John XXIII (Pope from 1958 to 1963) and Paul VI (Pope from 1963 until his heresy in 1964) were Catholics. For one loses membership in the Church ONLY by heresy, schism, excommunication or apostasy. None of this can be found among these popes until 1964.
The Church has unanimously accepted John XXIII and Paul VI as popes for several years.
– The Church is infallible when 100% of its members and bishops (including the Pope) believe something about faith, morals or dogmatic facts.
– Jesus promised it in the Holy Scripture: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against her.” (Matthew 16.18)
This is more than enough ! These are facts and dogmas. We cannot refuse them.
One can argue in such a way:
– Jesus is God.
– So He always tells the truth.
– So his promises are true and forever.
– Jesus promised: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against Her.” (Matthew 16:18)
– So the whole Church is infallible.
– So it is not unanimously mistaken about a “dogmatic fact”. (see D.T.C. on this subject: whether a person is pope or not, is a dogmatic fact)
– So she is not mistaken in accepting John XXIII and Paul VI as popes for never will the (whole) Church fall into error.
One loses one’s membership in the Church through heresy, schism, excommunication or apostasy. None of this happened during the entire life of John XXIII. He was never convinced of heresy either during his lifetime or now. Not even Pope Pius XII ever condemned him, expelled him or excommunicated him for heresy. He has never been accused or condemned for heresy by anyone during his lifetime and the time of his Papacy. He was condemned for heresy in the encyclical “Pacem in terris” (“every man has a right to his religion“) (1), but in the original Latin text there is (“every man has a right to religion“) (2).
(1) Is heretical, but (2) is not !
BUT he was not a good Catholic and he did a lot of harm to the Church. There is a long list of all the things he did wrong, he was on a list of “heresy suspects” under Pius XII, he was fm, he was initiated among the rosicrucians in the Near East etc. He was a friend of the fm, he received his cardinal’s hat from a fm, etc. Much has been written about it.
So I quote St. Alphonsus: “Even if an intruder is elected pope and accepted by the whole Church, he is pope, for the whole Church cannot be mistaken”. A fm infiltrated in the Church is an intruder. So we must review theology and not allow ourselves to be guided only by a holy hatred against all error, otherwise we risk falling into…. errors.
For to refuse a pope who has been accepted by the entire 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 entire Church can go wrong is heretical, for it goes against the promise of OLJC.
It is indeed for love of truth and hatred of heresies and schisms that we must denounce all the errors of John XXIII but accept his Papacy and therefore also his missal which was used by the whole Latin Church from 1962 to 1966, by Archbishop Lefebvre and Most Rev. Castro de Mayer and by Archibishop Thuc etc. Most of the vigils that were abrogated were abrogated by Pius XII in his last years, and not by John XXIII, and the introduction of the name of St. Joseph in the canon of the 1962 missal was requested by a petition from people all over the Catholic world, among whom was Bishop Joseph Sarto (the future Pope St. Pius X).
The same arguments apply to Paul VI until his public heresy of November 21, 1964 (Lumen Gentium). He has been Pope until this day, because until then he was accepted by the whole infallible Church.
« It does not matter that, in past centuries, some pontiff was illegitimately elected or took possession of the pontificate by fraud; it is enough that he was later accepted as pope by the whole Church, for by that fact he became the true pontiff. But if for a certain time he had not been truly and universally accepted by the Church, then, during that time, the Papal See would have been vacant, as it is vacant at the death of the Pope.»(St. Alphonsus Liguori, Verità della fede, in Opere…, vol. VIII, p. 720, no. 9).
And Saint Alphonsus is not the only one.
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 the theologians; therefore it is infallible. When all the textbooks of theology, or almost all the theologians of the time, teach a doctrine, it is infallible; this is the case of 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) ; 1
Father Connell (American Ecclesiastical Review, 1965) ; 2
Ferraris, who was the lexicographer of the Church of Rome, therefore a renowned theologian ;
Sylvester Joseph Hunter (Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, 1896) ;
Cardinal Journet (L’Église du Verbe Incarné) ;
Dom Guéranger (L’année liturgique, Vol XII, p.188) ; 3
Ludwig Ott (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 8-9; 299, 1953) ;
Wernz-Vidal (Jus can., II, p. 437, note 170) ;
Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Verità della fede, in Opere…, vol. VIII, p. 720, n° 9).
1 « The Church cannot err when it recognizes its leader. Nor can it recognize a false leader, nor can it separate itself from the true leader. The reasons for this assertion have been indicated to us by Ferraris, but it may be useful to repeat his explanations in greater detail. By virtue of the fundamental promises of Our Lord, she [the Church] has two prerogatives: indefectibility and immunity from error, and the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit, who prevails over the movements of the heart and mind and over the course of events, in order to ensure the continuity of these two prerogatives. The pontificate is an essential element of the constitution of the Church. Therefore, if the pontificate fell, the Church would lose its essential characteristics and would prove to be non-indefectible.»(Dr Littledale’s Theory of the Disappearance of the Papacy, 1896)
2 «…we have an infallible certainty… This is an example of a fact which is not contained in the deposit of the Revelation, but which is so intimately connected with the Revelation that it must be within the competence of the Church’s magisterial authority to declare it infallible. The whole Church, teaching and believing, declares and believes this fact, and it follows that this fact is infallibly true. We accept it in ecclesiastical faith, according to the authority of the infallible Church.»(Fr. Francis Connell, American ecclesiastical Review, 1965)
3 « 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, always in possession of her freedom or holding it again, recognizes as the true Supreme Pontiff a Pope who was doubtful until then, this precise recognition is the proof that from that moment on at least, the occupant of the Apostolic See is invested by God himself.»(Dom Guéranger, O.S.B., L’année liturgique, Vol XII, p.188)