Dr. Mazza: "Saint Cajetan says, 'If someone for a Reasonable Motive holds the Person of the Pope in Suspicion and Refuses his Presence, even his Jurisdiction, he Does Not commit the Delict of Schism'"
We thank Dr. Ed Mazza and Patrick Coffin for giving the Catholic Monitor permission to transcribe the show and post on our site. Below is a brief taste of the show:
Dr. Edmund Mazza:
I’ll tell you Patrick, I tried to get my article on this published by a prominent editor in a prominent Catholic journal whose names I will not name. But I got an email back telling me that people who are thinking along these lines are leading people out of the church, and he didn’t use the word “schism,” but that was the implication. And so I just want to clear that up.
And first, I’ll say two things. The first one is that I think people are leaving the church already, and going into schism because they think Francis is Pope. Because they think that he’s a monster Pope, that’s destroying the church and teaching things that are not Catholic. That all religions, that God wills, all religions, for example, as in the Abu Dhabi declaration, which on the face of it is heresy.
I’ll give you an example who I think is the poster boy of this, Sean Hannity, Right? From Fox News, the conservative commentator, He left the Catholic faith. I think it’s probably the catalyst that pushed him over the edge was having a Marxist Pope; thinking that Francesco is running the show here.
So I would differ. I talk sometimes with Ann Barhardt, she says her inbox is flooded with people who thank her for looking into this subject, because it’s keeping them in the church rather than encouraging them to leave the church.
And the second thing that I would want to say is that technically, if you look at the statements of the different saints and scholars on the subject, just because you suspect the Pope might not be the Pope, doesn’t put you into a schism.
Dr. Edmund Mazza:
Or a Sedevacantism, that’s another thing they call you a sedevacantist. But I got two quick quotes here. Here is one from Saint Cardinal Thomas Cajetan, whose feast day we celebrated back on August 7th. He wrote a multi-volume commentary on the Suma Theologica. And this is what Saint Cajetan says, “If someone for a reasonable motive holds the person of the Pope in suspicion and refuses his presence, even his jurisdiction, he does not commit the delict of schism, nor any other whatsoever, provided that he’d be ready to accept the Pope were he not held in suspicion. It goes without saying that one has the right to avoid what is harmful and to ward off dangers. In fact, it may happen that the Pope could govern tyrannically, and that is all the easier as he is the more powerful and does not fear any punishment from anyone on earth.”
And the second quote is from, back before Vatican II, the most respected commentary on Canon aw was an eight volume set by Francis Xavier Wernz and Peter Vidal. And this is what they wrote in volume seven of their commentary on Canon Law. “Finally, they cannot be numbered among the schismatics who refuse to obey the Roman pontiff because they consider his person to be suspect or doubtfully elected on account of rumors in circulation.” I think we have a lot more than rumor to go on here.
I do too. I’m glad you brought up Sean Hannity, I actually debated Sean Hannity on his own show back in 2001.
Dr. Edmund Mazza:
Yeah, very low information guy. He kept bragging about the fact that he had studied Latin and was an altar boy. I mean who cares, Sean? He never saw an Orthodox priest he, wasn’t willing to attack on his own show. So this is very important, what you’re saying. I despise anyone who would grease the skids for someone to leave the Catholic faith.
Our Lord and Savior did not call angels to the priesthood or to the Episcopacy. His raw material is sinner. Church corruption to me is a proof of the divine foundation of the Catholic Church. We’ve had 37 anti-Popes, not the antichrist. It’s a Pope that’s thought to be the Pope, but falsely so.
And a good example is the great and brilliant Dominican Saint Vincent Ferrar, who firmly supported Clement VII, who was an anti-Pope. So even saints can get this wrong, the Holy Spirit is going to work this out. My message is if Christ is having a long power nap in the boat, don’t get out of the boat, and don’t leave Jesus and Peter because of Judas. And don’t put yourself in the category of disciples that he rebukes when he wakes up.
This is a trial for the church. This is a test of your fidelity to Christ himself. A lot of the former pillars of support and so on have been slowly withdrawn. I think this is, all of this is a remote dress rehearsal for the rise of the Antichrist. That’s my view. I’m not saying Pope Francis is the Antichrist. People always want to put a spin on what you try to say clearly. However, weaponized ambiguity is not the certain trumpet blast of the gospel that we have seen from each of the previous 266 Popes. This is utterly without precedent.
Dr. Edmund Mazza:
In fact, Pope Benedict, when he was Joseph Ratzinger in the Ratzinger
report, right? Available from Ignatius Press in November, 1984. He said,
actually that ambiguity is the hallmark of the devil.
Pray an Our Father now for reparation for the sins committed because of Francis's Amoris Laetitia.