John XXIII was pope from 1958 to 1963 and Paul VI was also pope from 1963 until his first public heresy on November 21, 1964. They were falsely accused by some of having been antipopes (before 1964).
Indeed, the common doctrine of the Church teaches us that a pope loses his office only by one of these five following causes: death, madness, abdication, public heresy or schism. We find nothing of that in these popes, until 1964 (the heresy of “Lumen Gentium”), except for the death of John XXIII in 1963.
– The Church accepted – with the unanimity of all its cardinals, bishops, clergy, in short, of all members – John XXIII and Paul VI as popes, from their election by a conclave, and this for several years. These are undisputed facts.. it’s called the “universal peaceful understanding”.
– The Church is infallible and indefectible. These are dogmas. That is to say, as to passive infallibility, when the whole Church, 100% of its members, bishops (and pope) included, believe a truth concerning faith, morals or dogmatic facts, that is infallibly true. See the DTC and other theological authorities on this: whether a person is pope or not is a dogmatic fact. And the Church is infallible in accepting dogmatic facts.
– These dogmas rest on the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against Her (the Church).” (Matthew 16.18)
One cannot refuse them or refute facts and dogmas without grave sin and without sinking into heresy and schism. Heresy, because to doubt the dogma that the Church is infallible is heretical and to refuse to accept a true pope as pope is schismatic. The conclusion is therefore certain: John XXIII and Paul VI were popes.
So refusing a dogma is heretical, refusing a pope is a schismatic act. A heretic and schismatic (formal) does not belong to the Church, he is expelled from it, excommunicated. So the question is serious.
This question is also of practical importance. Since John XXIII and Paul VI (until 1964) were popes, then we must accept their government. For example, it is necessary to accept the missal and the breviary of 1962, imposed on the whole Latin Church and accepted by it until 1969 (new “mass”) and even for years after that by the healthy part of the Church, because Mgrs. Lefebvre and Castro de Mayer and their priests and many other resistant clerics and faithful to Tradition, have continued to celebrate with the 1962 books, despite some hesitation concerning the 1965 missal which keeps the offertory and the Roman canon. Archbishop Lefebvre opposed the “normative Mass” of 1967 and of course the “new Mass” of 1969.
The Church is infallible in matters of liturgy
The traditional doctrine of the Church presents as a certain doctrine the infallibility of the universal laws of the Church in general, and of the liturgical laws in particular. If the Church allowed or a fortiori ordered practices that were useless, dangerous or harmful to souls, what would remain of her holiness? Its rites would no longer be holy and sanctifying, as Christ Himself had willed them. What would then remain of his apostolicity? The Church today would no longer be the same as that of the apostles. Consequently, what would remain of his indefectibility? The gates of hell would have prevailed over her. Let us see, however, what is the opinion of the holy doctors and of the very Magisterium of the Church.
To those who denied that children had original sin, St. Augustine replied that the Church baptized them, and “who can ever advance any argument against such a sublime mother?” (Saint Augustine, sermon 293, n°10).
Saint Thomas, wondering if the rite of confirmation is suitable, after having advanced all the possible objections, simply answers: “on the contrary, the use of the Church, which is governed by the Holy Spirit, suffices” ; finally, he adds, “the Lord made this promise to his faithful: ‘where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them’ (Mat 18,20). It must therefore be held firm that the orders of the Church are directed by the wisdom of Christ. And therefore we must be certain that the rites observed by the Church in confirmation and in the other sacraments are proper.” (Summa Theologica, IIIa q72 a12.)
This is, substantially, the answer the Church has always given to all those heretics who criticized one or another of her rites, or all of them. Thus, were condemned, by the Council of Constance (1415) and by Pope Martin V (in 1418), the Hussites who refused the use of communion under a single species (D 626 and 668) and depreciated the rites of communion. Church (D 665). The Hussites are the disciples of the priest Jan Hus (1369-1415), the Bohemian reformer who, influenced by the ideas of the English reformer John Wycleff (1320-1384), condemned the worldliness of the ecclesiastics. Fighted by the archbishop and censured by the university (1412), he radicalized his theological and social positions. He refused to retract his own heresies at the Council of Constance and was burned as a heretic. Against his disciples, also called utraquisti (the more moderate wing which wanted communion under both species) or taboriti (from Tabor, the city in which the harder wing of the movement settled in 1420), the Church organized 5 crusades, alas all in vain.
Thus the Council of Trent (1545-1563) condemned the Lutherans who lowered the Catholic rite of baptism (D 856), the practice of keeping the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle (D 879 and 889), the canon of the Mass ( D 942 and 953) and all the ceremonies of the missal, the ornaments, the incense, the words pronounced in a low voice, etc. (D 943 and 954), communion under a single species (D 935)… In the same way, the Jansenists gathered at the Synod of Pistoia (1786) were condemned by Pius VI (1794) for having led people to think that “the Church, which is directed by the Spirit of God, may constitute a discipline not only useless […] but also dangerous and harmful…” (D 1578, 1533 and 1573). So, to be brief, it is impossible for the Church to give poison to her children (Vatican Council I, D 1837). This is a truth “so certain theologically that to deny it would be a very serious mistake or even, in the opinion of the majority, heresy” (Cardinal Franzelin).
The Church is not mistaken in accepting John XXIII and Paul VI as popes, because the (whole) Church will never fall or can fall into error concerning a dogmatic fact.
Indeed, as you certainly know, every Catholic loses his membership in the Church by heresy, schism, excommunication or apostasy. None of this is found in the whole life of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli , John XXIII. He was never convicted of heresy either during his lifetime or after his death. Even Pope Pius XII never condemned or excommunicated him for heresy. He was never accused or condemned for heresy by anyone during his whole life and in particular during his office as pope. Some thought they could accuse him of heresy in his encyclical “Pacem in terris”. In the French translation we read: “every man has a right to his religion”, which is heretical (1), but in the original Latin text there is “every man has a right to religion” which is correct.
But he was not a good Catholic, nor a good pope, but he did a lot of harm to the Church. There is a long list of everything he did wrong, he was on a list of “suspects of heresy” under Pius XII, he was presumably a Freemason, he was initiated into the Rosicrucians in the Near -Orient etc. He was a friend of the FMs, he received his cardinal’s hat from an FM, etc. A lot has been written on this subject.
To be “suspected of heresy” makes someone perhaps semi-heretic, but not heretical.
And according to St. Alphonse, the Doctor of the Church par excellence in matters of moral theology, his membership of the fm (if ever it has really been duly proven) is not enough to deprive him of his papacy. The Holy Doctor writes:
“Even if an intruder is elected pope and accepted by the whole Church,
he is pope,
for the whole Church cannot be mistaken”.
An fm infiltrated in the Church is an intruder. So we must consult and follow the common and certain theology and not let ourselves be guided by a “holy” but imprudent and untimely hatred against any apparent error and to “strike on everything that moves”, otherwise we risk falling into…. serious mistakes, and finally sink into a schism.
Because as mentioned above: refusing a pope – in this case: a pope who was accepted by the whole Church, from his election in 1958 to his death in 1963 and long after his death – is a schismatic act, and to advocate that the whole Church can be wrong is heretical, for it is to deny the promise of OLJC.
It is indeed out of love of truth and a just hatred of heresies and schisms that it will be necessary to denounce all the errors of John XXIII but at the same time accept his papacy and therefore also, as mentioned above, his missal and breviary. which were used by the whole Latin Church from 1962 to 1966, by Mgrs Lefebvre and Castro de Mayer and by Mgr Thuc etc.
Note that most vigils abrogated were by Pius XII in his later years, not by John XXIII, and the introduction of the name of St Joseph into the canon of the 1962 missal was requested on occasion of a petition of people from all over the Catholic world, among whom was Bishop Joseph Sarto (the future Pope Saint Pius X).
The same arguments apply to Paul VI until his public heresy of November 21, 1964 (Lumen Gentium). He has been pope to this day, because until then he has been accepted by the whole Church, infallible in this dogmatic fact.
The Magisterium of the Church
“It matters little that in past centuries some pontiff was elected illegitimately or took possession of the pontificate by fraud; it suffices that he has subsequently been accepted as pope by the whole Church, for by this fact he has become the true pontiff. But if for a time he had not been truly and universally accepted by the Church, during that time the pontifical see would have been vacant, as it is vacant at the death of the pope” (Saint Alfonso de Liguori, Verità della fede, vol. VIII, p. 720, n° 9).
The original Italian text of Saint Alphonsus gives: “9. Niente ancora importa che ne’ secoli passati alcun pontefice sia stato illegittimamente eletto, o fraudolentemente siasi intruso nel pontificato; basta che poi sia stato accettato da tutta la chiesa comme papa, attesoché per tale accettazione già si è rendto legittimo e vero pontefice. Ma se per qualche tempo non pit stato veramente accettato universalmente dalla chiesa, in tal caso per quel tempo sarebbe vacata la sede pontificia, come vaca nella morte de’ pontefici. Così neppure importa che in caso di scisma siasi stato molto tempo nel dubbio chi pit il vero pontefice; perché allora uno sarebbe stato il vero, benché non abbastanza conosciuto; e se niuno degli antipapi fossa stato vero, allora il pontificato sarebbe finallymente vacato. »
The doctrine of “universal and peaceful acceptance” (here of John XXIII and Paul VI as popes) is taught by the universal ordinary magisterium, that is, by the moral unanimity of theologians; therefore it is infallible. When almost all the theological textbooks of an era teach a doctrine, it is infallible;
however, this is the case with the doctrine of peaceful acceptance, which is taught by:
Cicognani (Canon Law, 1947);
Cardinal Billot (De Ecclesia Christi, Quaest. XIV Th. 29, § 3);
Father Smith (Dr Littledale’s Theory of the Disappearance of the Papacy, 1896);
Father Connell (American Ecclesiastical Review, 1965);
Ferraris, who was the lexicographer of the Church of Rome, therefore a renowned theologian;
Sylvester Joseph Hunter (Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, 1896);
Cardinal Journet (The Church of the Incarnate Word);
Dom Guéranger (The liturgical year, Vol XII, p.188);
Ludwig Ott (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 8-9; 299, 1953);
Wernz-Vidal (Jus can., II, p. 437, note 170);
Here are some other weighty texts:
Saint Alfonso de Liguori (Verità della fede, in Opere…, vol. VIII, p. 720, n° 9):
“..we have an infallible certainty… It is an example of fact which is not contained in the deposit of Revelation, but which is so intimately linked to Revelation that it must be within the competence of magisterial authority of the Church to declare it infallibly. The whole Church, teaching and believing, declares and believes this fact, and hence it follows that this fact is infallibly true. We accept it of ecclesiastical faith, following the authority of the infallible Church” (quoted in: RP Francis Connell, American Ecclesiastical Review , 1965).
Father Guéranger, OSB:
“The inevitable play of human passions, interfering with the election of the Vicar of Christ, can probably make the transmission of spiritual power uncertain at times. But when it is proved that the Church, still in possession of her liberty or holding it again, recognizes as the true Sovereign Pontiff a hitherto doubtful pope, this precise recognition is the proof that from that moment at least , the occupant of the Apostolic See is invested by God himself” (Abbé Guéranger, OSB, The liturgical year , Vol XII, p.188).
Dr. Littledale :
“The Church cannot err when it recognizes its head. She can no longer recognize a false leader, nor separate herself from the true leader. The reasons for this assertion have been given to us by Ferraris, but it may be useful to go over their explanations in more detail. By virtue of the fundamental promises of Our Lord, she [the Church] holds two prerogatives: indefectibility and immunity against error, as well as the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit, who prevails over the movements of the heart and spirit, and on the course of events, in order to ensure the continuity of these two prerogatives. Now the pontificate is an essential element of the constitution of the Church. Therefore, if the pontificate collapsed, the Church would lose its essential characteristics and would prove to be unfailing. “. (Dr. Littledale’s Theory of the Disappearance of the Papacy , 1896)
Objection 1: John XIII was FM? Doesn’t that earn him ipso facto an excommunication? And therefore to be outside the Church?
Its membership in the FM is not certain. And even if it was, he could still have become pope. Indeed, Pius XII provides for the lifting of the excommunication of all the cardinals possibly excommunicated, for the time of the Conclave. Also this does not of course concern exclusions from the Church by divine right (heresy, apostasy and schism), but indeed excommunication by ecclesiastical law, such as that against the FM. Venerable Pius XII judged, for wise reasons, to modify the provisions relating to the election of the Pope, deciding in his Apostolic Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis published on December 8, 1945, to suspend the effect of disciplinary censures. (see full text in footnote 2). Then the principle of the infallibility of the Church in matters of dogmatic facts is asserted: if the whole Church has accepted a person as pope, this person is pope, because the Church is infallible in this matter, the whole Church can’t be wrong.
Objection 2: The Church made a mistake with Vatican II, a heretical confabulation, so it is proven that the Church can accept errors, that she can accept an antipope as a true pope.
No, because during the Vat II council there were 250 bishops who resisted the heresies of Paul VI, and they organized themselves in a structure called “Coetus Patrum Concilii”. And when all the documents of Vat II were published at the close of this meeting, there remained two bishops who continued to protest against the errors and heresies of Vat II: Mgr Castro de Mayer and Mgr Lefebvre. The latter would have signed the heretical documents (see the biography of Archbishop Lefebvre, written by Archbishop Tissier de Mallerais), although during his lifetime he always protested that he had not signed these documents. There are many bishops who did not sign the heretical documents of Vat II either (according to Gary Giuffre, Houston, USA), but who did not continue to protest officially after the meeting. In any case, together with the two bishops above, there was a crowd of priests and faithful who continued to fight the errors of Vat II, until this day. And it is normal, given the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that the lies of hell will never prevail over the Truth of the Church. That there remain only 2 bishops and their clergy and faithful, of the 2500 who attended the confabulation, it is like 0.001% of the Church which continues to exist and function; but the 99.99% of the members of his magisterium, pope included, and their clergy and faithful by the fact of the heresies proclaimed and accepted lost their membership in the Church. Didn’t Jesus prophesy: “But when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth? Luke 18:8. until this day. And it is normal, given the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that the lies of hell will never prevail over the Truth of the Church. That there remain only 2 bishops and their clergy and faithful, of the 2500 who attended the confabulation, it is like 0.001% of the Church which continues to exist and to function; but the 99.99% of the members of his magisterium, pope included, and their clergy and faithful by the fact of the heresies proclaimed and accepted lost their membership in the Church. Didn’t Jesus prophesy: “But when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth? Luke 18:8.
So we must take into account the two prophecies of Our Lord:
1) “‘The gates of hell will not prevail against It (the Church).” (Matthew 16.18) which gives us the certainty that the Church will always exist with all its essential properties until the end of time.
and 2) “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8) which warns us that Our Lord never made a promise on the quantity of the members of the Church, on the contrary, he warns us that he will be able to have very few.
Objection 3: During the Western Schism, there were three popes, so the Church did not know who was pope and so the Church got a dogmatic fact wrong.
No, because a third of Christendom, with Saint Catherine of Siena, continued to adhere to the true pope and the rest of Christendom found itself in an objective schism.
Let us pray to keep the faith inviolably.
Our Lady, Guardian of the Faith, save us.
Letter from a layman:
“These last days I asked myself the following question: Padre Pio, who lived his last years under Paul VI, seems to have sent a letter to the latter in which, among other things, he recognizes him as pope and gives him filial respect :
I was wondering: how can Can it be explained that such a great mystic, alter Christus on earth, did not recognize the false pope and, on the contrary, would have accorded him his esteem?
Or maybe, this letter does not deserve too much credit, considering that already during John XXIII hidden recorders had been installed in the confessional, and therefore one could not exclude that this letter was forged?
Thanks in advance. »
Good question !
The answer is a bit complicated indeed.
Paul VI was elected true pope, that is certain because the entire Church – with all the bishops and all the priests – which is infallible in dogmatic facts, recognized him as such.
Then he fell into public heresies from November 21, 1964 with Lumen Gentium and the rest of Vatican II.
From that moment he is heretical or less material, and he is admonished by bishops and priests throughout his life.
The theologian Rufinus (1) says that indeed there is a “grey” period after the public heresy of a pope. This is the period when the sane part of the teaching Church will admonish him with filial but pressing correction. Meanwhile the rest of the Church is warned that the pope has become a heretic, so that the other members of the Church do not fall into heresy.
It is a serious duty and it was done by the “coetus Patrum Concilii” during the confabulation, continued by Archbishop Lefebvre and Castro de Mayer after the confabulation, and many other priests (Father De Nantes, Barbara etc.) and bishops have done statements and corrections.
Paul VI seemed to be in the process of conversion with his “creed” which advocates transubstantiation and with his encyclical “Humanae Vitae” of which Padre Pio speaks. This is normal if we consider the number of prayers that are made for the pope every day by the whole Church.
If the pope converts or recovers himself like John XXII (who explains on his deathbed that he meant something other than heresy, that he had said about the souls in purgatory), then the pope does not lose his papacy. If he persists, then one must after a certain time (in casu it was at the official death of Paul VI in 1978) note that he is obstinate, therefore a formal heretic, therefore that he lost the papacy retroactively to from the first heresy.
The gray period of which Rufinus speaks (1), is therefore the period between the public heresy of a pope and his pertinacity in error which makes him a formal heretic and causes him to lose his papacy.
In the meantime he is considered still to be pope, but he is resisted as a propagator of heresy while waiting for the rest of the Church to declare the see of Rome vacant by formal heresy of the pope.
Padre Pio’s letter is written before his death and the Padre was already seeing signs of conversion, so he still considers him as pope and with the respect due to a pope (even “in quarantine”). The Padre does not tell him to convert from his heresies, perhaps because he knows that others have done enough and he awaits his complete conversion.
This is the only explanation that I can make at the moment of this letter from Padre Pio to Paul VI, apart from the possibility of falsity of the letter as you write it, of course.
In this context it is useful to remember the prophecy of Saint Pius X, which was fulfilled by Paul VI, fleeing from Rome.
“I saw one of my successors flee over the bodies of his brothers [predecessor popes buried in Rome?]. He will take refuge somewhere in disguise; and after a short retreat, he will die a cruel death. The current wickedness of the world is only the beginning of pains that must take place before the end of the world. (Yves Dupont, Catholic Prophecy, 1970, Tan Books, Rockford, Illinois, page 22.)
Indeed, according to several witnesses and sources (the confession of two lay people from the Vatican staff to Bishop Guérard des Lauriers, the private declaration of a French officer to his son, the confessions of demons during exorcisms), Paul VI would have had a doppelgänger (see Theodoer Kolberg’s study “The Imposture of the Century), allegedly survived poisonings by infiltrated enemies in the Vatican who did not want their revolution in the church backtracked, should have fled from Rome and would have been still alive at the official death of Paul VI (ie his double).
The fraud of the century
The fraud of the century
By Theodor Kolberg
(1) Rufinus (circa 1164-1170) summarizes the opinions of his time as follows: “ In ea (causa) quae totam Ecclesiam contingit, (papam) judicari potest, sed in ea quae unam personam vel plures (contingit), non”. The same author specifies that this rule must be understood as obstinate heresy. “ Prima sedes non judicabitur a quoquam nisi in fidei articulis pertinaciter erraverit”, which supposes, for Jean de Faênza that the guilty pope was “ secundo et tertio commonitus”. In this case, there is no longer any reason to invoke the primacy: for Huguccio (+ 1210) the pope is then “ minor quolibet catholico”. ( https://scaturrex.eu/2016/01/26/question-du-pape-1-un-pape-heretique-nest-pas-pape/)