Sunday, November 19, 2017

Refutation of "True or False Pope" by John Salza and Robert Siscoe

Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio: "We have been concerned also lest it may befall Us to see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, in the holy place."


Matthew 24:15: "When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand"


The book "True or False Pope" is a lengthy treatise of errors, designed to sell the notion that a manifest heretic can in fact be the lawfully and Divinely appointed Vicar of Jesus Christ. If this notion does not immediately strike you as impious, then I don't know what will.

There is no need to get into a lengthy discussion about the book, because there is one law of the Church that they attack, which in fact is the law that refutes their premise.  That law, of course, was promulgated in the Bull of Pope Paul IV, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio.  It states (to paraphrase succinctly), that anyone who has been detected, has confessed to or has been convicted of heresy, schism or provoking heresy or schism, prior to election as a Cardinal or Pontiff, while holding the Episcopal dignity in the Catholic Church, is elected Pope or elevated to Cardinal, that there election or elevation was in fact invalid to begin with, and nothing they did in their apparent office had any force or legitimacy, and nothing could ever cause their apparent office to gain any legitimacy.  The Bull is quoted at greater length in the article entitled A Pope Cannot be a Heretic; A Heretic Cannot be Pope.

At one point in the book, near the conclusion of their secion on Cum Ex, Salza and Siscoe argue that Cardinal Manning is an example of how the Bull never had any force due to prior heresy.  It is true that Cardinal Manning had been an Anglican archdeacon, and then converted to Catholicism and became was made a Cardinal by Pius IX, despite previous heresy, but a careful reading of the Bull shows that to leverage this fact against the validity or applicability of the Bull of Pope Paul IV is specious at best, and utterly dishonest at worst, because, the portion of the Bull that legislated regarding such a null election or elevation (paragraph 6), specifically referred to those who already exercised Episcopal jurisdiction, prior to their alleged election elevation as Cardinal or Pontiff. Therefore Cardinal Manning, who had been a lowly Anglican archdeacon, was not disqualified for the Cardinalate by the terms of the Bull.

Salza and Siscoe, attempting to prove that a manifest heretic could in fact be a pope, state that Cum Ex was abrogated by the "1917 Code of Canon Law". But this argument is invalid, since this "Code" itself was promulgated by a man who in fact had deviated from the Faith, so this "Code", per the Bull which it allegedly replaced, was in fact null and void of any binding force.

On page 394, they argue that "the judgment and determination that the one elected to the papacy fell into heresy, prior to his election, is not based upon the private judgment of individual Catholics, who personally believe a sin of heresy was committed before the election. The judgement would have to be rendered by the proper authorities before the election would be rendered null."

But this claim is not substantiated by the actual Bull itself.  Nowhere in Cum Ex is it stated that an authoritative sentence is required, therefore the assertion quoted above is purely gratuitous on behalf of the authors, notwithstanding their allegation that their position is supported by two canonists.

The Bull itself declares: "that if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy:(i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless;", and in another place: "without any exercise of law or application of fact", and yet elsewhere "those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration".

Salza and Siscoe conclude their discussion of Cum Ex on the dishonest note of saying (on Page 407) that: "This time it [Cum Ex] serves as the weapon of choice for the Sedevacantists, who use its contents, not to deny a particular charism of the Pope, but to reject the Pope himself and justify their formal separation from him, which, needless to say, places their souls in grave jeopardy."  They ironically annotate this claim in the footnotes by stating: "In the Bull of Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, promulgated November 18, 1302, the following was defined as a dogma of faith: "We declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

But this dishonesty, in alleging jeopardy of soul for withdrawing from a manifestly heretical papal claimant (and thus non-pope), fails to mention the part of the Bull (which, we must remember was promulgated by a legitimate Roman Pontiff, to whom we must be subject!), which states that once it is appears that someone has in fact been elected invalidly, anyone who was or would have subject to those thus invalidly elevated or elected "shall be permitted at any time to withdraw with impunity from obedience and devotion to those thus promoted or elevated and to avoid them as warlocks, heathens, publicans, and heresiarchs (the same subject persons, nevertheless, remaining bound by the duty of fidelity and obedience to any future Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals and Roman Pontiff canonically entering)."

The Vicar of Jesus Christ, Pope Paul IV permits us to withdraw with impunity from an alleged Pontiff who appeared to have deviated from the Faith prior to his election, while he was acting as a Bishop of the Catholic Church.

Additionally, the greatest irony of their using the dogma from the Bull of Boniface VIII to bolster their position is that, as heretics do, despite confessing it here, they deny this dogma later on in their book with a chapter entitled "We recognize and Resist".  Resistance is not subjection, and in fact renders the obedience due to the Vicar of Christ as infallible guide into a mere formula of words devoid of any meaning, as though the Vicar of Christ could in any way propose disciplines to the Church that were harmful or contrary to faith, as though one could legitimately recognize the "Vatican II popes" for example as legitimate, yet at the same time resist their "bad disciplines".  But this position calls down an anathema on them, as it is a rejection of the dogmatic Vatican Council presided over by Pope Pius IX:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, 1870: “… this See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord the Savior made to the chief of His disciples: ‘I have prayed for thee [Peter], that thy faith fail not …’”

Vatican Council Session 3: "Thus she can never cease from witnessing to the truth of God which heals all, and from declaring it, for she knows that these words were directed to her: My spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth from this time forth and for evermore."

Vatican Council, Session 4: "We teach and declare that, by divine ordinance …the jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world…This is the teaching of the catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation. ...Since the Roman pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole church, we likewise teach and declare that: …The sentence of the apostolic see…is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon. And so…if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff hasnot the full and supreme power of jurisdictionnot only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church…or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate…let him be anathema.

There is your "recognize and resist".  Repent.




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