Might Vatican II Conservative Catholics & Francis Leftist Catholics have "a Positivist Mentality"? & W Stringfellow: "That Law which Natural Law may call Evil, Positivism calls Good, so long as it remains Law"
It appears that Fr. Chad Ripperger, F.S.S.P. thinks that conservative Catholics and Francis Catholics act "as if non-infallible ordinary magisterial teachings (such as, for instance, the role of inculturation in the liturgy as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church) are, in fact, infallible when the current Magisterium promulgates them. This is a positivist mentality":
This problem is exacerbated by our current historical conditions. As the theological community began to unravel before, during and after Vatican II, those who considered themselves orthodox were those who were obedient and intellectually submissive to the Magisterium, since those who dissented were not orthodox. Therefore the standard of orthodoxy was shifted from Scripture, intrinsic tradition (of which the Magisterium is a part) and extrinsic tradition (which includes magisterial acts of the past, such as Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors), to a psychological state in which only the current Magisterium is followed.
Neoconservatives have fallen into this way of thinking. The only standard by which they judge - orthodoxy is whether or not one follows the current Magisterium. As a general rule, traditionalists tend to be orthodox in the sense that they are obedient to the current Magisterium, even though they disagree about matters of discipline and have some reservations about certain aspects of current magisterial teachings that seem to contradict the previous Magisterium (e.g., the role of the ecumenical movement). Traditionalists tend to take not just the current Magisterium as their norm but also Scripture, intrinsic tradition, extrinsic tradition and the current Magisterium as the principles of judgment of correct Catholic thinking. This is what distinguishes traditionalists and neoconservatives
Inevitably, this magisterialism has led to a form of positivism. Since there are no principles of judgment other than the current Magisterium, whatever the current Magisterium says is always what is “orthodox.” In other words, psychologically the neoconservatives have been left in a position in which the extrinsic and intrinsic tradition are no longer included in the norms of judging whether something is orthodox or not. As a result, whatever comes out of the Vatican, regardless of its authoritative weight, is to be held, even if it contradicts what was taught with comparable authority in the past. Since non-infallible ordinary acts of the Magisterium can be erroneous, this leaves one in a precarious situation if one takes as true only what the current Magisterium says. While we are required to give religious assent even to the non-infallible teachings of the Church, what are we to do when a magisterial document contradicts other current or previous teachings and one does not have any more authoritative weight than the other? It is too simplistic merely to say that we are to follow the current teaching. What would happen if in a period of crisis, like our own, a non-infallible ordinary magisterial teaching contradicted what was in fact the truth? If one part of the Magisterium contradicts another, both being at the same level, which is to believed?
Unfortunately, what has happened is that many neoconservatives have acted as if non-infallible ordinary magisterial teachings (such as, for instance, the role of inculturation in the liturgy as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church) are, in fact, infallible when the current Magisterium promulgates them. This is a positivist mentality. Many of the things that neoconservatives do are the result of implicitly adopting principles that they have not fully or explicitly considered. Many of them would deny this characterization because they do not intellectually hold to what, in fact, are their operative principles. [http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/articles/articles_2001_sp_ripperger.html]
Vatican II Conservative Catholics and Francis Leftist Catholics apparently might have a "positivist mentality" in not understanding the limits of papal authority as shown by Catholic teaching throughout its history as summarized by the Oocities website:
ST. VINCENT OF LERINS (CA. 400-CA. 450)
"What then should a Catholic do if some part of the Church were to separate itself from communion with the universal Faith? What other choice can he make but to prefer to the gangrenous and corrupted member the whole of the body that is sound. And if some new contagion were to try to poison no longer a small part of the Church, but all of the Church at the same time, then he will take the greatest care to attach himself to antiquity which, obviously, can no longer be seduced by any lying novelty." (Commonitorium)
POPE ST. GREGORY I, "THE GREAT" (590-604)
The Eucharistic Canon remained unchanged from Apostolic times to the present day, with the exception of one short clause inserted by St. Gregory the Great. The phrase Pope Gregory added was "diesque nostros in tua pace disponas" [may you order our days in Thy peace] to the Hanc Igitur of the Canon. The Romans were outraged at this act and threatened to kill the pope because he had dared to touch the Sacred Liturgy. The Mass was affirmed to be complete and unchangeable. Since that time no pope has dared to change the Ordo of the Traditional Latin Mass, until in 1962 Pope John XXIII added "beati Ioseph, eiusdem Virginis Sponsi" [of blessed Joseph, Spouse of the same Virgin] to the Communicantes of the Canon.
POPE ST. AGATHO (678-681)
The Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum, one of the oldest collections of papal texts, privileges, and decrees, written down by Pope St. Agatho with texts that contain centuries of tradition, includes the following Papal Coronation Oath, probably already a couple of centuries old, by which every pope since then has sworn as a requirement of acceding to the papal office until John Paul II failed to do so.
"I vow to change nothing of the received Tradition, and nothing thereof I have found before me guarded by my God-pleasing predecessors, to encroach upon, to alter, or to permit any innovation therein;
To the contrary: with glowing affection as her truly faithful student and successor, to safeguard reverently the passed-on good, with my whole strength and utmost effort;
To cleanse all that is in contradiction to the canonical order, should such appear;
To guard the Holy Canons and Decrees of our Popes as if they were the Divine ordinances of Heaven, because I am conscious of Thee, whose place I take through the Grace of God, whose Vicarship I possess with Thy support, being subject to the severest accounting before Thy Divine Tribunal over all that I shall confess;
I swear to God Almighty and the Saviour Jesus Christ that I will keep whatever has been revealed through Christ and His Successors and whatever the first councils and my predecessors have defined and declared.
I will keep without sacrifice to itself the discipline and the rite of the Church. I will put outside the Church whoever dares to go against this oath, may it be somebody else or I.
If I should undertake to act in anything of contrary sense, or should permit that it will be executed, Thou willst not be merciful to me on the dreadful Day of Divine Justice.
Accordingly, without exclusion, We subject to severest excommunication anyone - be it ourselves or be it another - who would dare to undertake anything new in contradiction to this constituted evangelic Tradition and the purity of the Orthodox Faith and the Christian Religion, or would seek to change anything by his opposing efforts, or would agree with those who undertake such a blasphemous venture."
POPE INNOCENT III (CA. 1160-1216)
"The pope should not flatter himself about his power, nor should he rashly glory in his honour and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God. Still the less can the Roman Pontiff glory, because he can be judged by men, or rather, can be shown to be already judged, if for example he should wither away into heresy, because he who does not believe is already judged. In such a case it should be said of him: 'If salt should lose its savour, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under foot by men.'" (Sermo 4)
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, O.P. (1225-1274)
"Hold firmly that your faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church."
"There being an imminent danger for the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith. And, as the Glossa of St. Augustine puts it (Ad Galatas 2.14), 'St. Peter himself gave the example to those who govern so that if sometime they stray from the right way, they will not reject a correction as unworthy even if it comes from their subjects....'
"Some say that fraternal correction does not extend to the prelates either because man should not raise his voice against heaven, or because the prelates are easily scandalized if corrected by their subjects. However, this does not happen, since when they sin, the prelates do not represent heaven, and, therefore, must be corrected. And those who correct them charitably do not raise their voices against them, but in their favour, since the admonishment is for their own sake .... For this reason, according to other [authors], the precept of fraternal correction extends also to the prelates, so that they may be corrected by their subjects." (IV Sententiarum, D. 19, Q. 2, A. 2)
ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA (1347-1380)
Alas, Most Holy Father! At times, obedience to you leads to eternal damnation. (To Pope Gregory IX, 1376.)
JUAN CARDINAL DE TORQUEMADA O.P. (1388-1468)
"Although it clearly follows from the circumstances that the Pope can err at times, and command things which must not be done, that we are not to be simply obedient to him in all things, that does not show that he must not be obeyed by all when his commands are good. To know in what cases he is to be obeyed and in what not .... it is said in the Acts of the Apostles: 'One ought to obey God rather than man'; therefore, were the Pope to command anything against Holy Scripture, or the articles of faith, or the truth of the Sacraments, or the commands of the natural or divine law, he ought not to be obeyed, but in such commands, to be passed over despiciendus)...." (Summa de Ecclesia , founded upon the doctrine formulated by the Council of Florence and later re-asserted by Pope Eugenius IV and Pope Pius IV)
ST. ANTONINUS, O.P. (1389-1459)
"In the case in which the pope would become a heretic, he would find himself, by that fact alone and without any other sentence, separated from the Church. A head separated from a body cannot, as long as it remains separated, be head of the same body from which it was cut off.
"A pope who would be separated from the Church by heresy, therefore, would by that very fact itself cease to be head of the Church. He could not be a heretic and remain pope, because, since he is outside of the Church, he cannot possess the keys of the Church." (Summa Theologica)
ST. GIACOMO TOMMASO DE VIO GAETANI O.P. (1469-1534)
"Where the Pope is, there is also the Church" holds true only when the pope acts and behaves as the pope, because Peter "is subject to the duties of the Office"; otherwise, "neither is the Church in him, nor is he in the Church." (Apud St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, IIa IIae, Q. 39, Art. 1, ad 6)
POPE ADRIAN VI (1522-1523)
"If by the Roman Church you mean its head or pontiff, it is beyond question that he can err even in matters touching the faith. He does this when he teaches heresy by his own judgement or decretal. In truth, many Roman pontiffs were heretics. The last of them was Pope John XXII (1316-1334)."
ST. ROBERT BELLARMINE, S.J. (1542-1621)
"Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks the souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed." (De Romano Pontifice, Lib. II, Ch. 29)
"A pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be pope and head of the Church, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. All the early Fathers are unanimous in teaching that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction. St. Cyprian, in particular, laid great stress on this point." (De Romano Pontifice, II. 30)
FRANCISCO SUAREZ, S.J. (1548-1617)
"And in this second way the Pope could be schismatic, if he were unwilling to be in normal union with the whole body of the Church, as would occur if he attempted to excommunicate the whole Church, or, as both Cajetan and Torquemada observe, if he wished to overturn the rites of the Church based on Apostolic Tradition."
"If [the pope] gives an order contrary to right customs, he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it will be lawful to resist him; if he attacks by force, by force he can be repelled, with a moderation appropriate to a just defence." (De Fide, Disp. X, Sec. VI, N. 16)
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES (1567-1622)
"Thus we do not say that the Pope cannot err in his private opinions, as did John XXII; or be altogether a heretic, as perhaps Honorius was. Now when he (the Pope) is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the
Church must either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
[The Catholic Controversy, Tan Books, pp. 305-306]
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, C.S.S.R. (1696-1787)
"If ever a pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he would at once fall from the pontificate. If, however, God were to permit a pope to become a notoriously and contumacious heretic, he would by such fact cease to be pope, and the apostolic chair would be vacant." (Verita della Fede, Pt. III, Ch. VIII. 9-10)
FR. HENRY IGNATIUS DUDLEY RYDER (1837-1907)
"It has always been maintained by Catholic theologians that for heresy the Church may judge the Pope, because, as most maintain, by heresy he ceases to be Pope. There is no variance on this head amongst theologians that I know of, except that some, with Turrecremata and Bellarmine, hold that by heresy he ipso facto ceases to be Pope: whilst others, with Cajetan and John of St. Thomas, maintain that he would not formally [as opposed to materially] cease to be Pope until he was formally deposed.
"The privilege of infallible teaching belongs only to an undoubted Pope; and on the claims of a doubtful, disputed Pope the Church has the right of judging. No single example can be produced of a Pope whose orthodoxy and succession was undoubted upon whom the Church pretended to sit in judgement .... During a contested Papacy the state of things approximates to that of an interregnum. The exercise of active infallibility is suspended." (Catholic Controversy, 6th ed., Burns & Oates, pp. 30-31)
VENERABLE POPE PIUS IX (1846-1878)
"I am only the pope. What power have I to touch the Canon?"
"If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, do not follow him."
FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF THE VATICAN (1869-1870)
"For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles."
The question was also raised by a Cardinal, 'What is to be done with the Pope if he becomes a heretic?' It was answered that there has never been such a case; the Council of Bishops could depose him for heresy, for from the moment he becomes a heretic he is not the head or even a member of the Church. The Church would not be, for a moment, obliged to listen to him when he begins to teach a doctrine the Church knows to be a false doctrine, and he would cease to be Pope, being deposed by God Himself.
"If the Pope, for instance, were to say that the belief in God is false, you would not be obliged to believe him, or if he were to deny the rest of the creed, 'I believe in Christ,' etc. The supposition is injurious to the Holy Father in the very idea, but serves to show you the fullness with which the subject has been considered and the ample thought given to every possibility. If he denies any dogma of the Church held by every true believer, he is no more Pope than either you or I; and so in this respect the dogma of infallibility amounts to nothing as an article of temporal government or cover for heresy."
Address at the First Vatican Council by Archbishop Purcell, of Cincinnati, Ohio, on the infallibility of the Pope as defined at the Council.
FR. ADRIAN FORTESCUE (1874-1923)
"The Pope has no authority from Christ in temporal matters, in questions of politics.... His authority is ecclesiastical authority; it goes no further than that of the Church herself. But even in religious matters, the Pope is bound, very considerably, by the divine constitution of the Church. There are any number of things that the pope cannot do in religion. He cannot modify, nor touch in any way, one single point of the revelation Christ gave to the Church; his business is only to guard this against attack and false interpretation. We believe that God will guide him that his decisions of this nature will be nothing more than a defence or unfolding of what Christ revealed."
"The pope can neither make nor unmake a sacrament; he cannot affect the essence of any sacrament in any way. He cannot touch the Bible; he can neither take away a text from the inspired Scriptures nor add one to them. He has no fresh inspiration nor revelation."
"His business is to believe the revelation of Christ, as all Catholics believe it, and to defend it against heresy.... The Pope is not, in the absolute sense, head of the Church; the head of the Church is Jesus Christ our Lord.... The Pope is the vicar of that head, and therefore visible head of the Church on earth, having authority delegate from Christ over the Church on Earth only.... If the Pope is a monarch, he is a very constitutional monarch indeed, bound on all sides by the constitution of the Church, as this has been given to her by Christ." (The Early Papacy to the Synod of Chalcedon in 451, pp. 27-28)
A pope who, while not being guilty of formal heresy in the strict sense, has allowed heresy to undermine the Church through compromise, weakness, ambiguous or even gravely imprudent teaching remains Pope, but can be judged by his successors,
and condemned as was the case with Honorius I.
Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)
"Patriarch Athenagoras spoke even more strongly when he greeted the Pope in Phanar: 'Against all expectation, the bishop of Rome is among us, the first among us in honor, 'he who presides in love'. It is clear that, in saying this, the Patriarch did not abandon the claims of the Eastern Churches or acknowledge the primacy of the west. Rather, he stated plainly what the East understood as the order, the rank and title, of the equal bishops in the Church - and it would be worth our while to consider whether this archaic confession, which has nothing to do with the 'primacy of jurisdiction' but confesses a primacy of 'honor' and agape, might not be recognized as a formula that adequately reflects the position that Rome occupies in the Church - 'holy courage' requires that prudence be combined with 'audacity': 'The kingdom of God suffers violence.'"
[Cardinal Ratzinger, "Principles of Catholic Theology" (1982) pp. 216-217]
The Liturgy cannot be compared to a piece of equipment, something made, but rather to a plant, something organic that grows and whose laws of growth determine the possibilities of further development. In the West there has been, of course, another factor involved. This was the Papal authority, the Pope took ever more clearly the responsibility upon himself for the liturgical legislation, and so doing foresaw in a juridical authority for the forth setting of the liturgical development. The stronger the papal primacy was exercised, the more the question arose, just what the limits of this authority were, which of course, no-one had ever before thought about. After the Second Vatican Council, the impression has been made that the Pope, as far as the Liturgy goes, can actually do everything he wishes to do, certainly when he was acting with the mandate of an Oecumenical Council. Finally, the idea that the Liturgy is a predetermined ''given'', the fact that nobody can simply do what he wishes with her, disappeared out of the public conscience of the Western [Church]. In fact, the First Vatican Council did not in any way define that the Pope was an absolute monarch! Au contraire, the first Vatican Council sketched his role as that of a guarantee for the obedience to the Revealed Word. The papal authority is limited by the Holy Tradition of the Faith, and that regards also the Liturgy. The Liturgy is no ''creation'' of the authorities. Even the Pope can be nothing other than a humble servant of the Liturgy's legitimate development and of her everlasting integrity and identity. (Spirit of the Liturgy, 2000 AD) [https://www.oocities.org/pharsea/limits.html]
Pray an Our Father now for reparation for the sins committed because of Francis's Amoris Laetitia.
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Stop for a moment of silence, ask Jesus Christ what He wants you to do now and next. In this silence remember God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost - Three Divine Persons yet One God, has an ordered universe where you can know truth and falsehood as well as never forget that He wants you to have eternal happiness with Him as his son or daughter by grace. Make this a practice. By doing this you are doing more good than reading anything here or anywhere else on the Internet.
- Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation:
"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)
Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said "the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church."
- "If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2020/12/if-francis-is-heretic-what-should.html
- "Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2019/03/could-francis-be-antipope-even-though.html
- If Francis betrays Benedict XVI & the"Roman Rite Communities" like he betrayed the Chinese Catholics we must respond like St. Athanasius, the Saintly English Bishop Robert Grosseteste & "Eminent Canonists and Theologians" by "Resist[ing]" him: https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2021/12/if-francis-betrays-benedict-xvi.html
- LifeSiteNews, "Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial weight behind communion for adulterers," December 4, 2017:
The AAS guidelines explicitly allows "sexually active adulterous couples facing 'complex circumstances' to 'access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'"
- On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:
"The AAS statement... establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense."
- On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:
"Francis' heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents."
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.
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- Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times "Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003": http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/will-us-be-venezuela-ex-cia-official.html