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Modesty in Dress

All too often, we see people living out the error that modesty can change from person to person and generation to generation. People falsely believe that they can decide for themselves what is modest and what is not. Worse, those claiming to be Catholic, dress in a way that is not only offensive to Our Lord, but also bring scandal by representing the Church in a sinful display. So it is necessary that we are reminded of what it takes to maintain purity and have modesty in dress. It is a matter of saving our souls and the souls of others.

Here now is a letter on the topic of Modesty in Dress by Bishop Pivarunas.



Dearly beloved in Christ,

With the warmer weather of the summer months, it is not only appropriate, but also necessary for our priests to preach to the faithful about the spiritual dangers that are so prevalent today in the areas of modesty and chastity. This pastoral letter is intended to assist the priests in their moral responsibility to instruct their parishioners.

The principles of the virtues of modesty and chastity are based, first and foremost, on the Sixth and Ninth Commandments of God:

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

and

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” (Exodus 20:14)

Furthermore, we read in the Gospel of St. Matthew how our Divine Savior Jesus Christ reiterated the Ninth Commandment when He said:

“You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that anyone who even looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart. ” (Matt. 5:27-28)

When we consider these matters, we are also reminded of some of the warnings of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.

“Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much… More souls go to helll because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”

Nearly 80 years have passed since the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima and how prophetic has her message been! With modern technology — the television, the movies and videos, and now computers — our young people are daily exposed to pornography and immorality which destroy their moral fiber. The widespread effects of this moral destruction are so obvious — teenage promiscuity and pregnancy, abortion, the open promotion of artificial contraceptives and the rise of violent crimes against women.

How tragic to see so many young people live as if there were no God, no Commandments, no such thing as mortal sin, no such thing as death, judgment and eternity. As tragic as this is, it is even more tragic to see Catholic girls and women fall victims to the allurements of immodest styles and fashions, and by so doing, become the cause and occasion of sin for so many others.

Pope Pius XII lamented this sad and tragic spectacle on many an occasion. In 1954, the Pope sadly related:

“How many young girls there are who see nothing wrong in following certain shameless styles like so many sheep. They would certainly blush with shame if they could know the impression they make, and the feelings they evoke, in those who see them.”

On another occasion, Pope Pius XII addressed the Catholic Young Women’s Groups of Italy:

“The good of our soul is more important than that of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbor to our bodily comforts…

If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up…

O Christian mothers, if you knew what a future of anxieties and perils, of ill-guarded shame you prepare for your sons and daughters, imprudently getting them accustomed to live scantily dressed and making them lose the sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourselves and you would dread the harm you are making for yourselves, the harm which you are causing to these children, whom Heaven has entrusted to you to be brought up as Christians.”

All of these considerations are fine and good, but they will remain meaningless if there are not some practical guidelines as to what exactly constitutes immodest dress for women and girls. Based on various excerpts from moral theology, the following general guidelines should not be too difficult for our Catholic women and girls to understand:

Immodesty dress pertains to:

1) Dresses or blouses with low cut neck lines;
2) Skirts or shorts which expose the upper portions of the legs;
3) Clothing which is sheer;
4) Excessively tight-fitting dresses or slacks.

Here it may be asked about those particular occasions which seem to call for exceptions. What about extremely hot weather, or sports, or swimming?

A woman will have to use common sense in these cases and take some extra precautions, realizing she has a serious responsibility in this regard. In hot weather a woman can wear a dress or culottes that are loose, light and cool and yet still modest. At sports she can be innovative in order to be modest, depending upon the activity. For swimming she can wear some type of pull-over or cover-up garment except for the times she is actually swimming. Choice of a swimming suit for women today is extremely important. Most women’s bathing suits are grossly immodest. A woman may have to make or provide her own combinations that will be modest, but if that is what it takes to be modest she should do so.

For our Catholic women and girls, let them seriously reflect on their manner of dress and their moral obligation to refrain from any “styles and fashions which gravely offend our Divine Lord.” When we consider that the greatest of evils to befall anyone is the eternal loss of one’s soul to hell, how we should dread to be the cause or the occasion of sin for anyone!

With this in mind, let us conclude with a review of the instructions given by the Council of Vigilance found in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Acts of the Apostolic See) to the Bishops and Ordinaries under Pope Pius XI:

“In virtue of the Supreme Apostleship which he exercises in the universal Church, His Holiness, Pius XI, has never ceased to inculcate in word and writing that precept of St. Paul (1 Tim. 2:9-10): ‘Women also in decent apparel; adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety… as it becometh women professing godliness, with good works.’

“And on many occasions, the same Supreme Pontiff has reproved and sharply condemned the immodesty in dress which today is everywhere in vogue, even among women and girls who are Catholics; a practice which does grave injury to the crowning virtue and glory of women, and moreover unfortunately leads not merely to their temporal disadvantage, but, what is worse, to their eternal ruin and that of other souls.

“It is no wonder, then, that Bishops and other Ordinaries of places, as becomes ministers of Christ, have in their respective dioceses unanimously resisted in every way this licentious and shameless fashion, and in doing so have cheerfully and courageously borne the derision and ridicule sometimes directed at them by the ill-disposed.

“Accordingly, this Sacred Congregation for the maintenance of discipline among clergy and people, in the first place accords merited approval and praise to this vigilance and action on the part of the Bishops, and moreover earnestly exhorts them to continue in the purpose and undertaking they have so well begun, and to pursue them with even greater vigor, until this contagious disease be entirely banished from decent society.

“That this may be accomplished with greater ease and security, this Sacred Congregation, in pursuance of the orders of His Holiness, has determined upon the following regulations on the subject:

“I. Especially pastors and preachers, when they have the opportunity, must, according to those words of St. Paul (2 Tim. 4:2): ‘be instant, reprove, entreat, rebuke,’ to the end that women may wear clothes of beocming modesty, which may be an ornament and safeguard of virtue; and they must also warn parents not to permit their daughters to wear immodest clothes.

“II. Parents, mindful of their very grave obligation to provide especially for the moral and religious education of their children, must see to it with special care that their girls receive solid instruction in Christian doctrine from their earliest years; and they themselves must by word and example earnesily train them to a love of modesty and chastity. After the example of the Holy Family they must strive so to order and regulate the family that every member of it shall find at home a reason and inducement to love and to cherish modesty.

“III. Parents should also prevent their daughters from taking part in public drills and athletic contests. If the girls are obliged to take part in them, the parents must see to it that they wear a costume that is entirely modest, and must never permit them to appear in immodest dress.

“IV. Heads of girls’ schools and colleges must strive so to imbue the hearts of their girls with the love of modesty that they may be induced to dress modestly.

“V. They shall not admit to the schools or colleges girls who are given to immodest dress; and if any such have been admitted, they shall be dismissed unless they change their ways.

“VI. Nuns, in accordance with the Letter of 23 August 1928, of the Sacred Congregation of Religious, shall not admit to their colleges, schools, oratories, or amusement centers, nor allow to remain there any girls who do not observe Christian modesty in dress; and in the education of their charges they shall take special care to sow deeply in their hearts a love of chastity and Christian modesty.

“VII. Pious associations of women shall be established and fostered for the purpose of restraining by counsel, example, and activity, abuses regarding immodest dress, and of promoting purity of morals and modesty of dress.

“VIII. Women who wear immodest clothes should not be admitted to these associations; and those who have been admitted, if they afterward commit any fault in this regard and fail to amend after being warned, shall be expelled.

“IX. Girls and women who are immodestly dressed are to be refused Holy Communion and excluded from the office of sponsor in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, and in proper cases are even to be excluded from the church.

“X. On such feasts throughout the year as offer special opportunities for inculcating Christian modesty, especially on the feasts of the Blessed Virgin, pastors and priests who have charge of pious unions and Catholic associations should not fail to preach a timely sermon on the subject, in order to encourage women to cultivate Christian modesty in dress. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, special prayers shall be recited every year in all cathedral and parish churches, and when it is possible there shall also be a timely exhortation by way of a solemn sermon to the people.

“XI. The diocesan Council of Vigilance, mentioned in the declaration of the Holy Office, 22 March 1918, shall at least once every year treat especially of the ways and means of providing effectively for modesty in women’s dress.

“XII. In order that this salutary action may proceed with greater efficacy and security, Bishops and other Ordinaries of places shall every third year, together with their report on religious instruction mentioned in the Motu proprio, Orbem Catholicum of 29 June, 1923, also inform this Sacred Congregation upon the situation as regards women’s dress, and upon the measures that will have been taken in pursuance of this Instruction.”

Lest anyone think that this difficult subject of modesty is an inappropriate or improper topic for our priests to address to their faithful, we refer to the closing statement from the Sacred Congregation of the Council:

“The parish pnest, and especially the preacher, when occasion arises, should according to the words of the Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 4:2), insist, argue, exhort and command that feminine garb be based on modesty and womanly ornament, and be a defense of virtue. Let them likewise admonish parents to cause their daughters to cease wearing indecorous dress.”

In Christo Jesu et Maria Immaculata,
Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

The Synagogue Of Satan

from Introibo Ad Altare Dei

One of the most overlooked and underrated popes in the history of the Church was His Holiness Pope Leo XIII (reigned 1878-1903). He had the “misfortune” (if you can call it that), to have his papacy overshadowed by both his immediate predecessor (Pope Pius IX) and his immediate successor (Pope St. Pius X). Pope Pius IX had presided over the Vatican Ecumenical Council from 1869-1870, defined the dogma of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception in 1854, and condemned many propositions in his famous Syllabus of Errors. Pope St. Pius X was the quintessential “Foe of Modernism,” and beat back the most deadly partisans of evil and error ever unleashed by Hell.

In between these two giants was Vincenzo Cardinal Pecci, an approved theologian and canonist with a double doctorate, whose brilliance was exceeded only by his piety. He was elected pope on the third ballot of the conclave after the death of Pope Pius IX. As Pope Leo XIII, he accomplished much good. The true social teaching of the Churchwas magnificently expounded upon in Leo’s famous encyclical Rerum Novarum. With Aeterni Patris, he revived Thomism and enthusiastically ordered it promoted in all Catholic universities and seminaries. His tender devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary produced no less than eleven (11) encyclicals on the Rosary, and he approved the Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel. The ecclesiology in his encyclical Satis Cognitum is so clear, precise, and orthodox, it is (in my opinion) one of the greatest encyclicals of all time. He composed two of the prayers after Low Mass which he ordered to be instituted in 1884. Much more could be said of this illustrious pope, who was not expected to have a long reign. He was elected at the age of 68 (old for the time period), and was of slight stature, looking quite frail. Only God knows a life expectancy, and his pontificate lasted twenty-five (25) years until his death on July 20, 1903 at the age of 93. He was the last pope of the nineteenth century, as well as the first pope of the twentieth century, and his reign is the third longest behind Pope Pius IX at 32 years, and St. Peter at 34 years.

With all he did for the One True Church, Leo nevertheless did something most special, for which we all owe him a great debt of gratitude; he exposed the most wicked aims of Satan’s greatest allies–the Freemasons. To be certain, Leo was not the first pope to unambiguously condemn Freemasonry, the Church hurled anathemas against that wicked organization that plots against the Church many times before. Yet Pope Leo’s encyclical Humanum Genus, lays out the nefarious plot of Satan’s kingdom on Earth with a surgical precision one could only expect from a Vicar of Christ who was both a theologian and canonist. In this post, the truths about Masons will be set forth, as well as the most popular misconception in our day; that sacraments conferred by Masons are to be considered “dubious.”

The “Kingdom of Satan” On April 20, 1884, Pope Leo penned Humanum Genus, and compared the Masonic sect founded in 1717 to the “kingdom of Satan:”
The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, “through the envy of the devil,” separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth.The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God. (para. #1; Emphasis mine)
The pontiff goes on to tell us that the Masonic Lodge tries hard to conceal itself. Most low ranking Freemasons think they belong to a charitable organization which is a good place to play cards with the guys once a week and leave the wives at home. 
There are several organized bodies which, though differing in name, in ceremonial, in form and origin, are nevertheless so bound together by community of purpose and by the similarity of their main opinions, as to make in fact one thing with the sect of the Freemasons, which is a kind of center whence they all go forth, and whither they all return. Now, these no longer show a desire to remain concealed; for they hold their meetings in the daylight and before the public eye, and publish their own newspaper organs; and yet, when thoroughly understood, they are found still to retain the nature and the habits of secret societies. There are many things like mysteries which it is the fixed rule to hide with extreme care, not only from strangers, but from very many members, also; such as their secret and final designs, the names of the chief leaders, and certain secret and inner meetings, as well as their decisions, and the ways and means of carrying them out. This is, no doubt, the object of the manifold difference among the members as to right, office, and privilege, of the received distinction of orders and grades, and of that severe discipline which is maintained.

Candidates are generally commanded to promise – nay, with a special oath, to swear – that they will never, to any person, at any time or in any way, make known the members, the passes, or the subjects discussed. Thus, with a fraudulent external appearance, and with a style of simulation which is always the same, the Freemasons, like the Manichees of old, strive, as far as possible, to conceal themselves, and to admit no witnesses but their own members…Moreover, to be enrolled, it is necessary that the candidates promise and undertake to be thenceforward strictly obedient to their leaders and masters with the utmost submission and fidelity, and to be in readiness to do their bidding upon the slightest expression of their will; or, if disobedient, to submit to the direst penalties and death itself. As a fact, if any are judged to have betrayed the doings of the sect or to have resisted commands given, punishment is inflicted on them not infrequently, and with so much audacity and dexterity that the assassin very often escapes the detection and penalty of his crime. (para. #9; Emphasis mine)

Interestingly, while I conceal my identity to prevent any negative repercussions to my family and friends for speaking out about the Faith, John Salza, who claims to have been a 32nd degree Mason (ruling class elite), has had no major setbacks to the best of my knowledge and belief. He even goes about “exposing” Masonry and profits off the sale of his books. Am I the only one who thinks Salza may not be an “EX-Mason”?

Masonry: Founded Upon NaturalismNaturalism is the philosophy that human reason is supreme and nothing exists beyond nature; therefore there is no supernatural order. It is upon this false system that Masonry was developed. From this flows grave heresy. One consequence is the idea of separation of Church and State, the ideal in the United States, since the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution were mostly Masons and Deists (those who believe in an impersonal “god” who started the universe, but does not care about it, nor intervene in it).
 In those matters which regard religion let it be seen how the sect of the Freemasons acts, especially where it is more free to act without restraint, and then let any one judge whether in fact it does not wish to carry out the policy of the naturalists. By a long and persevering labor, they endeavor to bring about this result – namely, that the teaching office and authority of the Church may become of no account in the civil State; and for this same reason they declare to the people and contend that Church and State ought to be altogether disunited. By this means they reject from the laws and from the commonwealth the wholesome influence of the Catholic religion; and they consequently imagine that States ought to be constituted without any regard for the laws and precepts of the Church. (para. #13; Emphasis mine)
Another serious evil Naturalism engenders is Indifferentism. This is the heretical idea that one religion is as good as another (positive indifference) or the idea that one religion is just as bad as another (negative indifference). As Masons eschew the supernatural, they believe there is no true religion.
If those who are admitted as members[to the Masonic Lodge] are not commanded to abjure by any form of words the Catholic doctrines, this omission, so far from being adverse to the designs of the Freemasons, is more useful for their purposes. First, in this way they easily deceive the simple-minded and the heedless, and can induce a far greater number to become members. Again, as all who offer themselves are received whatever may be their form of religion, they thereby teach the great error of this age-that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions. (para. #16; Emphasis mine)
Masonry Seeks to Corrupt Morality and Enslave Humanity As Fyodor Dostoyevsky astutely observed, “If there is no God, everything is permitted.” By banishing the supernatural order and giving people a false confidence in fallen human nature, immorality of the worst kind surely follows, just as it did in godless Communist governments. 
Moreover, human nature was stained by original sin, and is therefore more disposed to vice than to virtue. For a virtuous life it is absolutely necessary to restrain the disorderly movements of the soul, and to make the passions obedient to reason. In this conflict human things must very often be despised, and the greatest labors and hardships must be undergone, in order that reason may always hold its sway. But the naturalists and Freemasons, having no faith in those things which we have learned by the revelation of God, deny that our first parents sinned, and consequently think that free will is not at all weakened and inclined to evil. On the contrary, exaggerating rather the power and the excellence of nature, and placing therein alone the principle and rule of justice, they cannot even imagine that there is any need at all of a constant struggle and a perfect steadfastness to overcome the violence and rule of our passions…For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring. (para. #20; Emphasis mine)
With God forsaken, and the State made secular, it will be easy to control the masses when the State takes over education and marriage.
 What refers to domestic life in the teaching of the naturalists is almost all contained in the following declarations: that marriage belongs to the genus of commercial contracts, which can rightly be revoked by the will of those who made them, and that the civil rulers of the State have power over the matrimonial bond; that in the education of youth nothing is to be taught in the matter of religion as of certain and fixed opinion; and each one must be left at liberty to follow, when he comes of age, whatever he may prefer. To these things the Freemasons fully assent; and not only assent, but have long endeavored to make them into a law and institution. For in many countries, and those nominally Catholic, it is enacted that no marriages shall be considered lawful except those contracted by the civil rite; in other places the law permits divorce; and in others every effort is used to make it lawful as soon as may be. Thus, the time is quickly coming when marriages will be turned into another kind of contract – that is into changeable and uncertain unions which fancy may join together, and which the same when changed may disunite. (para. #21; Emphasis mine)
Masonic Ties to Other Evils Masons are “fellow-travelers” with Socialists and Communists (as well as Modernists). 
Now, from the disturbing errors which We have described the greatest dangers to States are to be feared. For, the fear of God and reverence for divine laws being taken away, the authority of rulers despised, sedition permitted and approved, and the popular passions urged on to lawlessness, with no restraint save that of punishment, a change and overthrow of all things will necessarily follow. Yea, this change and overthrow is deliberately planned and put forward by many associations of communists and socialists; and to their undertakings the sect of Freemasons is not hostile, but greatly favors their designs, and holds in common with them their chief opinions. And if these men do not at once and everywhere endeavor to carry out their extreme views, it is not to be attributed to their teaching and their will, but to the virtue of that divine religion which cannot be destroyed; and also because the sounder part of men, refusing to be enslaved to secret societies, vigorously resist their insane attempts. (para #27; Emphasis mine)
Does Masonic Membership = Dubious Sacraments?Having shown the evil of Masonry, some wrongfully assert that if a clergyman is a Freemason (like Bugnini), the sacraments he attempts to confer must be considered dubious at best. This is because they allegedly “withhold their intention” when performing the sacraments. Having the intention to “do what the Church does” in administering the Sacraments is necessary for validity. Since Cardinal Lienart, the prelate who ordained Archbishop Lefebvre a priest, and later consecrated him a bishop, is rumored to have been a Mason, Archbishop Lefebvre’s orders are called into doubt–and with him all the Traditionalist clergy he ordained. Assuming, ad arguendo, Lienart was a Freemason, it does nothing to impugn the validity of Archbishop Lefebvre’s orders.

I have written on this topic in depth, and I invite all interested readers who want to know the reasons Masonic membership does nothing to cast doubt on the validity of the sacraments, to read my post: https://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2018/05/intent-on-causing-harm.html

The Vatican II Sect: Promoting the Masonic Ideals of Equality, Liberty, and Fraternity The Masonic inspired French Revolution had as its motto, “Equality, Liberty, Fraternity.” It sounds good until you realized they corrupted the meaning of the words. Equality came to mean an absolute equality wherein there is no rightful authority appointed by God over men; all people being “equal” in all aspects. Liberty now meant the “right to do wrong and believe in anything.” Fraternity devolved into unity between believers and unbelievers, as God is not acknowledged. A perfect example is the heretical Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes (hereinafter GS),the “Constitution of the Church (sic) in the Modern World.” While the True Church always acknowledged the world (along with the devil and the flesh) to be Her enemies, the Vatican II sect seeks to unite itself with it. While not all Modernists are Masons, all Masons are Modernists. They were working together for the destruction of the True Church and society.

On Equality:
GS, Ch. II, para. 29: Nevertheless, with respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent. (Emphasis mine)
The True Religion cannot be given preference over false sects. That would be “discrimination.” 
On Liberty:

GS, Ch. I, para. 21: Hence the Church protests against the distinction which some state authorities make between believers and unbelievers, with prejudice to the fundamental rights of the human person.(Emphasis mine).What “fundamental rights of the person” prevents the State from making distinctions between those who profess the Truth, and those who are partisans of error?
On Fraternity:

GS, Ch. V, para. 91: Drawn from the treasures of Church teaching, the proposals of this sacred synod look to the assistance of every man of our time, whether he believes in God, or does not explicitly recognize Him. If adopted, they will promote among men a sharper insight into their full destiny, and thereby lead them to fashion the world more to man’s surpassing dignity, to search for a brotherhood which is universal and more deeply rooted, and to meet the urgencies of our ages with a gallant and unified effort born of love. (Emphasis mine)
Atheists, agnostics, and members of the Church can “fashion the world more to man’s surpassing dignity” and achieve “universal brotherhood” in which God is irrelevant at best. Pure Masonic poison. 
ConclusionMasonry continues to be one of the deadliest foes of God and humanity. Working with the other enemies of the Church, they engineered the creation of the Vatican II sect, a counterfeit Catholicism based on Modernism. As Pope Leo advised, we must expose these enemies, and seek the supernatural aids (which Traditionalists still possess) to combat them (e.g., Mass, sacraments, true doctrine,etc.) Many Masonic ideals are identical to the ideology of the Modernists. Naturalism seeks to banish God from society and deify humans with false and exaggerated claims of “human dignity” and “human rights.” Pope Leo XIII said it best, “About the ‘rights of man,’ as they are called, the people have heard enough; it is time they should hear of the rights of God.” (See Tametsi November 1, 1900). 

Opposing False Ecumenism With His Very Life

from Christ or Chaos

Standing quite in contrast to the false ecumenism of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, which is one of its fundamental “counter-marks,” if you will, of its apostate nature, is the genuine apostolic zeal for the conversion of those steeped in the heresies and errors of Protestantism that was displayed by the great saint we commemorate today, Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, who was put to death this day by those wretched creatures called Calvinists in the year 1622.

Saint Fidelis was a member of the Capuchin branch of the Order of Friars Minor. As a true son of Saint Francis of Assisi, who sought the conversion of the Muslims (see Frank Rega’s Saint Francis of the Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims, published by TAN Books and Publishers), Saint Fidelis was zealous for the salvation of the souls of those whose immediate ancestors had defected from the Faith and unleashed a bloody reign of terror against those who adhered to the true Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entrusted exclusively to the teaching authority and the sanctifying offices of the true Church that He Himself founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope.

Here is an account of this faithful Catholic priest’s great zeal for souls as found in Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year

Our Risen Lord would have around him a bright phalanx of martyrs. Its privileged members belong to the different centuries of the Church’s existence. Its ranks open to-day to give welcome to a brave combatant, who won his palm, not in a contest with paganism, as those did whose feasts we have thus far kept, but in defending his mother, the Church, against her own rebellious children. They were heretics that slew this day’s martyr, and the century that was honoured with this triumph as the seventeenth.

Fidelis was worthy of his beautiful name. Neither difficulty nor menace could make him fail in his duty. During his whole life, he had but the glory and service of his divine Lord in view: and when the time came for him to face the fatal danger, he did so, calmly but fearlessly, as behooved a disciple of that Jesus who went forth to meet his enemies. Honour, then, be to-day to the brave son of St. Francis ! truly he is worthy of his seraphic Patriarch, who confronted the Saracens, was a martyr in desire !

Protestantism was established and rooted by the shedding of torrents of blood; and yet Protestants count it as a great crime that, here and there, the children of the true Church made an armed resistance against them. The heresy of the sixteenth century was the cruel and untiring persecutor of men, whose only crime was their adhesion to the old faith–the faith that had civilized the world. The so-called Reformation proclaimed liberty in matters of religion, and massacred Catholics who exercised this liberty, and prayed and believed as their ancestors had done for long ages before Luther and Calvin were born. A Catholic who gives heretics credit for sincerity when they talk about religious toleration proves the he knows nothing about the past or the present. There is a fatal instinct in error, which leads it to hate the Truth; and the true Church, by its unchangeableness, is a perpetual reproach to them that refuse to be her children. Heresy starts with an attempt to annihilate them that remain faithful; when it has grown tired of open persecution it vents its spleen in insults and calumnies; and when these do not produce the desired effect, hypocrisy comes in with its assurances of friendly forbearance. The history of Protestant Europe, during the last three centuries, confirms these statements; it also justifies us in honouring those courageous servants of God who, during that same period, have died for the ancient faith. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year.)

Readers should take special note of this last quoted paragraph in order to be reminded of the fact that Protestantism was a bloody revolution against the truth that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ revealed and entrusted His Sacred Deposit of Faith exclusively to the Catholic Church. The Protestant Revolution was relentlesss in its bloody assault against those who refused to compromise, which is why it is an offense against Truth Himself, Our Crucified and Risen Redeemer, to make it appear that Protestantism is a legitimate expression of Christianity. It is no such thing. It is of the devil. There is no middle ground between truth and error, between Our Lord’s teaching and its corruption by heretics and schismatics.

The readings for Matins appointed for the Feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, the protomartyr of the Capuchin Franciscans, teaches us that he was very devoted to Our Lady and her Most Holy Rosary:

Faithful [Fidelis] was born of the respectable family of Rey in the town of Sigmaringen in Swabia, in the year of our Lord 1577. From his childhood he was adorned with many bright gifts of nature and grace. Intellectually distinguished, and assisted by all the advantages of education, he took at Fribourg the degrees of Philosophy and of Civil and Canon Law, and it was while engaged in these studies, that he began to strive after the height of perfection in the school of Christ, to which end he earnestly trained himself in all the exercises of godliness. He ceased not to exhort to Christian godliness, both by his words and works, the noblemen who made him their companion, and who were drawn from the chief families of divers parts of Europe. While on his travels, he was careful to mortify the lusts of the flesh by frequent austerities, and so to get the command of himself, that he was never seen under any circumstances to be moved to anger. He was a zealous champion of law and justice, and when he returned into Germany, he won a most distinguished name in his profession as an advocate. After a while, however, in view of the dangers which beset him at the Bar, he determined to enter on a path safer as regarded his eternal salvation, and, in obedience to an inward call from above, he sought admission into the Seraphic Order, among the Capuchin Friars Minor, in the year 1612.

After he had obtained his holy wish, he showed himself even in his noviceship a singular despiser of the world and of himself, and still more so when with great spiritual joy he had made his solemn profession to the Lord. By his observance of the Rule, he became the wonder and the example of all. He gave himself chiefly to prayer and sacred learning, but he excelled, by a remarkable grace, in the ministry of the Word, and thereby not only stirred up the Catholics to bring forth more fruit, but also drew misbelievers to the knowledge of the truth. He was set at the head of communities of Friars in divers places, and discharged the duty so laid upon him with great praise for prudence, justice, meekness, wisdom, and lowliness. He was animated by a vehement love of the strictest poverty, and cleansed the convent of whatever was not altogether needful. While he pursued himself with an healthy hatred, and most stern fastings, watchings, and scourgings, he showed to all others a love like the love of a mother for her sons. When a contagious fever made horrid ravages among the Austrian soldiers, he gave himself up with his whole soul to unwearied offices of tenderness toward the helpless sick. In allaying quarrels and relieving the temporal distress of his neighbour, he bore himself with such wisdom and zeal as to earn the name of Father of his country.

Tenderly and warmly loved the maiden Mother of God and her Rosary, and he besought God under the patronage of many of His holy servants, but especially under that of the same blessed Mother, to vouchsafe to let him offer his life and his blood together for the sake of the Catholic faith. This burning desire came upon him more and more, day by day, as he celebrated with great ardour of spirit the Holy Liturgy and by the unexpected Providence of God it came to pass that this brave He was a travelling tutor. soldier of Christ was chosen President of the Missions which the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith had at that time just founded for the Grisons. He accepted this hard task with a willing and joyful heart, and discharged it with such zeal, that many heretics were turned to the orthodox faith, and great hope was engendered that the whole of that people would return to the peace of Christ and His Church. Faithful, who was gifted with the spirit of Prophecy, often foretold the great woes which afterwards came upon the Grisons, and that he himself would be murdered by the heretics. At last, on a certain 23rd of April, some of the heretics, who pretended to be converted, entreated him to come and preach the following day at the Church of a place which is called Sevis. He complied with the treacherous invitation, but, as he knew that plots were being laid against him, he had made himself ready beforehand for the last conflict. On the 24th day of April, in the year 1622, he went to Sevis, and began to preach, but his discourse was interrupted by a riot, and on his way back, he was [met by a party of Calvinists, and) brutally murdered. By this glorious death, which he suffered with a willing and cheerful heart, he offered to God in his own blood the first-fruits of martyrdom from the above – mentioned Congregation. God hath since glorified him by many signs and wonders, especially at Coire and Feldkirchen, where his reliques are kept with much popular veneration. (Matins, The Divine Office, April 24, Feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen.)

The 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia contains a stirring account of Saint Fidelis’s apostolic work for the conversion of the Calvinists and of his martyrdom:  

From the beginning of his apostolic career he was untiring in his efforts to convert heretics nor did he confine his efforts in this direction to thepulpit, but also used his pen. He wrote many pamphlets against Calvinism and Zwinglianism though he would never put his name to his writings. Unfortunately these publications have long been lost. Fidelis was still guardian of the community at Feldkirch when in 1621 he was appointed to undertake a mission in the country of the Grisons with the purpose of bringing back that district to the CatholicFaith. The people there had almost all gone over to Calvinism, owing partly to the ignorance of the priests and their lack of zeal. In 1614 the Bishop of Coire had requested theCapuchins to undertake missions amongst the heretics in his diocese, but it was not until 1621 that the general of the order was able to send friarsthere. In that year Father Ignatius of sergamo was commissioned with several other friars to place himself at the disposal of this bishop for missionary work, and a similar commission was given to Fidelis who however still remained guardian of Feldkirche. Before setting out on this mission Fidelis was appointed by authority of the papal nuncio to reform the Benedictinemonastery at Pfafers. He entered upon his new labours in the trueapostolic spirit. Since he first entered the order he had constantly prayed, as he confided to a fellow-friar, for two favours: one, that he might never fall into mortal sin; the other, that he might die for the Faith. In this Spirit he now set out, ready to give his life in preaching the Faith. He took with him his crucifix, Bible, Breviary, and the book of the rule of his order; for the rest, he went in absolute poverty, trusting to Divine Providence for his daily sustenance. He arrived in Mayenfeld in time for Advent and began at once preaching and catechizing; often preaching in several places the same day. His coming aroused strong opposition and he was frequently threatened and insulted. He not only preached in theCatholic churches and in the public streets, but occasionally in the conventicles of the heretics. At Zizers one of the principal centres of his activity, he held conferences with the magistrates and chief townsmen, often far into the night. They resulted in the conversion of Rudolph de Salis, the most influential man in the town, whose public recantation was followed by many conversions.  

Throughout the winter Fidelis laboured indefatigably and with such success that the heretic preachers were seriously alarmed and set themselves to inflame the people against him by representing that his mission was political rather than religious and that he was preparing the way for the subjugation of the country by the Austrians. During the Lent of 1622 he preached with especial fervour. At Easter he returned to Feldkirch to attend a chapter of the order and settle some affairs of his community. By this time the Congregation of the Propaganda had been established inRome, and Fidelis was formally constituted by the Congregation, superior of the mission in the Grisons. He had, however, a presentiment that his laborers would shortly be brought to a close by a martyr’s death. Preaching a farewell sermon at Feldkirch he said as much. On re-entering the country of the Grisons he was met everywhere with the cry: “Death to the Capuchins!” On 24 April, being then at Grusch, he made his confession and afterwards celebrated Mass and preached. Then he set out for Sevis. On the way his companions noticed that he was particularly cheerful. At Sevis he entered the church and began to preach, but was interrupted by a sudden tumult both within and without the church. Several Austriansoldiers who were guarding the doors of the church were killed and Fidelis himself was struck. A Calvinist present offered to lead him to a place of security. Fidelis thanked the man but said his life was in the hands of God. 0utside the church he was surrounded by a crowd led by the preachers who offered to save his life if he would apostatize. Fidelis replied: “I came to extirpate heresy, not to embrace it”, whereupon he was struck down. He was the first martyr of the Congregation of Propaganda. His body was afterwards taken to Feldkirch and buried in the church of his order, except his head and left arm, which were placed in the cathedral at Coire. He was beatified in 1729, and canonized in 1745. St. Fidelis is usually represented in art with a crucifix and with a wound in the head; his emblem is a bludgeon. His feast is kept on 24 April. (CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: StFidelis of Sigmaringen.)

I came to extirpate heresy, not to embrace it.”

Ah, what a contrast between Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen and the faithless ones of the counterfeit church of conciliarism who embrace heresy and the false religions of idolaters and who do not seek to extirpate these things. “God bless the Methodists, “God bless the Baptists, “…on the sacred Mount Hiei.” These are the sorts of words such as those  issued from the mouth of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and that ever being mouthed by his successor, the Argentine Apostate, not the fidelity of the faithful Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, who opposed false ecumenism with his very life.

Ratzinger’s successor, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is constantly speaking against seeking converts to what he thinks is the Catholic Church as he reaffirms Protestants and the Orthodox and Talmudists and Mohammedans in their false religions, going so far as to reassure atheists that all who “do good” will “meet” us in some undefined “there.” (See Francis Do-Right.)

Bergoglio has been very bold in his embrace of heresy as he has attacked those who remain faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church without making any concessions to the falsehood of conciliarism. Very bold. Exceedingly bold. His fury and his mocking scorn of believing Catholics is nothing other than diabolically inspired and driven (for a terrific post about the work of Antichrist in these times, please see Novus Ordo Watch Wire Blog.)

Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for coming here today. Thank you for all that you bear in your heart. Jesus loves you very much. Saint Cajetan loves you very much. He only asks one thing of you: that you come together! That you go out and seek and find one in greater need! But not alone – with Jesus, with Saint Cajetan! Am I going to go out to convince someone to become a Catholic? No, no, no! You are going to meet with him, he is your brother! That’s enough! And you are going to help him, the rest Jesus does, the Holy Spirit does it. Remember well: with Saint Cajetan, we the needy go to meet with those who are in greater need. And, hopefully, Jesus will direct your way so that you will meet with one in greater need. (Francis the Insane Dreamer, Rebel and Miscreant’s Message for the Feast of Saint Cajetan.)

When one walks in God’s presence, there is this fraternity. When, instead, we are still, when we look too much to one another, there is another way … which is bad, bad!  — the way of gossip. And we begin to say, “but you, don’t you know?” “No, no, I’m not for you. I’m for this and that …” “I am for Paul,” “I am for Appollos,” “I am for Peter.” And so we begin, and so from the first moment division began in the Church. And it isn’t the Holy Spirit who creates division! He does something that is quite similar to it, but not division. It’s not the Lord Jesus who creates division! He who creates division is in fact the Envious One, the king of envy, the father of envy: the sower of darnel, Satan. He interferes in communities and creates divisions, always! From the first moment, from the first moment of Christianity, this temptation was in the Christian community. “I belong to this one,” I belong to that one.” “No! I am the Church, you are a sect.” And so the one who wins over us is him, the father of division – not the Lord Jesus who prayed for unity (John 17), he prayed! (Address to Pentecostal Community in Caserta.)

What does the Holy Spirit do? I said he does something else, which perhaps one might think is division, but it isn’t. The Holy Spirit creates “diversity” in the Church. The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12. He creates diversity! And this diversity is truly very rich, very beautiful. But then, the Holy Spirit himself creates unity, and so the Church is one in diversity. And, to use the word of an Evangelical whom I love very much, a “reconciled diversity” by the Holy Spirit. He creates both things: He creates the diversity of charisms and then He creates the harmony of charisms. Therefore, the early theologians of the Church, the early Fathers – I am speaking of the 3rdor 4thcentury – said: “The Holy Spirit is harmony,” because He creates this harmonious unity in diversity.

We are in the age of globalization, and we wonder what globalization is and what the unity of the Church would be: perhaps a sphere, where all points are equidistant from the center, all are equal? No! This is uniformity. And the Holy Spirit does not create uniformity! What figure can we find? We think of the polyhedron: the polyhedron is a unity, but with all different parts; each one has its peculiarity, its charism. This is unity in diversity. It is on this path that we, Christians, do what we call with the theological name of ecumenism. We try to have this diversity become more harmonized by the Holy Spirit and become unity. We seek to walk in the presence of God to be irreproachable. We seek to find the nourishment of which we are in need to find our brother. This is our way, this is our Christian beauty! I refer to what my beloved brother said at the beginning.  (Address to Pentecostal Community in Caserta.)

Here are just a few antidotes to such apostasy, the likes of which Saint Fidelis of Sigmarigen shed his blood to avoid even the appearance of giving:

It is for this reason that so many who do not share “the communion and the truth of the Catholic Church” must make use of the occasion of the Council, by the means of the Catholic Church, which received in Her bosom their ancestors, proposes [further] demonstration of profound unity and of firm vital force; hear the requirements [demands] of her heart, they must engage themselves to leave this state that does not guarantee for them the security of salvation. She does not hesitate to raise to the Lord of mercy most fervent prayers to tear down of the walls of division, to dissipate the haze of errors, and lead them back within holy Mother Church, where their Ancestors found salutary pastures of life; where, in an exclusive way, is conserved and transmitted whole the doctrine of Jesus Christ and wherein is dispensed the mysteries of heavenly grace. (Pope Pius IX, Iam Vos Omnes, September 13, 1868.)

Let, therefore, the separated children draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul, the Princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their blood; to that See, We repeat, which is “the root and womb whence the Church of God springs,” not with the intention and the hope that “the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government. Would that it were Our happy lot to do that which so many of Our predecessors could not, to embrace with fatherly affection those children, whose unhappy separation from Us We now bewail. Would that God our Savior, “Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” would hear us when We humbly beg that He would deign to recall all who stray to the unity of the Church! In this most important undertaking We ask and wish that others should ask the prayers of Blessed Mary the Virgin, Mother of divine grace, victorious over all heresies and Help of Christians, that She may implore for Us the speedy coming of the much hoped-for day, when all men shall hear the voice of Her divine Son, and shall be “careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6 1928.)

Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. “For in one spirit” says the Apostle, “were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free.” As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered – so the Lord commands – as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit. (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943.)

To characterize the relation between Catholics and Protestants as ‘unity-in-diversity’ is misleading, inasmuch as it implies that essentially Catholics are one with heretics, and that their diversities are only accidental. Actually, the very opposite is the true situation. For, however near an heretical sect may seem to be to the Catholic Church in its particular beliefs, a wide gulf separates them, insofar as the divinely established means whereby the message of God is to be communicated to souls–the infallible Magisterium of the Church–is rejected by every heretical sect. By telling Protestants that they are one with us in certain beliefs, in such wise as to give the impression that we regard this unity as the predominant feature of our relation with them, we are actually misleading them regarding the true attitude of the Catholic Church toward those who do not acknowledge Her teaching authority. (Father Francis Connell, Father Connell Answers Moral Questions, published in 1959 by Catholic University of America Press, p. 11; quoted in Fathers Dominic and Francisco Radecki, CMRI, TUMULTUOUS TIMES, p. 348.)

Yes, far from representing an approach of Catholic “apologetics” that can be dismissed as determined by the historical circumstances in which the Counter-Reformation missionaries to the Protestants sought to convert heretics and schismatics to the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation, the efforts of the likes of Saints Francis de Sales and Peter Canisius and Robert Bellarmine and others, such as Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, the Martyrs of Gorkum and Saint Josephat, in the Sixteenth Century and thereafter were founded in the immutable doctrine of the Catholic Church, from which no Catholic may dissent and remain a member in good standing of the Catholic Church.  

Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen did not believe in “inter-religious” dialogue. He sought with urgency the unconditional conversion of the Calvinists to the true Faith, the Catholic Faith. He did not mince words. He was entirely devoted to Our Lady. Saint Fidelis did what Catholics had done for nearly sixteen centuries before him: seek out the lost sheep while being willing to lay down his own life in behalf of their salvation in imitation of the Good Shepherd Himself, Who gave this injunction to the Eleven before He Ascended to the Father’s right hand in glory on Pentecost Sunday:  

Going, therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Saint Fidelis’s martyrdom came some eighteen and one-half months before that of Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc on November 12, 1683, at the hands of the Orthodox whose conversion he had been seeking with great urgency. Saint Fidelis’s zeal for the conversion of the Protestants came within a very short time after the apostolic work of Saint Peter Canisius, S.J., and more or less contemporaneously with that of Saint Francis de Sales, who was his senior by seven years and who died just one year before his own martyrdom. Both Saint Peter Canisius and Saint Francis de Sales sought to convert the Calvinists. Their work bore much fruit. Over 60,000 Calvinists returned to the true Faith at the preaching of Saint Francis de Sales.

The Catholic Church has never abandoned the conversion of souls for the diabolical lunacy of the “new evangelization’s” “let’s listen and learn from each other without compromising the truth or giving any impression of religious indifferentism as we all remain faithful to our respective traditions and structures” program of “inter-religious dialogue” and to exercise the “spiritual ecumenism” (inter-religious prayer) pioneered by a disciple of the late Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., Abbe Paul Couturier, whose pioneering efforts in syncretism were praised by Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II (in footnote fifty of Ut Unum Sint, May 25, 1995) and by recently retired “Petrine Minister,” Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, in his address to Protestant and Orthodox representatives in Cologne, Germany, on Friday, August 19, 2005. As Dom Prosper Gueranger noted in his commentary on the life of Saint Fidelis:

There is a fatal instinct in error, which leads it to hate the Truth; and the true Church, by its unchangeableness, is a perpetual reproach to them that refuse to be her children.

The Catholic Church is unchangeable! She cannot be the source of the very changeableness that has been exhibited ceaselessly by the scions of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Her official documents and statements cannot contradict anything that she has taught from time immemorial. Her children are taught to imitate the lives of her saints who were zealous for the conversion of the souls of non-Catholics. A non-martyr, Saint John Bosco, had this zeal when he was but a teenaged boy:

There were in John’s class, at the school in Chieri, several Jews who were in difficulties about their Saturday’s work. For them it was the Sabbath, when all work was forbidden. But the older boys used to laugh at them as if it were an extra vacation day. John, who saw that it was a question of conscience, used to send them a list of the work given out, with the explanations. In consequence, they vowed him an eternal friendship, and one of them, who used to frequent the restaurant where John worked, became very intimate with him. One day this young fellow, whose name was Jonas, got mixed up in a school scrape and, anxious about the consequences, came to consult his friend.

“If you were a Christian,” said John, “I should take you straight off to Confession, but that can’t be done.”

“Why not? We can go to Confession if we like.”

“Perhaps, but you have no Sacrament of Penance, no power to forgive sins, no guarantee of secrecy.”

“I will go to a Catholic priest if you like.”

“You can’t unless you are baptized and believe in Jesus Christ.”

“What would they say at home?”

“If God calls you to this, He will protect you.”

“What would you do if you were in my place?” asked the young Jew.

“I would begin to study the catechism,” said John.

The advice was taken; John prayed. Light and conviction came to Jonas, but the catechism was discovered. Irate parents took it to the Rabbi and accused John of betraying the friendship and ruining the soul of their son. Both friends had a good deal to suffer; there were even threats of violence. Jonas had to leave home, but he stood firm in his determination to become a Catholic. In the end, friends came to his assistance, the young Jew was baptized and the tumult died down. Several others followed him into the Church. (F. A. Forbes, Saint John Bosco, reprinted by TAN Books and Publishers, Rockford, Illinois, pp. 25-27.)

Catholics seek the conversion of non-Catholics, being willing to give up their lives to do so. This is not the spirit of the faithless ones who populate the levers of power in the counterfeit church of conciliarism.

On this feast, therefore, may we pray our Rosary in thanksgiving for having been given such great witnesses of the Faith as Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, who was devoted to preaching of the truths of Holy Catholic Church in all of their holy purity and integrity as he gave up his very life with do what the “Petrine Ministers” of conciliarism, including the current universal public face of apostasy, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, each have believed is unnecessary: the urgent conversion of non-Catholics to the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

Isn’t it time to pray a Rosary now?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Vivat Christus RexViva Cristo Rey!

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, O.F.M. Cap., pray for us.

Father Joseph Collins, R.I.P.

from Novus Ordo Watch

Father Joseph Collins, R.I.P.

(October 6, 1952 – April 27, 2019)

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the death of Fr. Joseph Francis Collins. Fr. Collins died today, April 27, at 11:54 am in Albany, New York, after a battle with cancer. For many years, he was the pastor at St. Michael Chapel & Shrine in Glenmont, New York.

Originally ordained by Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, Fr. Collins had been among the sedevacantist “Nine” who were expelled from the Society of St. Pius X in April of 1983, after they had sent a letter to Abp. Lefebvre and the SSPX General Council concerning serious problems with regard to the SSPX’s theology and internal policies. The other eight priests who also signed the letter were Fathers Clarence Kelly, Donald Sanborn, Daniel Dolan, Anthony Cekada, William Jenkins, Eugene Berry, Martin Skierka, and Thomas Zapp. (The whole story of “The Nine” is told by three of the clerics involved in this free Restoration Radio broadcast.)

We thank Fr. Collins for his many years of working for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, and we pray that he will enjoy a happy eternity with God.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Here are some more photos of Fr. Collins, including some from shortly before his death:

Does the Pope Honorius Affair Refute Sedevacantism?

from Quidlibet

THE MULTITUDE of theological errors and evil laws that have emanated from the Vatican II popes over the past fifty years — and that is exponentially increasing during the madcap reign of Bergoglio — has prompted many traditionally-minded Catholics to seek out ways to reconcile the notion of papal authority with the obvious destruction wrought by those in our day who claimed to wield it.

Sedevacantists like myself settled on the following explanation a long time ago: the very errors and evils officially sanctioned by the Vatican II popes demonstrate that they never truly obtained papal office (or authority) in the first place, and were therefore false popes. (For an explanation, see Sedevacantism: A Quick Primer)

Others — be they Novus Ordo conservatives, neo-traditionalists within the Vatican II establishment, or traditionalists of the Recognize-and-Resist (R&R) variety — shied away from this conclusion. They sought to reconcile “recognizing” the V2 popes as true Successors of Peter with simultaneously “resisting” them — minimizing any obligation to adhere to the teachings of the V2 popes, to observe their laws, or in practice, to submit to their authority.

To achieve this end and to negate the logical appeal of sedevacantism, the conservative/neo-trad/R&R camp sought to demonstrate two things:

  1. Since ordinary papal teaching lacked the “infallible stamp” that the rare ex cathedra papal pronouncement possessed, Catholics had no obligation whatsoever to submit or adhere to it. Ergo, you’re free to ignore Bergoglio’s (or for that matter, Paul VI’s) teachings and laws. 
  2. Some popes in the past (Nicholas I, Vigilius, Honorius, Liberius, Celestine III, John XXII, Alexander VI) were heretics, but nevertheless were always recognized as true popes. Ergo, a pope can teach heresy and still remain pope — take that, wicked sedes!

This is old stuff that the “right” subjected to constant recycling, even before Bergoglio’s Laudato Sì, and it always manages to float back, like gas from the landfill. I refuted point (1) in section 1 of 9/11 for the Magisterium, as well as in the introduction to my recent article, The Errors of Athanasius Schneider. I have refuted point (2) in a variety of articles listed in section 3 of my sedevacantist primer — and in so doing, please note, I have always pointed out that it was the Protestants, the Gallicans, and other haters of papal authority who raised these charges of “papal heresy” and were roundly trounced by an array of Catholic dogmatic theologians.

For the conservative-neo-trad-R&R camp, however, the historical case that seems both to provide a refutation of sedevacantism and to demonstrate the validity of points (1) and (2) is the case of Pope Honorius. From this, we are supposed to draw by analogy a principle for a course of action vis-à-vis Bergoglio and all the Vatican II popes that will allow one to recognize them as popes, but never, ever submit to them.

I dealt with the case in my lengthy article on Bp. Schneider, but since Honorius always seems to pop up in discussions of papal authority, I’ve been asked to sum up my arguments as a separate article. 

Emperor Heraclius

1. General Background. Pope Honorius I (625–638) reigned during the great controversy over the Monothelite heresy (=Christ had only one will, the divine). Around 634, he was approached by Sergius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who was attempting to resolve the dispute and pacify all sides in order to please the emperor Heraclius. Honorius responded to Sergius with several letters dealing with the controversy. Their contents became public only after the death of Honorius, and led to his being accused, variously, of either being a heretic himself, or at least, of being soft on heresy.

In 681 the Third Council of Constantinople posthumously condemned and anathematized Honorius, together with several Monothelites, which condemnation was subsequently renewed by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 and the Fourth Council of Constantinople in 870. The condemnation subsequently made its way into the texts of some ecclesiastical oaths, and the Roman Breviary prior to 1570 portrayed Honorius as having been condemned for heresy.

Nevertheless, despite these condemnations, the Church continued to recognize Honorius as having been a true pope and true successor (albeit perhaps weak) of St. Peter.

Thus the facts in the story of Honorius that everyone agrees upon.

P2. Disputed Facts and Interpretations. But there are countless other facts and complications in this story that church historians and theologians do not agree upon, have interpreted in different ways and, generally, have been fighting over for centuries.

These disputed issues include: whether the texts themselves of Honorius’s letters really prove he was a heretic, or merely that he was “soft” in combatting heresy; how the term “heresy” is to be understood in the various conciliar condemnations, since at the time it did not always have the precise technical meaning it has today; whether the subsequent papal approval of the conciliar acts of Third Constantinople (necessary for their legal effect), approved the condemnation of Honorius for heresy properly speaking, or only cowardice; or whether some of the documents were or contained forgeries, a common problem during the era.

Countless other uncertainties like these muddy the waters, making it difficult not only to arrive at a clear and objective historical account of the Honorius affair, but also to tease out of these complicated events correct theological consequences.

Protestants, Gallicans, rationalists and others, especially in the 19th century, had no hesitations about their conclusions, of course, and they routinely trotted out the Honorius affair as one of their main arguments against papal authority in general, and papal infallibility in particular.

Over the centuries, however, the great Catholic dogmatic theologians, including St. Robert Bellarmine, while often disagreeing among themselves over facts and the documentation in the case, refuted at great length the repeated attempts to use Honorius as a cudgel to smash traditional Catholic teaching on the authority of the pope. Their arguments were so successful that by the twentieth century, the standard dogmatic theology manuals usually treated the case of Honorius summarily, in a sentence or two, among the minor objections to the pope’s authority.

(For an overview see The Case of Honorius I, together with a link to a nineteenth century work by Fr. [later Cardinal] Louis-Nazaire Bégin.)R

3. Honorius and the Traditionalists. After Vatican II, nevertheless, traditionalist writers of the “recognize and resist” variety, such as Michael Davies and Christopher Ferrara — perhaps unaware that they were keeping some utterly disreputable theological company — tried to resurrect Honorius as a killer analogical argument against both sedevacantism (which is based on the theological teaching that a public heretic can neither obtain nor retain papal office or authority) and against the obligation to assent to ordinary papal teachingThe conclusion they wanted to be drawn was that since Honorius was a heretic and the Church still recognized him as a true pope, so too, a pope who is a heretic does not lose his office and may safely be ignored.

Nearly fifteen years ago, it took me only a few sentences to shoot down this shaky analogy in my article Mr. Ferrara’s Cardboard Pope (see #11).

K

4. Honorius in the Age of Bergoglio. Honorius, though, started surfacing again in conservative and neo-trad attempts to explain Bergoglio, such as Dr. Roberto di Mattei’s 2015 article Honorius I: The Controversial Case of a Heretic Pope. In these articles, wherever Catholic historians and dogmatic theologians in the past disagreed over facts, documentation, or the analyses thereof, these conservative and neo-trad polemicists always picked whichever position which seemed the most damaging to Honorius — and therefore the most favorable to their own anti-sedevacantist, ignore-the-pope position.

This is the same procedure that Bp. Schneider recently followed with Honorius, in order to push readers to the following conclusion:

“Pope Honorius I was fallible, he was wrong, he was a heretic… [The three successive ecumenical councils, despite the fact that they] excommunicated Pope Honorius I because of heresy, … did not even implicitly declare that Honorius I had lost the papacy ipso facto because of heresy. In fact, the pontificate of Pope Honorius I was considered valid even after he had supported heresy in his letters to Patriarch Sergius in 634, since he reigned after that another four years until 638.” 

I am sure that Bp. Schneider thought that this argument was really powerful and original (as, no doubt, did many of his conservative and neo-trad readers). But had he done even a bit more research, he would have discovered that the argument had already been made and summarily shot down a long time ago.

5. A Faulty Analogy. For like countless trad controversialists of the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’00s, His Excellency wanted us to derive by analogy from this complex series of events two general theological principles:

  • The Honorius case demonstrates that Catholics have no obligation to assent to ordinary papal magisterium.
  • The Honorius case defeats the general principle laid down by St. Robert Bellarmine’s (and relied upon by sedevacantists) that a heretical pope automatically loses his office.

Both of these analogical arguments and the principles derived therefrom are false, simply because the common properties needed for any analogy to “work” are completely absent from these analogies.

A. Catholic historians and dogmatic theologians hotly disputed factual issues in the Honorius case (whether the letters showed he was guilty of heresy or merely soft on it, the sense of the term “heresy,” the meaning of the conciliar condemnations, etc.); this renders the factual foundation of the analogies unreliable to begin with.

Why? Because one can have no certitude whatsoever about essential common properties between the two things we are comparing: the Honorius case and Bellarmine’s loss-of-papal-office teaching.

As regards questions of fact alone, therefore, the basis for the analogy simply disappears.A

B. The disputed letters were NOT PUBLIC; and it is only PUBLIC heresy that prevents a heretic from obtaining or retaining papal office or authority.

The theologian Hurter and others say it is certain that: “the letters of Honorius were unknown [ignotae] until the death of the Pontiff and that of [the Patriarch] Sergius.” (Medulla Theologiae Dogmaticae, 360.)

This one fact alone destroys the Honorius case as an argument both against the theologians after Bellarmine and against sedevacantism, even if one were to concede that the contents of Honorius’s letters were heretical. For it is only public heresy that takes someone out of the body of Church, and in the case of the papacy, it is public heresy that prevents the heretic from obtaining or retaining papal office. Private heresy in a pope, on the other hand, has no such effect.

The existence of public heresy in a pope is the very foundation for the principle Bellarmine lays down, and it is the existence of public heresy in the Vatican II popes to which sedevacantists apply Bellarmine’s principle and draw their conclusion.

So the analogy that conservatives, neo-trads and the adepts of R&R wish to draw with Honorius is simply not apposite — or in plain English, is just plain dumb — based as it is on a phony apples-to-oranges comparison.

C. The disputed letters were not public; they may not therefore be adduced as an analogical argument against the obligation of Catholics to give “the assent of the intellect” to what the pope teaches through his authentic ordinary magisterium.

Papal letters that remain hidden and unknown throughout the course of a pontificate and only surface after a pope dies are not magisterium at all. The “teacher” (magister) was dead for fifty years — in this case, until 680 — and there was no one in the classroom.  

And in the present discussion, it is the public teachings (either by word or by deed) of the Vatican II popes that faithful Catholics object to as contrary to Catholic faith and morals — the errors and evils these men have openly and manifestly attempted to impose upon the universal Church in every part of the world. This they have done on thousands of occasions through their countless encyclicals, decrees, instructions, decrees, speeches, discourses and public acts.

So, as with the loss-of-papal-office argument, the Honorius analogy lacks yet another common property for the principle it attempts to prove.

D. The principle upon which Bellarmine and sedevacantists base their theological position is derived from the data of revelation — faith is necessary for membership in the Church — and on the face of it therefore offers a degree of theological certitude that cannot be obtained from a mere (and in this case, factually questionable) analogy.

The argument from analogy (comparing the common properties between two things) can never provide certitude, only probability. Only significant resemblances have value in an argument of this type (Bittle, Science of Correct Thinking [1950], 348), and there are none here.

For in the case of Honorius, we have clearly demonstrated that the fundamental facts of the analogy are disputed, and that the required common properties do not exist. Moreover, even assuming that the fact were true, they could still not provide an even remotely credible analogical argument against Bellarmine, sedevacantism and the teaching authority of authentic papal magisterium.

*    *    *    *    *

THUS the answer to our question: No, the Honorius affair does not refute either (1) the general obligation Catholics have to adhere to authentic papal magisterium, or (2) the principle behind sedevacantism that a public heretic cannot obtain or retain papal authority.

Thus conservatives, neo-trads and R&R followers are left with the same dilemma they have faced for fifty years: How to reconcile, on one hand, the obvious errors and evils officially taught and sanctioned by the V2 popes, and on the other, the indefectibility and infallibility of Christ’s Church, which by Our Divine Lord’s promise can give neither error nor evil. One side of the dilemma must give way, my friends — it’s either men with no authority who have defected from the faith or it’s a defected Church where Christ’s promise has become void. But for those with faith, this should be no dilemma at all.

This was written by Rev. Anthony Cekada. Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at 3:34 pm.

Bergoglio utters misnomer: “I like the Lutherans who follow the True Faith of Jesus Christ”

from Novus Ordo Watch

Jorge Bergoglio says the darndest things, most of them incompatible with Catholicism.

After the Jesuit pretend-pope gave an address to a mixed audience consisting mostly of young Novus Ordos and Lutherans on Oct. 13, 2016 in the Vatican, he engaged in a question-and-answer session with the youngsters. It was on that occasion that he pronounced one of his many condemnations of “proselytism”, telling a girl who had asked whether she should try to convert her non-religious friends: “It is not licit to convince them of your faith; proselytism is the strongest poison against the ecumenical path” (source). We covered this in a blog post at the time:

However, there was another thing Francis said during his audience with these hapless youths, something that escaped not only us but, it seems, just about everyone else too. Asked about what he likes and dislikes about the Lutheran church, he answered: “I really like the good Lutherans, the Lutherans who follow the true faith of Jesus Christ. However, I do not like lukewarm Catholics and I do not like lukewarm Lutherans” (“Pope jokes in ecumenical meeting: Who is better – Catholics or Lutherans?”Rome Reports, Oct. 13, 2016; underlining added.)

A video report by Rome Reports has captured the moment he said this and provided English subtitles. The fun begins at the 1:09 min mark:

The heresy implied in these words is so blatant that it defies belief that Francis actually said this so openly.

As far as a refutation of this outrageous Bergoglian remark goes, it shouldn’t be necessary to point out the obvious, but we might as well: There can be, and is, only true religion, one true Faith. God has revealed only one truth, one set of revealed teachings, contained in the Deposit of Faith given by Jesus Christ to the Apostles (see Jn 1:17; Jn 16:12-13; Heb 1:1-3), passed on through Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (see 2 Th 2:14; 2 Tim 3:15-16). He established the Church to be the infallible and indestructible guardian of that truth, “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15), “that henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14). Any deviation from this true Gospel is necessarily a false gospel, one that leads to eternal damnation (see Gal 1:8-9; 2 Jn 1:9). Lutheranism is a set of heresies invented and/or propagated by Martin Luther in the 16th century. It is a perversion of the Gospel.

It is therefore clear that it is absolutely impossible for someone to adhere to Lutheranism and to “the true Faith of Jesus Christ” at the same time. The one excludes the other. That is not to say that there aren’t many Lutherans who are sincere in their errors, but sincerity in error is still sincerity in error — it does not change the fact that the doctrines of Lutheranism are not the teachings of Jesus Christ but “doctrines of devils” (1 Tim 4:1; cf. Heb 13:9). That many Lutherans mean to adhere to the true Faith of Jesus Christ can readily be assumed but is irrelevant with regard to the fact that they do not in fact adhere to it.

What Francis did in this ecumenical audience on Oct. 13, 2016, is confirm Lutherans in their errors (something he habitually does also with Jews and Muslims). He told them, essentially, that their heresies are the true Faith of Jesus Christ. That is a complete denial of the Catholic Faith. By contrast, Pope Leo XIII didn’t exactly share Francis’ belief that Lutheranism is just as much “the true Faith of Jesus Christ” as Catholicism is, as is evident from this Apostolic Letter to Cardinal Pietro Respighi.

Francis has long had a love affair with Lutheranism:

Thus, it is clear that what the Frankster said in that ecumenical audience regarding there being “good Lutherans” who “follow the true Faith of Jesus Christ” is not at all out of character for him.

Here is a small sampler of what real Catholic Popes have said about the only true Faith, the only true religion.

Addressing dissidents, Pope Leo XII exhorted “all of you who are still removed from the true Church and the road to salvation”, hoping they would “sincerely agree with the mother Church, outside of whose teachings there is no salvation” (Encyclical Quod Hoc Ineunte, n. 9).

Pope Pius IX condemned those who claim that “[t]he Church has not the power of defining dogmatically that the religion of the Catholic Church is the only true religion” (Syllabus of Errors, n. 21) and warned against them who make no distinction “between the true religion and false ones” (Encyclical Quanta Cura, n. 3). Indeed, in his encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, he rebuked those who try to draw Catholics into “Protestantism, which in their deceit they repeatedly declare to be only another form of the same true religion of Christ, thereby just as pleasing to God” (n. 6). That applies to Bergoglio to a tee!

Upon convoking the (First) Vatican Council, the same Pope Pius IX addressed an apostolic letter to Protestants and other non-Catholics who, “whilst they acknowledge the same Jesus Christ as the Redeemer, and glory in the name of Christian, yet do not profess the true faith of Christ, nor hold to and follow the Communion of the Catholic Church” (Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes; underlining added).

Pope Leo XIII noted that “French Catholics … have the happiness of belonging to the true religion” (Encyclical Au Milieu Des Sollicitudes, n. 7) and, in another document, emphasized the exclusivity of Catholicism as the only religion revealed by God: “…the Catholic religion … is alone the true religion” (Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, n. 34; underlining added).

Pope Pius XI, too, referred to Catholicism as “the true religion of Christ” (Encyclical Casti Connubii, n. 115). In another place he stated clearly: “The Church is indeed conscious of her divine mission to all mankind, and of the obligation which all men have to practice the one true religion…” (Encyclical Divini Illius Magistri, n. 39).

Pope Pius XII called “the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church” nothing less than the “true Church of Jesus Christ” and warned that “grave errors … are being spread among those outside the true Church” (Encyclical Mystici Corporis, nn. 13, 8).

Bergoglio is a Modernist and an an adherent of Vatican II ecclesiology, and so he considers Protestantism to be simply a different “expression” of the same Christian religion. He recently admitted that for him, Christianity is really not about adherence to doctrine, and shortly before he had proclaimed in Abu Dhabi that God positively wills the diversity of religions!

“Indeed, Modernists do not deny, but actually maintain, some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true”, wrote Pope St. Pius X in his landmark encyclical Pascendi (n. 14). His successor, Pope Pius XI, condemned “that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule” (Encyclical Mortalium Animos, n. 2).

Thus we see once again the stark contrast between the true Catholic religion of the ages and the Novus Ordo counterfeit that began with the false pope John XXIII (1958-63) and has reached its present zenith in the man the world calls “Pope Francis.”