaria, Peter Ballerini and Palma.

The following are the arguments adduced by the authors who contend that our Pontiff was guilty of heresy : First, St. Hilary, at No. 11 of his book against Constantius, declares that he “does not know in which the Emperor showed the greater impiety ; whether in the exile, or in the liberation of Liberius.” The same saint, in the Fragment commencing, ” For the fear of God,” adduces an epistle of the Pope to the Orientals, in which he says : ” I do not defend Athanasius, but as Julius, my predecessor of holy memory, had received him, I dreaded lest I should be deemed a prevaricator. But when I knew that you had justly

condemned him, I quickly assented to your decree Therefore, Athanasius being deposed, with regard to which, all of your statutes are to be received by me and the Apostolic See, I say that I am united and at peace with all of you and all the Eastern Bishops. And that you may the more securely know that I proffer true faith in this letter, I have willingly accepted, without any contradiction, as it has been explained by our common brother, Demophilus, that Catholic faith which was discussed, explained, and received at Sirmium by all our brethren and fellow-bishops.” There are three other epistles of Liberius in the Fragments of Hillary, all redolent of heterodox sentiment. Again, in the 6th Fray., Hilary cries, “Anathema from me to thee, Liberius, and to thy companions!” And in Fray. 8, he says, “To the prevaricator and to the Arians I declare anathema.” In No. 4 of Fray. 6,we have, “afterwards, when Liberius was sent into exile, all these things, which he had clone or promised, he reduced to nothing, writing to the heretical Arian prevaricators who had pronounced unjust sentence against the orthodox Bishop Athanasius.” Second, St. Jerome, in his Chronicle, says that “Liberius, conquered by the pain of exile, subscribed the heretical depravity, and entered Rome like a victor.” And in his Ecclesiastical Authors, the holy doctor tells us that “the African Fortunatianus, bishop of Aquileia, is to be detested because he solicited, broke down, and compelled to an heretical subscription, Liberius, bishop of Rome.” Third, the Acts of Eusebius show us the Pontiff, after his return to the Eternal City, publicly teaching Arianism, and putting the priest Eusebius to death. Fourth, the Pontifical Book, of great weight with Bossuet, says that when Liberius arrived at Rome after his exile, he dared not to enter the city at once, but besought the aid of the princess Constantia ; that Felix, the Anti-Pope, was then expelled ; that Liberius entered, fraternized with the Arians, and persecuted the orthodox who refused to recognize his authority. At first glance, these four arguments seem to form a terrible indictment against Liberius, but they will not bear the sifting of impartial criticism.

Now as to St. Hilary, his remark as to the impiety of Constantius in the liberation of the Pope does not prove that the saint thought that the Pontiff had assented to the Emperor’s conditions. We may answer with Zaccaria that this doubt of St. Hilary may be taken as rather oratorical than practical ; that also there would have been some room for it, practically speaking, since the cruelty of Constantius in exiling the Pope was well matched by his wickedness in accompanying the liberation with a false rumor as to his defection. But we can account also for the saying of Hilary, if we reflect upon the outrageous decree of the Emperor that thereafter the government of the Church should be administered in common by Liberius and Felix. Such an abominable fashion of withdrawing from the difficulty that he himself had effected, might well cause Constantius to seem to the saint equally guilty in the exile and the pardon. As for the Fragments attributed to the holy bishop of Poitiers, they are forgeries. In the first place, a clear evidence of falsehood is shown in two of the alleged letters of Liberius herein quoted. They are the epistles beginning ” Studious of peace” and ” Because I know you.” In these, Liberius is made to say that from the very commencement of his reign he had condemned Athanasius, and all authentic documents slow that for a long time lie was the most strenuous defender of the persecuted bishop. But all these Fragments are to be rejected. The sentiments contained in them are opposed to those found in the saint’s authentic writings ; they give everything which might

militate for the Pontiff s alleged Arianism, but say nothing of his celebrated orthodox letter. Rufinus declares himself dubious as to the defection of our Pope ; now if he knew anything of the existence of these Fragments, he would not have been doubtful, and he says nothing of them. St. Jerome enumerates the works of Hilary, but is silent as to the Fragments (1).

As for the testimony of St. Jerome, expressly stating that Liberius signed an heretical formula, we may answer with Palma that it is allowable in matters of history to sometimes differ from even this great doctor. But it is far from certain that the Chronicle has come down to us uninterpolated; indeed, we have the testimony of Menochius that nothing pointing to a fall of Liberius is contained in the Christina MSS. of the Vatican, and that is certainly of the sixth or seventh century (2). Literary forgery was easier in the days of copyists than it is in our time, and the olden heretics were much addicted to the use of this weapon. Origen, Athanasius, and others were often put to trouble by these gentry ; the first, indeed, owes to them the greater part, if not all, the suspicion as to his orthodoxy. What more natural then than to suppose the audacious Arians guilty of falsifying, in the case of so important a witness as St. Jerome ? If our adversaries are unwilling to accept our supposition, as the only way of accounting for the singular and absolutely isolated position among all Catholic writers of antiquity, in which they place St. Jerome, we can only say that lie was deceived, and that his sole opinion should not militate against the many positive arguments to the contrary. As for the accusation against Fortunatianus, taken from the book of the saint on Ecclesiastical Authors, Palma regards it as a proof that also this work or the great doctor has been mutilated. For, he argues, Fortunatianus would not have urged the Pontiff to encourage a heresy which he himself detested. Be this as it may, we may apply to our own use the answer which Alexandre gives to those who adduce this passage of St. Jerome to prove that Liberius must have signed the second (plainly heretical) formula of

Sirmium. Believing that the Pope subscribed the first of the three formulas, the Gallican historian says that St. Jerome might well have blamed Fortunatianus for inducing Liberius to sign a formula in which the word Homoousion, which was regarded as a test of orthodoxy, was omitted, and for having brought about the condemnation of Athanasius ; it by no means follows from this passage, lie insists, that St. Jerome believed the Pontiff to have signed an expressly heretical document.

As to the ” Acts of Eusebius,” they were discovered in the fifteenth century, and were believed by Bossuet to be genuine. They purport to be a narrative of the martyrdom of a holy priest who suffered with the consent of the late convert to Arianism, our Pontiff Liberius. But these “Arts ” show themselves to be of no value, since they speak of a dialogue between the Pope and Constantius in the year 359, and we know that the latter left Rome in 358, and never entered it again.

And what of the Pontifical Book? In the first place, Muratori holds that this Diary of the Popes. as it may be styled, was not begun until the eighth century. If this opinion be correct, we must deny the Book any value in the premises. At any rate, there are so many contradictions in the chapter from which the adverse testimony is taken, that we can place no reliance upon it, and must suppose at least that part to be an Arian forgery. Thus, it is said that Liberius was pardoned by Constantius, but that he dared not enter Rome until lie had made his peace with the Emperor through the intercession of Constantia. It is said too that the matter of dissension between the Pope and the Emperor was the question of rebaptism, a subject some time forgotten. We also read of an interview between Constantius and Liberius in the year 359, while the former was warring in Pannonia against the Sarmatians. We are told that the ex-intruder Felix died a natural death, but we know that he became a martyr to the faith.

Having now done justice to the arguments of our opponents, we would, before commencing our positive defence of Liberius, ask what would be the conclusion if all that has been alleged were acknowledged as true. Alexandre and some others will answer that even in this case, it could not be held that the Pontiff became a heretic, for the formula which he signed (if lie signed any) was tenable, though it omitted the “Homoousion ;” that even if he did condemn the saintly Athanasius, that would have been cowardice and not heresy. But the majority of those who strive so eagerly to besmirch the memory of Liberius, go further than Alexandre to obtain a de facto proof that the Roman Pontiff is not, by divine appointment, an infallible teacher. Now all their arguments go to show, first, that Liberius yielded to violence; second, that his conduct was that of a personal coward, not that of one wishing to teach the Universal Church-they prove, that is, nothing against the Catholic doctrine of Papal Infallibility.

But we propose to proceed further in this matter than a mere refutation of the Gallican and Protestant theories. It is admitted by all that Liberius was faithful up to the year 358, and the sole praise of his successor, Damasus, is enough to show that in his last years he was free from heretical taint. If any unworthy concessions purchased for him the privilege of returning to his See, we should find some allusions to them in those authors who treat of that return. But these writers furnish testimony to his innocence. Thus, Sulpicius Severus, in his Sacred History, b. 2, c. 49, says “Liberius, bishop of Rome, and Hilarius, bishop of Poitiers, are exiled…. but Liberius is soon restored to the city on account of the seditious of the Romans.” Socrates tells us, b. 2, c. 37, that “Not long afterwards, Liberius was recalled from exile, and resumed his chair, when the Roman people, having risen in rebellion, had expelled Felix, and the Emperor, although unwilling, had given his assent.” But Theodoret speaks still more plainly in his History, b. 2, c. 15, where lie narrates how the Roman senators sent their wives to Constantius as suppliants for the return of the Pope. Thus the nobles argued : ” He may not forgive us who are men, but if you women entreat him, lie may pardon you.” The Emperor received their request, but answered that the Roman See was not a widow, since it had Felix for a spouse.

To this the matrons replied that the Roman citizens would pot enter the church while Felix was in it, because though he himself held the faith of Nice, yet he communicated with those who did not hold it. ” Then,” continues Theodoret, ” the Emperor being touched, he ordered that illustrious and praiseworthy man to come out of exile, and both (that is, Liberius and Felix) to administer the Church in common. When this epistle was read in the circus, the people exclaimed that the Emperor’s decree was just. But the spectators soon divided into two factions. . . . one declaring for this Bishop, the other for that…. then with one voice all cried out, `One God, One Christ, One Bishop.’ After these acclamations of the most Christian people, full of piety and justice, the admirable Liberius returned.” This conclusive testimony of Severus, Socrates, and Theodoret, is confirmed by Cassiodorus in the fifth book of his Tripartite History. That these four grave historians were well acquainted with the events of the fourth century, no one will deny, and their testimony will bear more to our point, if we consider with the learned Stilting (1) that it is very unlikely that the Arians and Semiarians would have omitted to sustain their cause by quoting any lapse in their favor made by a Roman Pontiff. They seized with avidity upon the fall of the unfortunate Hosius ; would they have ignored that of his master? Not one of the many Greek or Latin fathers, who flourished in such number in the centuries immediately following Liberius, alludes to any fall, either directly, or by excuse of it, or by asserting his repentance.

A strong argument for the constancy of the Pontiff is found in the manner of his treatment of the Council of Rimini, held in 359. The fathers of this synod accepted a Profession of Faith which was Catholic in the letter, but which the usual frauds of the Arians easily perverted to a comfort of heresy. Liberius condemned their action, and only pardoned them on condition that they should condemn the accepted Profession, issue one conformable to that of Nice, and cease all communication with the Arians. We find in Socrates (2) an epistle of the Pontiff to the Orientals, in which he says “For very nearly all of those who were then assembled at Rimini, and were deceived, partly by seduction, and partly by fraud, are now returned to a healthy state of mind, and have anathematized the formula of faith issued by the Council of Rimini, and have subscribed to the form of Catholic and Apostolic faith once edited at Nice ; and having entered into our communion, they are now moved by the greatest indignation against the doctrine of Arius and his disciples.” Such words are not consistent with the supposition that the writer himself had been guilty, but a few months before, of the same, if not a greater crime.

Of no light weight is the argument drawn from the affection of the Roman people for Liberius, for both the clergy and the laity of Rome were intensely hostile to Arianism and devoted to Athanasius. Sozomenus says, in his History, book 4, c. 15, “The Roman people loved Liberins without measure, as a man in every sense illustrious. and one who, for the sake of religion, had bravely resisted the emperor.” And Theodoret, in book 2, c. 27, says of the intruder Felix that ” He preserved entire and inviolate the formula of faith drawn up by the Nicene fathers. But with those who tainted it, he freely communicated, and for that reason none of the Roman citizens entered the church while he was inside.” Would not this affectionate admiration for Liberius have ceased, if he bad -made shipwreck of his faith, of that faith of Nice which they so jealously cherished? They twice drove Felix from the city for merely communicating with. heretics, and they continued to love him who had acknowledged and professed the heresy itself?

The reader will have noticed that the heart of the Liberian controversy lies in the Pontiff’s subscription to one of the formulas of faith drawn up at Sirmium. It is now proper for us to see to which one of these documents the Pontiff put his name, if indeed he signed any one of them, and to discover its nature. Baronius holds that all three of the formulas in question were edited in the Sirmian synod of 351, held against Photinus, but Nicholas Faber (1) and Alexandre prove that only the first one was issued I-:

that synod. The second document saw the light in the year 357, and the third in the year 359. The first formula sins by omission, as all that it contains is Catholic, but it lacks the “Homoousios; ” the second is unmitigatedly Arian, the third is Semiarian. We propose to show that Liberius could not possibly have signed the second or third ; that therefore the first, if any whatever, should claim our attention. Pagi and Valois hold that the Pope subscribed the third formula; the following reasons will show they are mistaken: Firstly. Valois himself holds (1) that the third synod of Sirmium was celebrated in the year 359, in the consulship of Eusebius and Hypatius, and that Marcus Arethusius drew up the formula. But the one (if any) signed by Liberius is the one to which the sixth Fragment of Hilary alludes as “that perfidy of Sirmium which Liberians calls Catholic, and which was drawn by many bishops whose names are given. Again, this third formula did not appear until the year 359, and Liberius had been pardoned the year previous. How then could this document be connected with his restoration to freedom? Nor did he sign the second formula, for the reason that its profession of Arianism was so patent, so void of mystification, that no possible art could have cleansed the signer of the stain of heresy. In case the Pontiff had signed that document, there would have been no room for doubt as to his crime, and our opponents must admit that there are some points indicating his innocence. But we are not wanting in reasons extraneous to the nature of the paper. It is not likely, says Alexandre, that Liberius signed that formula which Constantius himself had condemned, through the agency of Basil of Ancyra. The Pontiff was called to Sirmium after the Anomceans (2) had been driven from Antioch by the Emperor, and when already the second formula had been thrust aside as a hideous abortion. Again, we know from the book on Synods of Hilary that, excepting the avowed Arians, the unfortunate Hosius was the only one to accept this formula. And the document which Li

berius is said to have signed was subscribed by twenty-two bishops, all Orientals, while the second formula was drawn by Western prelates, as we learn from Athanasius, Socrates, and Hilary. This formula bears the names of Hosius and Potamius, while that attributed to the Pope makes no mention of these bishops. Finally, among the signers of the document assigned to Liberius are numbered Theodore of Heraclea, Basil of Ancyra, and Silvan of Tarsus, all of whom must be excluded from any connection with this second formula ; Theodore (1), because he died two years ere it was issued ; the others because at the very worst, they were Semiarians, and detested those Anomeean errors which are found in it.

There remains, therefore, only the first formula, promulgated in the year 351, to which Liberius could possibly have subscribed. If this is examined, the charge of heresy, which is brought against the Pontiff, must fall to the ground. It reads as follows : “We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, creator and maker of all things, in whom all paternity is in Heaven, and is named on earth. And in His Only, begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, generated before all ages from God the Father, light from light, through whom were made all things in Heaven and on earth, invisible as well as visible ; He is the Word and Wisdom, true light and life, and in the later days was made Man and was born of the Holy Virgin, crucified, dead, and buried; He sits at the right hand of the Father, and is to come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, and will render to each one according to his works ; whose Kingdom never-ending will last for infinite ages ; He sits at the right hand of the Father, not only in this time, but in the future. And in the Holy Ghost, that is, the Paraclete, whom, having promised Him to the apostles, after His ascent to Heaven He sent to teach them and to advise them in all things. Through whom are sanctified all souls which sincerely believe in Him.” Now, although the word Homoousios is not found in this profession, yet there is nothing in it repugnant to the Catholic doctrine ,on the divinity of the Word. The omission should not have been allowed, for an insertion of the term ” Consubstantial ” was regarded by the orthodox as a safeguard to the true faith. But all those who omitted it were not regarded, in the time of Athanasius, as necessarily heretical. There never was a more strenuous defender of the word Homoousios than the holy bishop of Alexandria, and yet he says in his book on Synods, No. 41, ” It is not right to regard as enemies those who accept all the other Nicene writings, and hesitate only as to the word `Consubstantial for we dispute as brothers with brothers, who are of the same opinion as ourselves, bringing a name alone into controversy. For when they avow that the Son is from the substance of the Father, and from no other substance ; that He is not a creature or a thing made, but a genuine and real Son, the Word and Wisdom, existing one with the Father, they are not far from receiving the term “Consubstantial.”

And now we may conclude our dissertation on the orthodoxy of the holy Liberius. We have seen that the arguments against him are not tenable, that there is abundant. positive evidence in his favor, and that if he signed any one of the Sirmian formulas, it was one which was innocent of heresy. As the opinion of the Greek Church in this matter may be of interest to some, we will finish with a quotation from the ancient Menology, a liturgical book in use in both the United and Schismatic Churches, and corresponding to the Roman Martyrology. At the date of Sept. 27th, we read, ” The blessed Liberius, defender of the troth, was bishop of Rome while Constantius was Emperor. His zeal caused him to defend the great Athanasius afterwards, Liberius contended with all his might against the malice of the heretics, and was exiled to Bernea in Thrace. But the Romans, who loved and venerated him, were faithful to him and entreated the Emperor to restore him. He returned to Rome, where lie governed his flock in wisdom and died.”

With the question of the fall or innocence of Pope Liberius is intimately connected the controversy as to the place due to Felix, the occupant of the Papal chair during the exile of the former. Bellarmine, Baronio, and a few others, contend that he was, at least for a time, a legitimate Pontiff, and hence they style him Felix II. Papebroch and Zaccaria hold that Felix was a vicar of Liberius. Christian Lupus, Dupin, Alexandre, Tillemont, and Orsi, place him among the Anti-Popes, and it is difficult to refute their arguments. If there was any time when Felix was a legitimate Pontiff, it was when Liberius was in exile, and only then, because Liberius had abdicated. But nothing in history is more certain than that Liberius never abdicated ; and if lie had done so, Felix should have become his successor in a legitimate manner, and not through the intrigues of the Arians and the violence of Constantius. Nor can an argument for the legitimacy of the claims of Felix be deduced from the fact that some of the ancient records number him among the saints. Granting that he is not confounded, in these documents, with Pope St. Felix I., it does not follow, because he became a saint, that he was never an AntiPope. Upon the return of the legitimate Pontiff, he may have repented of his usurpation, and during his last years of life, while, as Philostorgius says (1), ” lie retained the dignity of bishop, but governed no church,” he may have advanced to heroic sanctity.

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