Bishop Schneider: Schism Looming…

Bishop Schneider: Schism Looming…

Those who continue to insist: “crisis, what crisis?” and who think Archbishop Lefebvre acted without basis, read this Interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan – and say, humbly, “I was wrong” …  source        

ImageInterview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider (BAS)  

“Only on the Internet can you spread your own ideas. Thanks be to God the Internet exists”       

BAS: ‘To my knowledge and experience, the deepest wound in the actual crisis of the Church is the Eucharistic wound; the abuses of the Blessed Sacrament.

‘Many people are receiving Holy Communion in an objective state of mortal sin…This is spreading in the Church, especially in the western world. There people very rarely go to Holy Communion with a sufficient preparation.

‘Some people who go to Holy Communion live in irregular moral situations, which do not correspond to the Gospel. Without being married, they go to Holy Communion. They might be divorced and living in a new marriage, a civil marriage, and they go nevertheless to Holy Communion. I think this is a very, very grievous situation.

‘There is also the question of the objectively irreverent reception of Holy Communion. The so-called new, modern manner of receiving Holy Communion directly into the hand is very serious because it exposes Christ to an enormous banality.

‘There is the grievous fact of the loss of the Eucharistic fragments. No one can deny this. And the fragments of the consecrated host are crushed by feet. This is horrible! Our God, in our churches, is trampled by feet! No one can deny it.

‘And this is happening on a large scale. This has to be, for a person with faith and love for God, a very serious phenomenon.

‘We cannot continue as if Jesus as God does not exist, as though only the bread exists. This modern practice of Communion in the hand has nothing to do with the practice in the ancient Church. The modern practice of receiving Communion in hand contributes gradually to the loss of the Catholic faith in the real presence and in the transubstantiation.

‘A priest and a bishop cannot say this practice is ok. Here is at stake the most holy, the most divine and concrete on Earth.’

Q  You are standing out on your own in this?

BAS: ‘I am very sad that I am feeling myself as one who is shouting in the desert. The Eucharistic crisis due to the modern use of Communion in hand is so evident. This is not an exaggeration. It is time that the bishops raise their voices for the Eucharistic Jesus who has no voice to defend himself. Here is an attack on the most Holy, an attack on the Eucharistic faith.

‘Of course there are people who receive Holy Communion in the hand with much devotion and faith, but they are in a minority. The vast mass, though, are losing the faith through this very banal manner of taking Holy Communion like common food, like a chip or a cake. Such a manner to receive the most Holy here on earth is not sacred, and it destroys by time the deep awareness and the Catholic faith in the real presence and in the transubstantiation.’

Is the Church going in the opposite direction from where you are going?

BAS: ‘It seems that the majority of the clergy and the bishops are content with this modern use of Communion in hand and don’t realize the real dangers connected with such a practice. For me this is incredible. How is this possible, when Jesus is present in the little hosts? A priest and a bishop should say: “I have to do something, at least to gradually reduce this. All that I can do, I have to do.” Unfortunately, though, there are members of the clergy who are making propaganda of the modern use of Communion in the hand and sometimes prohibiting receiving Communion on the tongue and kneeling. There are even priests who are discriminating those who kneel for Holy Communion. This is very, very sad.

‘There is also an increasing stealing of hosts, because of distributing Communion directly in the hand. There is a net, a business, of the stealing of Holy Hosts and this is much facilitated by Communion in the hand.

‘Why would I, as a priest and bishop, expose Our Lord to such a danger, to such a risk? When these bishops or priests [who approve of Communion in the hand] have some item of value, they would never expose this to great danger, to be lost or stolen. They protect their house, but they do not protect Jesus and allow him to be stolen very easily.’

In respect of the questionnaire on the issue of family – people are expecting big changes.

BAS: ‘There is on this issue a deal of propaganda, put about by the Mass media. We need to be very careful. There are the official anti-Christian mass media worldwide. In almost every country it is the same content of news, with the exception perhaps of the African and Asian countries or in the East of Europe.

‘Only on the Internet can you spread your own ideas. Thanks be to God the Internet exists.

‘The idea of changes in marriage and moral laws to be done at the upcoming synod of bishops in Rome, comes from mostly the anti-Christian media. And some clergy and Catholics are collaborating with them in spreading the expectations of the anti-Christian world to change the law of God concerning marriage and sexuality.

‘It is an attack by the anti-Christian world and it is very tragic and sad that some clergy are collaborating with them. To argue for a change the law of God, they use in a kind of sophism the concept of mercy. But in reality this is not mercy, this is cruel.

‘It is not mercy, for instance, if someone has a disease to leave him in his miserable condition. This is cruel.

‘I would not give, for instance, a diabetic sugar, this would be cruel of me. I would try to take someone out of this situation and give them another meal. Perhaps they won’t like it to begin with, but it will be better for them.

‘Those of the clergy who want admit the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion operate with a false concept of mercy. It is comparable with a doctor who gives a patient sugar, although he knows it will kill him. But the soul is more important than the body.

‘If the bishops admit the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, then they are confirming them in their errors in the sight of God. They will even close down the voice of their conscience. They will push them more into the irregular situation only for the sake of this temporal life, forgetting that after this life, though, there is the judgment of God.

‘This topic will be discussed in the synod. This is on the agenda. But I hope the majority of the bishops still have so much Catholic spirit and faith that they will reject the above mentioned proposal and not accept this.

  What is this crisis you mention?

BAS: ‘This is a broader crisis than the reception of the Blessed Sacrament. I think this issue of the reception of Holy Communion by the remarried will blow up and show the real crisis in the Church. The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism, forgetting the Christocentrism. Indeed, this is the deepest evil, when man or the clergy are putting themselves in the centre when they are celebrating liturgy and when they are changing the revealed truth of God, e.g. concerning the Sixth Commandment and human sexuality.

‘The crisis reveals itself also in the manner in which the Eucharistic Lord is treated. The Eucharist is at the heart of the Church. When the heart is weak, the whole body is weak. So when the practice around the Eucharist is weak, then the heart and the life of the Church is weak. And when people have no more supernatural vision of God in the Eucharist then they will start the worship of man, and then also doctrine will change to the desire of man.

‘This crisis is when we place ourselves, including the priests, at the centre and when God is put in the corner and this is happening also materially. The Blessed Sacrament is sometimes in a cupboard away from the centre and the chair of the priest is in the centre. We have already been in this situation for 40 or 50 years and there is the real danger that God and his Commandments and laws will be put on the side and the human natural desiring in the centre. There is causal connection between the Eucharistic and the doctrinal crisis.

‘Our first duty as human beings is to adore God, not us, but Him. Unfortunately, the liturgical practice of the last 40 years has been very anthropocentric.

‘Participating in liturgy is firstly not about doing things but praying and worshipping, to love God with all your soul. This is true participation, to be united with God in your soul. Exterior participation is not essential.

‘The crisis is really this: we have not put Christ or God at the centre. And Christ is God incarnated. Our problem today is that we put away the incarnation. We have eclipsed it. If God remains in my mind only as an idea, this is Gnostic. In other religions e.g. Jews, Muslims, God is not incarnated. For them, God is in the book, but He is not concrete. Only in Christianity, and really in the Catholic Church, is the incarnation fully realised and this has to be stressed therefore also in every point of the liturgy. God is here and really present. So every detail has meaning.

‘We are living in an un-Christian society, in a new paganism. The temptation today for the clergy is to adapt to the new world to the new paganism, to be collaborationists. We are in a similar situation to the first centuries, when the majority of the society was pagan, and Christianity was discriminated against.’

Do you think you can see this because of your experiences in the Soviet Union?

BAS: ‘Yes, [I know what it is] to be persecuted, to give testimony that you are Christian.

‘We are a minority. We are surrounded by a very cruel pagan world. The temptation and challenge of today can be compared with the first centuries. Christians were asked to accept the pagan world and to show this by putting one grain of incense into a fire in front of the statue of the Emperor or of a pagan idol. But this was idolatry and no good Christian put any grain of incense there. They preferred to give their lives, even children, lay people, who were persecuted, gave their lives. Unfortunately there were in the first century members of the clergy and even bishops who put grains of incense in front of the statue of the Emperor or of a pagan idol or who delivered the books of the Holy Scripture to be burned. Such collaborationist Christians and clerics were called in those times “thurificati” or “traditores”.

‘Now, in our days the persecution is more sophisticated. Catholics or clergy are not asking to put some incense in front of an idol. It would be only material. Now, they neo-pagan world wants us to take over its ideas, such as the dissolution of the Sixth Commandment of God, on the pretext of mercy. If some clergy and bishops start to collaborate with the pagan world today in this dissolution of the Sixth Commandment and in the revision of the way God created man and woman, then they are traitors of the Faith, they are participating ultimately in pagan sacrifice.’

  Can you see a split coming in the Church?

BAS: ‘Unfortunately, for some decades some clergy have accepted these ideas of the world. Now however they are following them publicly. When these things continue, I think, there will be an interior split in the Church of those who are faithful to the faith of their baptism and of the integrity of the Catholic faith. There will be a split with those who are assuming the spirit of this world and there will be a clear split, I think. One can imagine that Catholics, who remain faithful to the unchangeable Catholic truth may, for a time, be persecuted or discriminated even on behalf of those who has power in the exterior structures of the Church? But the gates of the hell, i.e. of the heresy, will not prevail against the Church and the Supreme Magisterium will surely issue an unequivocal doctrinal statement, rejecting any collaboration with the neo-pagan ideas of changing e.g. the Sixth Commandment of God, the meaning of sexuality and of family. Then some ‘liberals’, and many collaborators with the spirit of this world, many modern “thurificati et traditores” will leave the Church. Because the Divine truth will unresistingly bring the clarification, will set us free, and will separate in the midst of the Church the sons of the Divine light and the sons of the of the pseudo-light of this pagan and anti-Christian world. I can presume that such a separation will affect each level of the Catholics: lay people and even not excluding the high clergy. Those clergy who accept today the spirit of the pagan world on morality and family declare themselves Catholics and even faithful to the Pope. They even declare extremists those who are faithful to the Catholic faith or those who are promoting the glory of Christ in the liturgy.’

  Do you feel you have been declared an extremist?

BAS: ‘I have not been declared as such formally. I would say such clergy are not in the majority but they have acquired a lot of influence in the Church. They managed to occupy some key positions in some Church offices. Yet this is not power in the eyes of God. Truly powerful are the little ones in the Church, who conserve the faith.

‘These little ones in the Church have been let down and neglected. They have kept the purity of their faith and they represent the true power of the church in the eyes of God and not those who are in administration. Thanks be to God, the numbers of these little ones are growing.

‘I spoke for instance with young students in Oxford [picture left – at source]  and I was so much impressed by these students, I was so glad to see their purity of faith and their convictions, and the clear Catholic mind. Such examples and groups are growing in the Church and this is the work of the Holy Spirit. This will renew the Church. So I am confident and hopeful also in respect of this crisis in the Church. The Holy Ghost will win this crisis with this little army.

‘I am not worried about the future. The Church is Christ’s Church and He is the real Head of the Church, the Pope is only the Vicar of Christ. The soul of the Church is the Holy Spirit and He is powerful. However we are now experiencing a deep crisis in the Church as it happened several times in two thousand years.

  Will it get worse before it gets better?

BAS: ‘I have the impression that it will be worse. Sometime the things have to go to the depths and then you will see the collapse of this anthropocentric, clerical system, which is abusing Church administration power, abusing the liturgy, abusing the concepts of God, abusing the faith and the piety of the little ones in the Church.

‘Then we will see the rising of a renewed Church. This is already preparing. Then this liberal clerical edifice will crash down because they have roots and no fruits.’

  Some people would say you are worrying about unimportant things, what about the poor?

BAS: ‘This is erroneous. The first commandment which Christ gave us was to adore God alone. Liturgy is not a meeting of friends. It is our first task to adore and glorify God in the liturgy and also in our manner of life. From a true adoration and love of God grows love for the poor and our neighbour. It is a consequence. The saints in two thousand years of the Church, all those saints who were so prayerful and pious, they were all extremely merciful for the poor and to care for the poor.

‘In these two commandments are all the others. But the first commandment is to love and adore God and that is realised in a supreme manner in the sacred liturgy. When you are neglecting the first commandment, then you are not doing the will of God, you are pleasing yourself. Happiness is to fulfil the will of God, not to fulfil our will.’

  How long will it be before the Church is renewed?

BAS: ‘I am not a prophet. We can only presume. But, if you look at the history of the Church, the deepest crisis was in the fourth century, that was Arianism. This was a tremendous crisis, all the episcopacy, almost all, collaborated with the heresy. Only some bishops remained faithful, you could count them on the fingers of one hand. This crisis lasted more or less 60 years.

‘Then the terrible crisis of the so-called Obscure century, the 10th century, when the papacy was occupied by some very wicked and immoral Roman families. They occupied the papal chair with their corrupt sons, and it was a terrible crisis.

‘The next period of harm was the so-called exile of Avignon and was very damaging to the Church, causing the great occidental schism. All these crisis lasted some 70-80 years and were very bad for the Church.

‘Now we are, I would say, in the fourth great crisis, in a tremendous confusion over doctrine and liturgy. We have already been in this for 50 years. Perhaps God will be merciful to us in 20 or 30 years? ‘Nevertheless we have all the beauty of the divine truths, of divine love and grace in the Church. No one can take this away, no synod, no bishop, not even a Pope can take away the treasure and beauty of the Catholic faith, of the Eucharistic Jesus, of the sacraments. The unchangeable doctrine, the unchangeable liturgical principles, the holiness of the life constitute the true power of the Church.’

  Our time is seen as a much more liberal era in the Church.

BAS: ‘We have to pray that God will guide his Church from this crisis and give to his Church apostles who are courageous and holy. We need defenders of the truth and defenders of the Eucharistic Jesus. When a bishop is defending the flock and defending Jesus in the Eucharist, then this bishop is defending the little ones in the Church, not the powerful ones.’

  So you don’t mind being unpopular?

BAS: ‘It is quite insignificant to be popular or unpopular. For every clergy the first interest is to be popular in the eyes of God and not in the eyes of today or of the powerful. Jesus said a warning: Woe of you when people speak good of you.

‘Popularity is false. Jesus and the apostles rejected popularity. Great saints of the Church, e.g. SS Thomas More and John Fisher, rejected popularity and they are the great heroes. And those who today are worried with the popularity of the mass media and public opinion, they will not be remembered in the history. They will be remembered as cowards and not as heroes of the Faith.’

  The media has great expectations of Pope Francis.

BAS: ‘Thanks be to God, Pope Francis has not expressed himself in these ways that the mass media expect from him. He has spoken until now, in his official homilies, very beautiful Catholic doctrine. I hope he will continue to teach in very clear manner the Catholic doctrine.’

  On sharing Holy Communion with Anglicans and others?

BAS: ‘This is not possible. There are different faiths. Holy Communion is not a means to achieve unity. It is the last step, not the first step. It would be a desecration of the Holy. Of course, we have to be one. Yet we have differences in belief, some substantial differences. The Eucharist is a sign of the deepest unity. It would be a lie, it would be contradictory to logic sharing Holy Communion with non-Catholics.

‘Ecumenism is necessary in order to be in contact with our separated brethren, to love them. In the midst of the challenge of the new paganism, we can and have to collaborate with serious non-Catholics to defend the revealed Divine truth and the natural law, created by God.’

‘It will be better not to have such a structure when the State is governing the life of the Church, such as for instance the appointments of the clergy or the bishops. Such a practice of a state church would damage the Church itself. In England e.g. the State is governing the Church of England. Such an influence of the State can corrupt spiritually and theologically the church, so it is better to be free from such an established state church.’

  On women in the Church.

BAS: ‘Women are called the weaker sex, given they are physically weaker, however they are spiritually stronger and more courageous than men. It is courageous to give birth. Therefore God gave the woman a courage that a man doesn’t have.

‘Of course, there were many courageous men in the persecutions. Yet God loves to choose the weak ones to confuse the powerful. For instance the Eucharistic women, about which I spoke in my book Dominus Est worked in their families and desired to help the persecuted priests in a very exceptional way. They would never have dared to touch the holy hosts with their fingers. They would refuse to even read a reading during Mass. My mother, for example who is still living in Germany, aged 82, when she first went to the West, she was shocked, scandalised, to see women in the sanctuary during Holy Mass. The true power of the Christian and Catholic woman is the power to be the heart of the family, the domestic church, to have the privilege to be the first who gives nourishment to the body of his child and also to be the first who gives nourishment to the souls of the child, teaching it the first prayer and the first truths of the Catholic faith. The most prestigious and beautiful profession of a woman is to be mother, and especially to be a Catholic mother.’  Source 


Catholic Truth has been saying for years now that there is already a de facto schism in the Church. Bishop Schneider seems to be trying to be a little more diplomatic, but he still warns of a schism to come, as a result of the current crisis in the Church. Is he correct? And what, in your view, is the most important thing about the Bishop’s interview? Is it something he said, or is it the fact that – at last – there is some leadership from a “mainstream” bishop who is clearly saying that “traditional” Catholics have been right, all along?


Comments (342)

  • Dr John Dowden


    Your capacity for historical misinterpretation and mistranslation of foreign languages never fails to amaze me. The longer I read this “Traditional Latin” blog, the more keen I become on the idea of the vernacular – understanded of the people as Dr Cranmer wanted.

    Some of us were made to learn the stuff at school, so (from memory) the peroration Tacitus put into the mouth of the native Caledonian Chief runs “vbi solitudinem faciunt . pacem appellant”. And I dont think pax translates as “renewal”.

    The exact same metrical pattern turns up in the Arbroath Letter sent to Rome in 1320 so perhaps the moral of the story is that Latin is fine so long as it is a living scholarly language but it is deadly in the hands of “traditionalists” who, on this inept showing, are apt to favour a liturgy they cannot actually construe,


    June 15, 2014 at 11:37 pm
    • editor


      Your expertise is second to none. You can twist, distort, take out of context just about anything and everything written by Leo. It’s masterful. Genius, even. Sadly, though, Dowden, your latest comment suggests that you are still smarting from Leo’s rebuttal of your attack on St Pius X on the General Discussion thread. Let it go, Dowden. Let it go…

      Leo’s knowledge of the Faith and his ability to pinpoint key errors in the likes of FA clearly drives you crazy. But notice his utter good manners, his unfailing courtesy, including, by the way, in the face of your harsh words which come across as arrogant Dowden, although I’m sure that’s not a real or fair representation of your good self. We must meet for coffee some day so that I can tell for sure whether Mrs Dowden needs marriage guidance counselling. I can do the training.

      But, Dowden, if you really despise this “traditional Latin” (that’s a new one!) blog so much, feel free to give us a miss – any time that suits you, suits us. Same goes for the coffee date.

      You are not a Catholic, Dowden, and that means that your (naturally) biased view of the Church prevents you seeing the truths proclaimed here. Hence your frustration at our beloved Leo.

      Don’t fight with Leo, Dowden. You can’t win. He’s gold-dust. Let it go 😀

      June 15, 2014 at 11:52 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      I am tiring of your juvenile, bourgeois, old grammar school boy, pseudo-intellectual one-upmanship. To the ordinary folk who you seem to regard as ignoramuses, it is almost comical.

      You’ll never be Chesterton. You are a mediocrity, despite your supposed learning. That’s not a criticism, we all here are mediocrities. There is no wisdom in the soul that has not humility.

      June 16, 2014 at 12:23 am
      • Dr John Dowden

        Gosh, I do seem able to bring out the generous side in traddies. Two large helpings of personal abuse, oh, what a surprise, and only for telling a man he was wrong.

        First we have a lady (whom I believe to be a spinster) offering coffee (fair enough) and marriage guidance for my Management (fair enough if celibate clergy get to tell the Roman faithful all there is to know about family planning, cohabitation and divorce).

        Then some sassenach accuses me of attending a Grammar School! They exist in England but not north of the Agricolan limes – Scotland makes do with some traditional schools which do Latin and comprehensives which don’t. Since the peroration Leo misquotes is a fairly resounding denunciation of the evils of Rome and all its works, it may be that the Roman-Catholic schools in Scotland gave it a miss.

        Still, if people who insist on Latin, don’t think mere linguistic accuracy matters, there is not much anyone can do to dispel the ignorance.

        June 16, 2014 at 1:56 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        No need to take the moral high ground. You’ve done your fair share of condescending, Dr Dowden. My words were tempered with an appeal to humility, and witness to all of our mediocrity.

        Who are you calling spinster? That’s rather very sexist of you.

        I assumed you were English, and a grammar school boy, you have that air about you, not quite sure how to describe it. Perhaps it’s how you pretend Oxbridge are the only universities in England and shows signs of a classical education (most of us never had the opportunity to learn Latin)

        I am thoroughly against the gruesome tripartite system. I have been told off for political broadcasting on the blog before, so I’ll keep it brief. We have it still in the metropolitan borough of Trafford, where my family are form. My mother failed the 11+ and I inherited her trauma growing up, namely how her life had been ruined (this sounds histrionic, but really, honestly I am not exaggerating). Loads of adults are traumatised and carry a lot of shame about this, for real. Yes, we all know comprehensives are rubbish, and we all know grammars are vastly superior, the Tories keep on telling us. It’s not a good enough a reason though. You can’t write off two thirds of the population at age 11. My mother never leaned mathematics, a foreign language, or even English literature, the basic components of a secondary education. Her education was appalling, abysmal, she was truly failed by her country. She managed to make it to university in her 50s though, mainly thanks to Labour’s widening participation policies. It is something I feel intensely angry about. A few times I thought about submitting a formal complaint to the Secretary of State for Education on her behalf, it happened in the 1970s but someone really should apologise. I definitely wouldn’t have passed it, not then, not based on my circumstances, even though I have gone on to study at a Russell group university. My uncle failed the 11+ and has PhD in Chemistry from Imperial College London, despite my grandmother being told he would be able to forge a reasonable career in woodwork, no joke.

        June 16, 2014 at 2:33 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        So basically, the overall meaning of my rant above: intellectual snobbery really winds me up.

        June 16, 2014 at 3:49 am
      • Dr John Dowden


        I am not sure that passing one’s trauma on to the children is a good idea – Little (Russell Group) Dowden will not be helped in her attempts to pass the driving test with tales of parental trauma of mastering three pedals with two feet.

        I can see you are annoyed about your mother’s local council but back in the good old days of the direct grant for independent schools, the grammar/modern school idea was efficiency – gather together homogeneous groups. Quick children learn quickly but convoys have to move at the speed of the slowest ship. Get too many alienated or dissident types together and they can disrupt work for every student. Richer parents can opt out but grammar schools might be the only effective way to ‘lift’ able and educable children from some backgrounds. Given the public funds available are limited, Trafford’s choices are rational so why blame them if a child fails to win in a fairly-run race?

        Last figures I saw put the peasant element in the Scottish population in 1286 at 92%, so go far back enough and hardly any of our ancestors ‘got their chance’ academically – a very few women might learn to read and a few men would learn to read and write Latin. That is the way it is – education be it 1286 or 1976 has to fit people to the opportunities realistically available for them to fill. Why exactly therefore should anyone need an apology for being a hewer of wood or drawer of water?

        Wonderful things tangents.

        June 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I won’t mention anything more about it, it’s a sticky topic, so I won’t reply to you after this, but back in the day, grammar schools were funded disproportionately favourably, whereas secondary moderns were given a fraction, a pittance. There is nothing fair about the system. Fact: middle class children do better, they have the confidence, the resources, the pushy parents, and tutors. Everybody of a certain social class in Trafford tutor their children rigorously before the 11 plus, I know, I’ve seen it.

        Incredibly able people who were let down by the system simply gave up on education and aspiration from age 11 onwards. If I was in power, and had unlimited power, I would send in the air force on the remaining state funder selective schools in Buckinghamshire, Kent, Northern Ireland etc..

        My mother wasn’t slow Dowden. She failed a verbal reasoning test when she was 11. How were children in the 60s and 70s able to perform well in these tests at the age of 11 when they came from families that couldn’t read.

        Comprehensive schools have sets, not everybody is put in the same class, for example, I was in set one for everything, but at primary school I was regarded as retarded (well, not literally). I remember being be allocated a seat in the room where people’s SATS exams were dictated to them when we were 11. I was furious. I thought to myself, do these teachers not realise I can read? I was always in the slow reading group. I can’t imagine why, I currently study modern languages, and got an A star at GCSE English. If I had required a recomendation from my primary teacher to get into grammar school, I wouldn’t have got one. I would have been let down and ended up like my mother as well. I was labelled this way at school, probably because I did appear slow. It wasn’t a case of ability however, I came from a poor, and broken family. My mother had mental health problems, so growing up my social and communication skills were delayed.

        My mother actually left the area completely before my brother began secondary school, so none of her children would have to suffer the anguish and catastrophe that she had suffered. We all went to a comprehensives in Cheshire. I eventually got into a competitive selective sixth form, but I could never have got there is I hadn’t been given an equal chance in the comprehensive system.

        June 16, 2014 at 9:41 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Just to clarify, when I would send the planes over, the children would not be in the schools.

        June 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm
      • editor


        You can’t get away with side-swipes which are more akin to full frontal attacks on Leo and expect to get away with it. And if being a spinster prevents a gal from giving marriage counselling where does that leave the many divorced and remarried umpteen times Agony Aunts publishing their pearls of wisdom about “relationships” in women’s magazines from Lands End to John O’Groats (I’m told – never read the rubbish). Anyway, one was only kidding, Dowden, as if you didn’t know.

        As I’ve said to you before, Dowden, you don’t have the Catholic Faith and it means you just won’t understand the half of what you read here.

        We do not mean to be unkind to you Dowden, but you mustn’t be unkind to Leo either. Miles was about to be deleted until I read that he said we are all mediocrities here at which point I thought the guillotine more appropriate than removing his comment. I’m still mulling it over, so will leave his post intact for now.

        Lighten up, Dowden. You know we love you really! 😀

        June 16, 2014 at 9:56 am
      • Dr John Dowden

        Sorry if you think I am deadly serious – if my employers knew I was clowning about with a crowd of tradcaths I’d probably get sacked.

        Advising people is not easy, especially where one has little or no experience. I am old enough to remember the days of minimum grants and maximum scholarships so I really would struggle to advise a modern UK undergraduate on managing debt. Best thing may be just to listen sympathetically and stay quiet. Same holds of marriage – every couple is different and which of us knows how the future will turn out. Best just to listen to people. Mgr Newton might just manage to advise the Ordinariate with Mrs Mgr Newton to keep him right but the lunacy of unmarried ordinaries holding forth is beyond me.

        As I say, like most people of Scottish descent, I am not Irish, Italian or what ever, so my mother was never able to indoctrinate me in a foreign religion (even had that wonderfully unlikely thought ever entered her head) so there is not that much point complaining that I cannot understand cradle catholics – I do at least try to engage. An uphill struggle.

        June 16, 2014 at 8:02 pm
    • Stephen

      There is a fair amount of arrogance and snobbery emanating from your posts. I have never considered trolling as a particularly fruitful pastime but you seem to be enjoying it. But please consider your spiritual health if not your physical. Cankerous argument derived from a will to disquiet conversation on these threads can only lead to malignancy of your person. For your own good, I would desist.
      On the subject of when or where Latin is ‘fine’ or not, I can only say that I graduated from Macquarie in Sydney a couple of years ago, which is considered one of the best institutions offering Ancient Languages in Australia. My particular area was reading Classical Latin in the main but up to Bede, and Attic Greek though some Old and New Ionic thrown in.
      Far from being an expert (I had touched Latin for 30 years since my Ecce Romani school-days) I know enough about the languages to know that your comment…

      perhaps the moral of the story is that Latin is fine so long as it is a living scholarly language but it is deadly in the hands of “traditionalists”

      …is particularly asinine. I think every Professor/Doctor who I have worked under have taught the subject with completely generosity in seeing the ancient languages as both living languages and ones used for the beauty of study alone. They would not look down their noses at someone struggling with their basic declensions.
      On the other hand, you post here as some kind of authority with all the answers. That for me is the sign of someone who needs help (and friends).
      Coming on here time and again to drive discontent will only cause yourself sickness.
      God bless.

      June 16, 2014 at 3:13 am
  • Miles Immaculatae

    What do people think about referring to the current pope as ‘Peter’?

    I think Fidelity Always means it in the symbolic poetic sense, but it seems a bit contrived and weird to me.

    I mean, he is the ‘successor of Peter’, but Peter himself died in AD 64, and popes aren’t reincarnation of him.

    Is it traditional to refer to the pope as ‘Peter’, or is that a neo-Catholic eccentricity?

    June 16, 2014 at 12:54 am
    • fidelityalways

      He is fulfilling The Petrine Office, and therefore the call must always be follow Peter. If you don’t believe he, as it were, holds the keys you should join some sect where you can pick and choose what you believe. I think you have!

      You think a traditionalist would know that!

      June 16, 2014 at 8:30 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Follow him where, on Twitter?

        June 16, 2014 at 9:14 am
      • Athanasius

        Yes, we follow Peter provided Peter doesn’t deny His Master. Here’s the criteria given by Pius IX for assessing when Peter is being faithful to his Petrine ministry: “The Holy Spirit has not been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”

        If you labour under the misconception that all Popes are automatically faithful to their Petrine obligations then you really need to read about Honorius I and the Popes of the 10th century. The power of the keys of Peter relate principally to the Deposit of Faith, not to personal whims or deviations of individual Popes who are human beings and can err greatly. The Pope is not Our Lord, he is a fallible man, as you should know.

        June 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm
    • editor


      When a cardinal critic of Humanae Vitae essentially ticked off Pope Paul VI for having failed to go along with the majority of the Commission (which he stupidly and pointlessly set up to examine the question of Birth Control) and added that he, Paul VI, had indicated before his election that he would change that teaching, Paul VI pointed out that it was Cardinal Montini who had said that but “I am Peter” meaning he holds the keys of Peter.

      Other than that, we wouldn’t ordinarily speak about the Pope as “Peter” .I think FA is struggling to show that the modern popes have not broken with Tradition and he thinks that by referring to the Pope as “Peter” that somehow makes all the errors of recent times and scandalous utterances by this current pontiff, “traditional”.


      June 16, 2014 at 10:03 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        What if one Peter disagrees with another Peter, which Peter is really Peter?

        June 16, 2014 at 10:25 am
      • fidelityalways

        MI, as you have studied Traditional Catholicism, but sadly do not seem to accept its basic tenets, you will know loyal, educated, Traditional Catholics know there the circumstances, and conditions, in which “Peter” makes binding magisterial statements are clearly defined, and not every word has such authority, and later occupants of The See, and the wider Magisterium, will faithfully transmit that authentic teaching.

        June 16, 2014 at 11:19 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        It was a rhetorical question I posted to Editor to affirm what she said.

        June 16, 2014 at 11:50 am
      • fidelityalways

        But neither of you understand the way The Catholic Church understands The Papal Ministry.

        The Successor fulfils The Petrine Ministry.

        June 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Francis, Bishop of Rome, preached The Homily at his Mass of Installation, 19th March 2013:

        “Dear Brothers and Sisters, I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude………………
        Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!”

        June 16, 2014 at 11:06 am
  • Christina

    Latin is fine so long as it is a living scholarly language but it is deadly in the hands of “traditionalists” who, on this inept showing, are apt to favour a liturgy they cannot actually construe

    Surely, Dowden, even you cannot be as miserably ignorant ot the traditional rite of Holy Mass, and of what it meant/means to those who gave/would give their lives for it, as this nonsense would suggest. You think its language must be ‘construed’ as a schoolboy is required to ‘construe’ one of the Latin authors whose words you are so find of quoting! It does not occur to you that many “traditionalists” love the Mass because they have spent maybe a lifetime learning about it, because they have been taught to know and understand the four ends for which it is offered, because they are absorbed into the actions of what is happening upon the altar through the beauty, cadence and mystery of a sacred, because no longer living, language, which, however, has become so familiar that, as Catholics always did, they say all the more common prayers as easily in Latin as they do in their own language. Latin is ‘deadly in the hands of “traditionalists!’, what utter uncomprehending nonsense! Your amusing little description of your attendance at what you call the ‘Sarum rite’ (and your mistake there was well pointed out) shows what you expect of worship – namely a little entertainment, which is what large numbers of Catholics are provided with if they even trouble to attend a parochial Mass. There is a little more to worshipping God than ‘construing’ the words of a universal sacred language.

    June 16, 2014 at 1:47 am
    • Miles Immaculatae

      It might be hard for Anglicans to understand this, because Anglicanism is a religion of language, but Catholicism transcends language. The Traditional Latin Mass is more than the Latin.

      June 16, 2014 at 9:30 am
    • Margaret Mary


      That is exactly right, that the Mass is about a lot more than Latin. Thank you for saying what I have been thinking, but much more clearly. That’s a wonderfully clear explanation of the truth.

      June 16, 2014 at 10:11 am
      • fidelityalways

        In which case, Holy Mass in the Vernacular should be just the remedy for souls.

        June 16, 2014 at 11:12 am
      • Margaret Mary

        Fidelity Always,

        If Mass in the Vernacular is the remedy for souls, why did we have so many martyrs to refused to attend the vernacular communion services in the past and went to their deaths to defend the Mass which was in Latin?
        Also, why are so many today abandoning the Mass and saying you don’t need organised religion? This apostasy, as Pope John Paul II called it, has only come about since the new Mass came into being.

        June 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Unless I have misread history, with in exception of a very small number, those we honour as Martyrs died centuries before the Second Vatican Council which mandated liturgical reform, and brought about Holy Mass in the Verncular. It is, therefore, not possible that anyone officially recognised as a Martyr, who died before the Reform, died to defend anything other than The Faith in General, which may, or not, had the The Holy Mass, as an issue, but the language was not a source of debate.

        As you must also know, as recently as 2007, The Occupant of The See of Rome affirmed that there is only one Holy Mass, and The Ordinary Form is the norm for The Universal Church. (You may have heard of Summorum Pontificum?)

        One reason why people are becoming disillusion with the Church is, as Pope Paul Vl, said Satan is using confrontation in The Church, and he seems to have had The SSPX in mind, and Francis, Bishop of Rome when further, when he said those not in The SSPX, but of the same mind, are merely “renting a room in The Church”.

        June 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm
      • Nicky

        You are a champion at twisting meanings.

        Pope Paul VI said “from somewhere, the smoke of Satan has entered the Temple of God”. If he’d meant the SSPX he’d have said so.

        Unfortunately, Pope Benedict was too late in saying there was only one form of the Mass. Those who made up the new Mass said the opposite that “the Roman Rite as we knew it, no longer exists.”

        Anybody attending both Masses, as I have done, can see right away that these are two different Masses. If you can’t see it, that’s your problem.

        June 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm
      • fidelityalways

         You selectively quote Pope Paul, and miss out this, from the same speech in 1972, where he speaks of the fruits of The Council being attacked by Satan: “There was an adverse power, the devil, whom the Gospel calls the mysterious enemy of man, something preternatural – which comes to suffocate the fruits of the ecumenical Council. ”

        “A few years later, in an allocution (also in Italian) to the secret consistory of cardinals on May 24, 1976, Pope Paul VI specifically addressed the distortions and disobedience of Archbishops Lefebvre and his followers with respect to the Second Vatican Council. This too is non-magisterial, but it is proper to round out the thought he expressed non-magisterially in the general audience so commonly cited:
        There are those who, under the pretext of a greater fidelity to the Church and the Magisterium, systematically refuse the teaching of the Council itself, its application and the reforms that stem from it, its gradual application by the Apostolic See and the Episcopal Conferences, under Our authority, willed by Christ.
        He even exclaimed in utter frustration:
        It is even affirmed that the Second Vatican Council is not binding; that the faith would be in danger also because of the post-conciliar reforms and guidelines, which there is a duty to disobey to preserve certain traditions. What traditions? Does it belong to this group, and not the Pope, not the Episcopal College, not an Ecumenical Council, to establish which of the countless traditions must be regarded as the norm of faith! (J Maris).”

        The SSPX posted a response on their website, and so they knew, for sure, who the target was.

        June 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm
      • Athanasius


        Pope Benedict XVI called the New Mass “A banal, on-the-spot fabrication.” How do you respond to that?

        June 16, 2014 at 2:13 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Pope Benedict, in Summorum Pontificum:
        “Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the ‘Lex orandi’ (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same ‘Lex orandi,’ and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.”

        June 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm
      • Athanasius

        These are the double standards Catholics have to put up with from the Modernist mind, for the same Pope wrote of the New Mass “in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries and replaced it — as in a manufacturing process — with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.”

        Anyone with a modicum of intelligence comparing the two rites can see immediately that they are not remotely similar, either in respect to the Church’s Lex Orandi or Lex Credendi. That’s why the Synod of Bishops who gathered for the celebration of Mgr. Bugnini’s first ‘Missa Normative’ in Rome in 1967 overwhelmingly rejected it. Compare the two rites prayer by prayer, gesture by gesture and you’ll see the obvious. It’s not rocket science.

        June 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Joseph Joseph Ratzinger, Feast of Faith:
        “Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me add that as far as its
        content is concerned (apart from a few criticisms), I am very grateful
        for the new Missal, for the way it has enriched the treasury of prayers
        and prefaces, for the new eucharistic prayers and the increased
        number of texts for use on weekdays, etc., quite apart from the
        availability of the vernacular. But I do regard it as unfortunate that
        we have been presented with the idea of a new book rather than
        with that of continuity within a single liturgical history.”

        Pope Benedict, in Summorum Pontificum:
        “Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the ‘Lex orandi’ (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same ‘Lex orandi,’ and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.”

        You cannot on one hand cite Ratzinger/Benedict because he uses the owrd “banal” and then ignore his greater, magisterial teaching.

        June 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm
      • Athanasius


        My thanks for your posts quoting Benedict/Ratzinger on the New Mass. They have confirmed the double-standards of the Modernist mind, as St. Pius X clearly pointed out for us in Pascendi.

        June 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Exactly where is the double standard?

        To have criticisms of The New Missal is not the same as rejecting it.

        No wonder Pope Paul described The SSPX, and its supporters, as evil!

        June 16, 2014 at 3:15 pm
      • lionelandrades

        Comment removed

        June 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm
      • Athanasius

        I don’t think even you would insist that a description of the New Mass as a “banal on-the-spot fabrication” amounts to little more than mere criticism of the New Mass. What Cardinal Ratzinger described during one of his more Traditional moments was about as in a nutshell as it gets and it ties in perfectly with Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci’s observation that the New Mass represents in whole and in part a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass. It also fits perfectly with what its chief architect, Mgr. Bugnini, announced on March 19, 1965, who said: We must remove from our Catholic liturgy and prayers all that can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is for the Protestants. He was as good as his word. Cardinal Ratzinger recognised it and so too did Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci.

        Yes, there has been great evil at work, but not on the part of the SSPX.

        June 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Archbishop Lefebvre own notes of a meeting with Pope Paul Vl 11th September 1976: “The Holy Father was lively enough at the beginning – one could almost call it somewhat violent in a way: one could feel that he was deeply wounded and rather provoked by what we are doing. He said to me:
        ‘……. It cannot be allowed, you are doing an evil work, you ought not to continue, you are causing scandal in the Church, etc…’with nervous irritability.
        I kept quiet, you may be sure”

        For a person with concerns to be able to offer a serious critique of The New Rite, and stay faithful to the Church, is surely the duty of any Loyal, Traditional, Catholic, whilst always assenting to teaching authority of The Magisterium.

        To embrace schism, rather than the truth, says what is really in the heart of an individual who professes loyalty, whilst promoting dissension and division. That is contrary to what it means to approach Holy Communion, and say “Amen”.

        June 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm
      • Athanasius


        Some might say that it was Paul VI who was doing the evil work when he dismissed Quo Primum and embarked on the creation of a vernacular Mass that departed in theology from the ancient Mass of the Church against the advice of even his own Roman Cardinals. But, hey, let’s not get into that argument, let’s just judge the fruits of the New Mass by what we have seen in the Church since its inception – and they are very bitter indeed!

        As regards the constant nasty references to schism, you should be aware that the Church in no way accuses the SSPX of schism. If the SSPX were truly a schismatic sect then all the ecumaniacs in the Church would be falling over themselves to share in “dialogue” and perhaps a wee bit of common worship as well.

        If you insist that the SSPX is in schism for merely upholding the faith handed down through 2000 years, resisting the dangerous modern novelties of ecumenism, religious liberty, Collegiality, etc., then you are also condemning the Church of 2000 years as schismatic. Remember, we Traditional Catholics are not the ones who have altered the Faith of our Fathers!

        June 16, 2014 at 4:49 pm
      • fidelityalways

        I think when the SSPX bishops had sanctions lifted, it was said they were excommunicated and not in schism, but frankly they are interested in Divine Truth anyway, and so the technical differences don’t matter.

        They want to be Princes in their own Cult.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:04 pm
      • fidelityalways

        That should say “they are NOT interested in Divine Truth”!

        June 16, 2014 at 7:53 pm
  • Leo


    I don’t intend to waste too much time replying to the following remark of yours.

    “Your capacity for historical misinterpretation and mistranslation of foreign languages never fails to amaze me.” (June 15, 11.37pm)

    Just to correct you: there was no translation good, bad, or indifferent on my part when I posted the words of Tacitus in my post of June 15, 11.16pm.

    If you tell us “renewal” should be replaced by “peace”, that’s fine by me. Whatever. I don’t expect any Conciliar, Age of Aquarius, Modernist revolutionary in the Church would have particular difficulty in interchanging the two words. Really, I can scarcely contain my indifference.

    If anyone is interested they can read the last sentence of paragraph number 30.

    “The wealth of an enemy excites their cupidity, his poverty their lust of power. East and West have failed to glut their maw. They are unique in being as violently tempted to attack the poor as the wealthy. Robbery, butchery, rapine, with false names they call Empire; and they make a wilderness and call it peace.”

    Sounds pretty like a secular, natural version of the Invasion of the Modernists. Like I say: peace or renewal, it’s hardly front page news.

    I will say too, Dowden, that I’m rather pleased with your post. You are reading the thread, and the use of the word “renewal” instead of “peace” appears to be the only word in the particular post that you are able to contradict. Maybe it’s important to you. Again, that’s fine by me. Some people might say it is a rather desperate example of reducing nit picking to new levels. Different opinions are allowed on this blog.

    As for your other rather strange comment about “historical misinterpretation”, all I will say in reply is that it is best to heed the well- worn adage.
    “Quit while you’re behind.”

    If anyone out there is wondering what the reference to “historical misrepresentation” is about, and is prepared for a bit of reading, the best answer I can think of is to suggest they head over to the General Discussion thread to the beginning of our exchange from May 28, 5.19pm onwards.

    Alas, I don’t suppose it is going to upset you, Dowden, if I reiterate the comments of others here that your posts, sad to say, reflect the fact that you have no grasp of the One, True Catholic Faith. You really do need to get on board the only seaworthy vessel there is. And to do that you have to get across the Tiber.

    If you were saying the Rosary every day, you would be a changed man. Salvation of one’s souls is as serious as it gets, and infinitely more serious than a bit of quibbling over translation.

    Read the Book of Proverbs, Dowden. There is much for any of us who claim good faith to remember.

    “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that is wise hearkeneth unto counsels.” – 12:15

    “He that is a scorner, heareth not when he is reproved.” – 13:1

    June 16, 2014 at 2:38 pm
    • fidelityalways

      It is obvious that some people who say the Rosary every day can be abusive and disrespectful, and deny the teaching of The Magisterium.

      I believe Mr Dowden has the right to be called “Dr”, and has given his first name as John. He doesn’t claim the name of one of the great Saints of the Church to mask his rejection of that same Church.

      June 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm
      • editor


        Dr John Dowden’s original username was Dowden. For some reason, he chose to add “Dr John” although I doubt that he is personally entitled to the title DR – I think he said as much some time ago. Stop clutching at straws.

        None of the Catholic bloggers here is abusive or disrespectful and none of us denies any binding Catholic teaching.

        You, on the other hand, cannot say the same. You idolise the current pontiff and reject infallibly binding teachings in order to support the revolution. You are in no position to lecture any of us, believe me.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:08 pm
      • fidelityalways

        I don’t idolise any Pontiff. I have reservations/questions about most of the one’s who have “reigned” in my lifetime, including this one, but I recognise their mandate to “confirm the faith of their brothers”, and I will always listen to, and hopefully assent to The Magisterium, rather than a disgruntled barmy army.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:29 pm
      • Dr John Dowden


        You forget the tribulations of the blog – every time it collapses WordPress wants a new user name. I was perfectly happy with Dowden and my old avatar. New blog, new name, John Dowden. Yet another new blog and we get Dr John Dowden. I did sort of think of Bishop Dowden but the chances are you would consider that absolutely null and utterly void.

        As to real life titles it is just a matter of deciding on the basis of what you have seen whether the University of Oxford would be daft enough to award a DPhil on the likes of me, silly hat and all.

        But the issue is not minor things like that – there is a problem here that does confuse outsiders no end. We see one load of “catholics” running down another load of “catholics”, pausing briefly only to abuse any passing ‘piskie as not being a “catholic” at all.

        I doubt if many people here have the faintest idea of how deeply Dr Schnieder (and his old Polish boss) are loathed among the Orthodox and it is not difficult to see why he spends as much time as he does away from his theoretical assistant bishopric. The Russian blogs go incandescent at the very name of the man. But even if he has pretty well burned his boats in the east (and his promotion chances are nil) that really does not mean he should be taken at all seriously in the west. The real lunacy however is that whereas most first-world Catholics might consider his decidedly second-world views quaintly antediluvian it really is confusing for the likes of me to see the opinion here that he is not being extremist enough.

        I am all for dialogue with our separated whatsit but is there any chance you could sort the internal squabble out among yourselves? You often come over as worse than Anglicans having an internal spat.

        June 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm
      • editor


        Firstly, you have problems with WordPress and usernames/avatars only if you have more than one email address. Avatars are always attached to the email you used to set up the avatar. If you wish to revert officially to Dowden, all you need to do is go into MY PROFILE on your dashboard, and scroll to “Publicly Display Name as” and type in Dowden. Then scroll to save the change. Then click on “change my avatar” and go through the gravatar process to restore that lovely wee dog to his rightful place.

        As for the rest – behave yourself. You know perfectly well that this blog is dedicated to reporting the crisis in the Church and to making sure that authentic Catholic teaching (and true morals) is defended and promoted over the many errors and heresies floating around. The fact that Modernism is infecting the Church in our times means that many Catholics have gone along with what is really a revolution and many of them just can’t see it. Enter Catholic Truth. There’s no “dialogue” though – you got that wrong, dear Dowden. No, we correct errors we don’t talk ourselves to death for the purpose of reaching some kind of friendly agreement to disagree. We leave that to the Anglicans 😀

        One thing, Dowden, that is odd to the point of being amazing. Try as I have been doing, I cannot find a photo anywhere online of your friend Mr Welby bestowing his “blessing” on Papa Francis. Seems very strange that it was there, before my eyes, on the 6 o’clock BBC UK wide news, but not the 9 or 10 o’clock news and nowhere on Google. I even visited the official website of lovely Mr Welby, but again, several photos of the day’s meeting, but none of that “blessing”.

        Any ideas (or preferably a link to a photo!) will be welcome.

        Puzzled, Glasgow.

        June 16, 2014 at 11:27 pm
      • Dr John Dowden

        Thank you. In that case it was moving to new e-mails which is the problem but the avatar adorns my desktop still – to live up to my reputation for noticing small errors, the lovely wee dog you remember was a she not a he, and she was a lovely wee wolf not a dog.

        Cannot help with Vespers/Evensong. It is standard and these gatherings – Benedict XVI joined the Dean and Chapter of Westminster when he visited (he approves Dr Cranmer’s work and likes English music) and there have been three such services in Rome – they are hardly news so I doubt if anyone much will post images.

        Any “blessing” is pretty unremarkable unless one is determined to take scandal at every opportunity.

        The only novelty I could see was that peculiar stuff about Cardinal Pole’s fig tree. That and the fact that the pictures show Canon Goodall is putting on a lot of weight now that he has been elevated to the purple. This new Vatican boarding house is doing none of them much good by the looks of it.

        June 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm
  • fidelityalways

    From The Vatican today:


    Vatican City, 16 June 2014 (VIS) – The awareness that the objective of unity may seem distant, but is always the aim of the path of ecumenism and common concern for the ills of humanity, especially human trafficking, were some of the key themes in the Holy Father’s encounter with His Grace Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, in the Vatican this morning.

    “The Lord’s question – ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ – might also apply to us. When Jesus put this question to his disciples they were silent; they were ashamed, for they had been arguing about who was the greatest among them. We too feel ashamed when we ponder the distance between the Lord’s call and our meagre response. Beneath his merciful gaze, we cannot claim that our division is anything less than a scandal and an obstacle to our proclaiming the Gospel of salvation to the world. Our vision is often blurred by the cumulative burden of our divisions and our will is not always free of that human ambition which can accompany even our desire to preach the Gospel as the Lord commanded”.

    Despite these difficulties, “The Holy Spirit gives us the strength not to grow disheartened and invites us to trust fully in the power of His works. As disciples who strive to follow the Lord, we realise that the faith has come to us through many witnesses. We are indebted to great saints, teachers and communities; they have handed down the faith over the ages and they bear witness to our common roots”.

    The bishop of Rome went on to remark that yesterday, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the archbishop of Canterbury celebrated Vespers in the Church of San Gregorio al Celio, “from which Pope Gregory the Great sent forth Augustine and his monastic companions to evangelise the peoples of England, thus inaugurating a history of faith and holiness which in turn enriched many other European peoples. This glorious history has profoundly shaped institutions and ecclesial traditions which we share and which serve as a solid basis for our fraternal relations”.

    “On this basis, then, let us look with confidence to the future. The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission and the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission represent especially significant forums for examining, in a constructive spirit, older and newer challenges to our ecumenical engagement. He also emphasised their shared “horror in the face of the scourge of human trafficking and forms of modern-day slavery” and thanked Archbishop Welby “for the leadership you have shown in opposing these intolerable crimes against human dignity”.

    “In attempting to respond to this urgent need, notable collaborative efforts have been initiated on the ecumenical level and in cooperation with civil authorities and international organisations. Many charitable initiatives have been undertaken by our communities, and they are operating with generosity and courage in various parts of the world. I think in particular of the action network against the trafficking in women set up by a number of women’s religious institutes”. He concluded, “Let us persevere in our commitment to combat new forms of enslavement, in the hope that we can help provide relief to victims and oppose this deplorable trade. I thank God that, as disciples sent to heal a wounded world, we stand together, with perseverance and determination, in opposing this grave evil”.

    June 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm
    • Athanasius

      That will be the Anglican communion of homosexual and women priests and bishops? How very Catholic! How very faithful to Sacred Scripture! This is the hypocrisy of false ecumenism

      Pius XI exposes the error thus: “When there is question of fostering unity among Christians, it is easy for many to be misled by the apparent excellence of the object to be achieved. Is it not right, they ask, is it not the obvious duty of all who invoke the name of Christ to refrain from mutual reproaches and at last to be united in charity? Dare anyone say that he loves Christ and yet not strive with all his might to accomplish the desire of Him who asked His Father that His disciples might be ‘one’? (Jn. 17:21)….If only all Christians were ‘one,’ it is contended, then they might do so much more to drive out the plague of irreligion which, with its insidious and far-reaching advance, is threatening to sap the strength of the Gospel. In reality, however, these fair and alluring words cloak a most grave error, subversive of the foundations of the Catholic religion…” 1928 Encyclical Mortalium Animos.

      Neither let us forget Pope Leo XIII’s Bull Apostolicae Curae declaring Anglican orders null and void. That means Archbishop Welby is really just Mr. Welby in fancy dress, as are all others who claim clerical title in the CofE. It’s not me saying this, it is a Pope by full authoritative declaration.

      June 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm
      • fidelityalways

        I am not querying who was, or is, ordained. I accept that Catholics do not accept the validity of Orders outside The Church.

        It was more the positive work being done to help so many people in dire circumstances by working with people of other Traditions.

        Even, as a lay person Mr Welby could claim a greater grasp of religion, Theology, and history than a man who hides behind the name of a great saint to reject all that Saint taught.

        June 16, 2014 at 3:31 pm
      • Athanasius

        And what about the truth and the salvation of immortal souls, or is it all just about worldly social work these days? The greatest act against charity is to deprive one’s neighbour of the essential truths of religion that they need to save their souls. Suppressing those in the name of common social work is known as human respect. It is gravely deceitful and sinful.

        June 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm
      • Dr John Dowden


        We can let the homophobia and sex discrimination pass but do try to sort out order and jurisdiction.

        Should Dr Welby decide to turn Roman, Rome would want to consecrate him over again or think about the Dutch Touch.

        But the point here is that he might or might not be in valid orders but he is in lawful possession of the ancient see of Canterbury and one of our Lords Spiritual.

        I know Romans are not always sound on the UK constitution but Vatican protocol accepts His Grace is the archbishop of of Canterbury, sworn of the Privy Council and a member of our Upper House. As a matter of English law he is a clerk in holy order.

        Now if you want to disrespect our laws in pursuit of some outmoded stuff from a Dead Pope, so be it – the actual bishop of Rome thinks otherwise.

        Now what diocese or title is it the Vatican says the SSPX bishops were consecrated to? See of Erehwon?

        June 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm
      • Athanasius

        Dr. Dowden,

        It is not homophobia and sex descrimination to uphold what the Catholic religion and Sacred Scripture have always taught, so you can dispense with that old trick. I was pointing out rebellion against divine revelation by people claiming to be faithful to Christ. There’s no way around that one, my friend, not even with the old chestnuts of “homophobia” and “sex descrimination.” You are not a Catholic so I do not expect you to possess the truths of the faith. Your objections are therefore understandable, if irrational.

        June 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm
      • fidelityalways

        The Vatican doesn’t have to have a view as to whether Dr Welby is in the H of L, or the Privy Council as Canon Law wouldn’t apply to him. Bishop Schneider, above, articulates Church Teaching when he says Church and State should be separate. “In England e.g. the State is governing the Church of England. Such an influence of the State can corrupt spiritually and theologically the church, so it is better to be free from such an established state church.”

        Dr Welby has a Catholic Spiritual Director!

        The Vatican can’t dictate protocols within a State, and would generally accept the credentials of that State, but wouldn’t necessarily accept a nominated Ambassador, as is its right.

        Dr Welby is, I believe, married with children, and no one sensible has suggested he is homosexual.

        Dr Welby, personally, was never in Communion with Rome, you, however, once were.

        Dr Welby shows respect to The Holy See, and more especially the Successor of St Peter. You publicly ridicule it.

        Whose soul is at greater peril, I wonder?

        June 16, 2014 at 4:58 pm
      • Athanasius

        Traditional Catholic teaching condemns separation of Church and State in the most vehement terms, and it does so for obvious reasons. Separation of Church and State is equivalent to separation of body and soul – it results in death! In this case the death of Christian society, as we have all seen develop since the Protestant rebellion of the XVI century.

        June 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Somewhere in a post, you mention Dr Welby, House of Lords, and homosexuality and I can’t find it now. It may be The Editor has actually done some postive work, for once.

        As Bishop Schneider notes above, separation of Church and State is what the Church believes is right. “In England e.g. the State is governing the Church of England. Such an influence of the State can corrupt spiritually and theologically the church, so it is better to be free from such an established state church.”
        The Holy See would the reserve the right not to accept the credentials of someone nominated as Ambassador to The Holy See, but in every other respect accept the credentials of the person given by the nominating State, or organisation. Only recently they received The Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Elizabeth Queen.
        The Church promotes democracy, and seeks to ensure that states recognize and upheld the rights and dignity of each person, but would not dictate who should be in the legislature of a State. Dr Welby can freely sit in the House of Lord’s as Canon Law applies to those in Communion with Rome (which neatly excludes you).
        Dr Welby is, I believe, married with children. No-one has suggested he is homosexual.
        Dr Welby has a Roman Catholic Spiritual Director.
        Pope Benedict, one of the greatest leaders and theologians The Church has had, proposed that “a healthy secularism of the State, by virtue of which temporal realities are governed according to their own norms but which does not exclude those ethical references that are ultimately founded in religion.”

        June 16, 2014 at 6:02 pm
      • Athanasius


        “Pope Benedict, one of the greatest leaders and theologians The Church has had, proposed that “a healthy secularism of the State, by virtue of which temporal realities are governed according to their own norms but which does not exclude those ethical references that are ultimately founded in religion.”

        The first part of your proposition above is a matter of opinion. Archbishop Lefebvre declared that he had had to correct Cardinal Ratzinger on a number of theological errors when they met in1988. Besides that, anyone who is a disciple of the once-Indexed heretic Henri de Lubac has to be suspect. It is from this unsound source that the great error of separation of Church and State emanates. Now we know why Pope Pius XII banned de Lubac’s writings and forbid him to teach publicly.

        Concerning the second part of your proposition, we see how well it has worked out in a country that it is now utterly hedonistic and anti-family.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:38 pm
      • fidelityalways

        So you are saying a person excommunicated by The Church, rather than a Successor to Peter, is a more credible teacher for you? How odd.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm
      • editor


        Would you mind posting a link to the Encyclical which states that Church and State must be separate? I must have missed that.

        Thank you.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:14 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Not everything is in an encyclical, and The Magisterium is there to lead and guide The Church.

        I think most things promulgated since the last Council, and certainly recent Occupants of the See of Rome, have articulated such a view.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:31 pm
      • Athanasius

        And so once again you suggest that the Pope is not just sometimes infallible but rather at all times impeccable. You really do not grasp what the authentic Magisterium of the Church is. What it is not is a confusion of teaching between different Popes. You confuse personal opinion with formal teaching.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:42 pm
      • fidelityalways

        On the contrary, I have given examples of wrong judgement: Pope Benedict rewriting history on abrogation, and the farcical Odrinariate. That, however, doesn’t mean he wasn’t a good Pope. Both decisions, were legal rather than theological, as he says there is only One Holy Mass, and the Ordinariate is a novel departure from how we normally receive people into Full Communion anyway.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm
      • Athanasius

        The really dangerous and outrageous rewriting of history was Benedict’s “resignation,” which makes of the divinely instituted Chair of Peter just another seat at the corporate table, even if it is that of CEO. Popes do not resign, they abdicate. And when they abdicate, which they rarely do, only twice in the Church’s entire history, they cease calling themselves Pope and they stay out of the public eye. Many of the Church’s enemies have longed and fought hard to get just one Pope to resign, for then they can claim that the See of Peter is no longer autocratic, as Christ Our Lord instituted it, but rather democratic with a built-in retirement package. How scandalous!

        June 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Whether its called resignation or abdication, he gave up, voluntarily, The Petrine Office.

        The Pope emeritus title, and to still wear the gear, is possibly a mistake, but less so than rejecting The Church on a false ideology as some have done.

        June 16, 2014 at 7:22 pm
      • Athanasius

        “The Pope emeritus title, and to still wear the gear, is possibly a mistake, but less so than rejecting The Church on a false ideology as some have done.”

        Indeed! That’s why St. Vincent of Lerins admonishes that when some novel contagion infects the entire Church (such as today’s Modernism), the faithful Catholic must seek shelter from the disease in Sacred Tradition. Wise advice!

        June 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm
      • Confitebor Domino


        The problem is that none of those prior to the council said any such thing – in fact they taught precisely the opposite!

        Do you really believe that what was true for 1900-odd years suddenly ceased to be true in the 1960s?

        June 16, 2014 at 7:58 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Clearly those things termed Modernist did not “exist” before they were identified by the then Pope, in relatively recent times, or else they would not be termed “Modernist”. To suggest otherwise would be nonsensical beyond believe.

        The term Modernism in anyone’s language must mean: mod·ern·ism (m d r-n z m). n. 1. a. Modern thought, character, or practice. b. Sympathy with or conformity to modern ideas, practices, or standards. That is, recent.

        As has been identified, by sound thinkers, some what these recent Popes identified as problems were not properly understood by them.

        June 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm
      • Athanasius

        You should read the combined Syllabi of Popes Pius IX & X condemning various erroneous propositions, in which you will find condemned your own proposition that the Popes did not understand what they were condemning.

        June 16, 2014 at 8:53 pm
      • fidelityalways



        By Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton

        Exact from the American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. CXXI, August, 1949, pp. 136-150

        June 16, 2014 at 8:54 pm
      • fidelityalways



        By Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton
        Exact from the American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. CXXI, August, 1949, pp. 136-150

        “Despite the divergent views about the existence of the infallible pontifical teaching in the encyclical letters, there is one point on which all theologians are manifestly in agreement. They are all convinced that all Catholics are bound in conscience to give a definite internal religious assent to those doctrines which the Holy Father teaches when he speaks to the universal Church of God on earth without employing his God-given charism of infallibility. Thus, prescinding from the question as to whether any individual encyclical or group of encyclicals may be said to contain specifically infallible teaching, all theologians are in agreement that this religious assent must be accorded the teachings which the Sovereign Pontiff includes in these documents. This assent is due, as Lercher has noted, until the Church might choose to modify the teaching previously presented or until proportionately serious reasons for abandoning the non-infallible teaching contained in a pontifical document might appear. It goes without saying that any reason which would justify the relinquishing of a position taken in a pontifical statement would have to be very serious indeed.”

        June 17, 2014 at 6:36 am
      • Fidelis

        There is no reply button at Fidelity Always post at it is that I am replying to.

        “Nothing can ever pass away from the words of Christ, nor can anything be changed in the doctrine which the Catholic Church received from Christ to guard, protect, and preach.”

        Bl. Pope Pius IX

        That contradicts what the Monsignor you quote says but you will agree that a pope’s statements is more important.

        June 17, 2014 at 10:09 am
      • Fidelis

        These quotes also contradict your Monsignor Fenton –

        I cannot sufficiently be astonished that such is the insanity of some men, such the impiety of their blinded understanding, such, finally, their lust after error, that they will not be content with the rule of faith delivered once and for all from antiquity, but must daily seek after something new, and even newer still, and are always longing to add something to religion, or to change it, or to subtract from it!

        St. Vincent of Lerins

        The nature of the Catholic faith is such that nothing can be added to it, nothing taken away. Either it is held in its entirety or it is rejected totally. This is the Catholic faith which, unless a man believes faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

        Pope Benedict XV

        June 17, 2014 at 10:19 am
  • Leo

    Fidelity Always

    You appear to hold a gravely defective understanding of Catholic teaching on the Ordinary Universal Magisterium.

    You have spoken a great deal about the need to “follow Peter” and the Magisterium.

    Are you suggesting that if Pope Francis or any subsequent Pope were to teach that the souls of the faithful departed would only possess the Beatific Vision after the Last Judgement, the Catholic laity would be obliged to accept that teaching?

    Before answering that question, Fidelity Always, you might consider reading, or re-reading about Pope John XXII.

    June 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm
    • fidelityalways

      I know taking advice from you would be like selling my soul to The Devil.

      June 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm
      • Athanasius

        Then maybe you will listen to this wise advice from Archbishop Lefebvre after the Council: “Satan’s masterstroke has been to sow disobedience through obedience.”

        The Devil doesn’t usually appear with a sale option. No, he saves on the bargain by appearing, as St. Paul tells us, disguised as an angel of light.

        Yes, that’s the same St. Paul who wrote: “For there will come a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but according to their own desires will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.” One such fable, presented as though from an angel of light, is false ecumenism.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm
      • fidelityalways

        The same Archbishop who set up his own cult, and was excommunicated, and who a Successor of St Peter, warned was doing the work of The Devil, and promoting evil?

        Not exactly one to buy a Used Car of, is he? Less so, one to give theological opinions. He wanted to be a Prince amongst pygmies.

        June 16, 2014 at 7:37 pm
      • sixupman

        Msgr. Lefebvre had ‘front line’ experience in the trenches of furtherance of The Faith in adverse circumstances. Which is more than one can say about the ladder-climbing,self-indulgent [and that includes Franciscus] that we have to-day.

        My faith is grounded upon what I was taught by clergy who are now referred top as “neanderthal”, Franciscus appears [typical Modernist approach] to tell us that was a sin yesterday is not a sin to-day and that Truth is a variable and capable of development. [expletives deleted]

        June 16, 2014 at 7:54 pm
  • Leo

    Fidelity Always

    You posted the following in a reply to Athanasius:

    “Blessed John Cardinal Newman predated The Council by some distance, and he spoke of the development of doctrine. The Church must constantly grow in understanding of truths.
    I repeat again the problem is you read documents literally and removed from their historical, and cultural, context and impose a prejudiced view on them.” – June 15, 1.40pm

    You are dancing on thin ice there. Newman is regularly called in, quite erroneously, and his words used mischievously, by Modernists who seek to justify “evolution” in dogma.

    Pope Saint Pius X, clearly identified the agenda and tactics of those propagating the “synthesis of all heresies”:

    “Evolution in the Church itself is fed by the need of adapting itself to historical conditions and of harmonising itself with existing forms of society.”- Pascendi

    Monsignor Philip Flanagan D.D. in an introduction written in a compilation of twenty five of Newman’s sermons entitled Newman Against the Liberals explains:

    “Newman’s theory of doctrinal development is fundamentally different from the theology of the Modernists, who so unjustly claim his support. For them revelation is a continuing process destined to go on till the end of time, with earlier statements of the truth being modified and perhaps even contradicted by later statements more suited to the spirit of the age in which they are made. For Newman the revealed message was given once and for all by God, to be more and more fully grasped as time goes on, but to be passed on in its entirety, undiminished and uncorrupted. For the Modernist, dogmas have no absolute truth and are valid for the time in which they are made, but not necessarily at other periods.”- p. 26 (cited in Partisans of Error, by Michael Davies, p. 54)

    Newman listed seven requirements for a true development.

    “These are unity of type, continuity of principle, power of assimilation, logical sequence, anticipation of its future, conservation of its past, and finally, chronic vigour. ‘The point to be ascertained is the unity and identity of the idea with itself through all stages of its development from first to last, and these are seven tokens that it may rightly be accounted one and the same all along’ (Newman Against the Liberals).” – Davies, p. 55

    In other words Newman expressed the same attitude to Church teaching as other Catholics who are faithful to Tradition and who continue to be subjected to ill-informed and illogical neo Catholic tantrums, to say nothing of defamation and persecution.

    The following words of Newman might have written with the present Conciliar madness in mind.

    “The body of bishops failed in their confession of the Faith…They spoke variously, one against another; there was nothing, after (the Council of) Nicea (325 AD) of firm, unvarying, consistent testimony, for nearly sixty years. There were untrustworthy Councils. Unfaithful bishops; there was weakness, fear of consequences, misguidance, delusion, hallucination, endless, hopeless, extending into nearly every corner of the Catholic Church. The comparatively few who remained faithful were discredited and driven into exile; the rest were either deceivers or deceived.”

    – John Henry Newman, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine.

    I think readers can figure out who is who there.

    June 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm
    • Athanasius


      Exquisitely put!

      June 16, 2014 at 5:24 pm
      • Leo

        Thank you, Athanasius

        You’ve being doing a bit of that yourself!

        June 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm
    • fidelityalways

      As far as I can see you think there have been three Popes: Peter, Pius X and Pius Xl. The last two over reached themselves, and we discover their judgements have been judged by their successors, and an Ecumenical Council, not to be wholly authentic, and were an imperfect attempt to identify problems, and propose solutions.

      I find your use of quotations highly suspect, and as you think Pope Benedict a Modernist you should note he is the biggest advocate of his cause. May I suggest your opinion of these things contain an inherent contradiction. Unfortunately you don’t seem to suffer from self doubt, but you are out of stop with The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

      June 16, 2014 at 7:44 pm
  • Leo

    In a letter to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on July 20, 1983, Cardinal Ratzinger states that:

    “It must be noted that, because the conciliar texts are of varying authority, criticism of certain of their expressions, in accordance to the general rules of adhesion to the Magisterium, is not forbidden. You may likewise express a desire for a statement or an explanation on various points. … You say that personally you cannot see how they are compatible, and so ask the Holy See for an explanation.”

    It is impossible for infallible texts to “vary in authority”. As for asking the “Holy See for an explanation”, I’m sure many here are aware of the Dubia which Archbishop Lefebvre submitted to Rome in October 1985, setting out thirty nine doubts concerning the continuity of the Council’s teaching on religious liberty with previous Church teaching. These doubts are published in the book, Religious Liberty Questioned.

    Rome’s fifty page reply, received about eighteen months later if I’m not mistaken, addressed none of the doubts in particular, admitted that the doctrine on religious liberty was “incontestably a novelty”, but claimed that it was the outcome of “doctrinal development in continuity.”

    Support for the Archbishop’s criticism concerning lack of continuity comes from an unlikely source:

    “It cannot be denied that a text like this (the declaration on Religious Liberty) does materially say something different from the Syllabus of 1864, and even almost the opposite of propositions 15 and 77-79 of that document.” Yves Congar, Challenge to the Church, p.147

    June 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm
    • fidelityalways

      Cardinal Ratzinger rightly argued that not all the Documents had the same status. In more than one of his works he identifies those he thinks are exceptional in expounding some things, and he also states which he thinks are less weighty. (Their subject matter will also have some bearing on their status, as they may not concern faith and morals.)

      Yves Congar is highlighting the fact the wrong emphasis has sometimes been given to some propositions, and their status as proper Magisterial statements is questionable. Clearly history proves him right. Ask Galileo!

      June 16, 2014 at 9:46 pm
      • Athanasius

        The Council did not address faith and morals issues, nor was it a doctrinal Council bearing the mark of infallibility. It was a purely pastoral Council that was supposed to deal with lesser issues in the Church. How then can it be used to justify a new vernacular Mass (contrary to Council teaching), a new ecclesiology, a new Catechism and a new Code of Canon Law? In fact, Vatican II called for none of these things.

        Neither did it order ecumenical and inter-faith get-togethers, the re-ordering of churches, Communion in the hand, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, girl altar servers, the heretical Dutch Catechism, an increase in marriage annulments (from 700 annually in the U.S. in 1970 to more than 50,000 by 1995), clown Masses, coffee table Masses, balloon Masses, the sharing of shrines and churches with Buddhists, Hindus, etc., prelates receiving blessings from non-Catholics, the closure of hundreds of seminaries and religious houses and thousands of churches.

        Are you innovators completely blind to the bitter fruits of so-called Conciliar reform? It would seem so. Well at least have the decency not to lay the blame for this disaster on the Holy Spirit, for that would be blasphemy. The spirit of the reform has not been the Holy Spirit, you may be assured of that!

        June 16, 2014 at 10:59 pm
      • fidelityalways

        To list things you don’t like and call them abuses is hardly sound theology, or ecclesiology is it? Nor is it right to cherry pick Papal Teaching: Summurum Pontificum says The Ordinary Form of The Mass is the norm, and lift an abrogation. You accept the legal change, but not the teaching.

        You deny you are saying there is no Pope, and yet you choose the teaching of an excommunicated, dead, Bishop over that of The Magisterium. Tow recent Pope’s have been canonised, and one is to be beatified, and they are all wrong?

        Who is not listening and denying Church Teaching?

        June 17, 2014 at 5:51 am
      • Vianney

        “and yet you choose the teaching of an excommunicated, dead, Bishop over that of The Magisterium.”

        What that dead Bishop taught was the undiluted Catholic Faith in it’s entirety as had been taught by the Church since time immemorial.

        June 17, 2014 at 8:29 am
      • fidelityalways

        Clearly he didn’t or his Cult followers would sign the Vatican document affirming ALL Church teaching.

        June 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm
  • Stephen

    To sum it up…From Ecumenism to Silent Apostasy

    You might say that Satan has some unwitting puppets in eminent positions.

    June 16, 2014 at 8:39 pm
  • fidelityalways

    Editor can individual commentators remove the reply “button”? if not, why does it sometimes not appear?

    If it is an individual decision, is it not cowardly not to accept an alternative view?

    June 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm
    • editor


      The reply button disappears after a certain number of replies. I think we selected the maximum, probably 10.

      It can be annoying, but what I do is go to the next comment above and use that “reply” button if it is still there, then I say that this is a reply to X at such and such a time/date. Bit of a nuisance but not the end of the blogosphere.

      June 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Thank You for your courteous reply, and helpful advice.

        God Bless you.

        June 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm
  • Leo

    “Yves Congar is highlighting the fact the wrong emphasis has sometimes been given to some propositions, and their status as proper Magisterial statements is questionable. Clearly history proves him right. Ask Galileo!”

    Fidelity Always

    You make another inaccurate, unsustainable statement in opposition to traditional papal teaching.

    What is your basis for stating as “fact” that “wrong emphasis has sometimes been given to some propositions”? Do you, by some double standard, then deny Catholics in these days of unprecedented apostasy, the right under canon law, indeed their Catholic duty, to question the shepherds on matters of faith and the salvation of souls?

    “It is necessary to obey a Pope in all things as long as he does not go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the Church, he need not be followed.”
    – Pope Innocent III, De Consuetudine

    “If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith,
    do not follow him.” – Pope Pius IX, Letter to Bishop Brizen

    Do you contradict the following words of a Pope or find them “questionable”?

    As Pope Leo XIII, citing his predecessor Felix III, teaches: “An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed.” (Inimica Vis [1892]).

    Do you hold that the following Magisterial statements are “questionable?

    “This you (the bishops of the world) will do perfectly if you watch over yourselves and your doctrine, as your office makes it your duty, repeating incessantly to yourselves that every novelty attempts to undermine the Universal Church and that, according to the warning of the holy Pope Agatho, “nothing that has been regularly defined can bear diminution, or change, or addition, and repels every alteration of sense, or even words.” – Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari vos 15 August 1832

    “Nor do we merely desire that Catholics should shrink from the errors of Modernism, but also from the tendencies, or what is called the spirit, of Modernism. Those who are infected by that spirit develop a keen dislike for all that savours of antiquity and become eager searchers after novelties….
    The law of our forefathers should still be held sacred: let there be no innovation: keep to what has been handed down.” –Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922), Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914

    Are you questioning the Magisterial status of the following words? If so, on what basis? And stating that the Modernist revolutionaries didn’t like it, won’t be good enough.

    “From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our predecessor, Gregory XVI, an ‘insanity’, Namely, that ‘liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted Society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word or mouth, by the press, or in any other way.’ But while they rashly affirm this, they do not understand and note that they are preaching liberty of perdition…’ Therefore, by Our Apostolic Authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all the sons of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.” Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura (#’s 3-6), Dec. 8, 1864

    In the American Ecclesiastical Review in May 1953, Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office, condemned those who attempt to bypass permanently valid teaching in encyclicals on the grounds that it was transient and applicable only to the historical circumstances which prompted it:

    “The first fault of these persons consists precisely in their failure to accept fully the arma veritatis and the teachings which the Roman Pontiffs during the past century, and particularly the reigning Pontiff Pius XII, have given to Catholics on this subject in encyclical letters, allocutions, and instructions of various kinds.

    “To justify themselves, these people assert that in the body of teaching imparted within the Church there are to be distinguished two elements, the one permanent, and the other transient. This latter is supposed to be due to the reflection of particular contemporary conditions.

    “Unfortunately, they carry this tactic so far as to apply it to the principles taught in pontifical documents, principles on which the teachings of the Popes have remained constant so as to make these principles a part of the patrimony of Catholic doctrine.”

    Before making statements about fomenting schism and dissidents and cults, and barmy armies and following Peter, and claims that it is “fact” that “the wrong emphasis has sometimes been given to some propositions”, I respectfully and in charity suggest, Fidelity Always,that you look at the issue through the lense of fidelity to Catholic Tradition. Your arguments, and indeed methods of arguing and, at times your language, have to date been very “questionable”.

    June 16, 2014 at 11:22 pm
  • Lionel Andrades

    Fidelity Always



    By Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton
    Exact from the American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. CXXI, August, 1949, pp. 136-150

    “Despite the divergent views about the existence of the infallible pontifical teaching in the encyclical letters, there is one point on which all theologians are manifestly in agreement. They are all convinced that all Catholics are bound in conscience to give a definite internal religious assent to those doctrines which the Holy Father teaches when he speaks to the universal Church of God on earth without employing his God-given charism of infallibility. Thus, prescinding from the question as to whether any individual encyclical or group of encyclicals may be said to contain specifically infallible teaching, all theologians are in agreement that this religious assent must be accorded the teachings which the Sovereign Pontiff includes in these documents. This assent is due, as Lercher has noted, until the Church might choose to modify the teaching previously presented or until proportionately serious reasons for abandoning the non-infallible teaching contained in a pontifical document might appear. It goes without saying that any reason which would justify the relinquishing of a position taken in a pontifical statement would have to be very serious indeed.”

    Pope Pius XII has called ‘the dogma’ extra ecclesiam nulla salus an ‘infallible teaching’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949). The dogma has always to be taught as the Church teaches it, the Letter says.The saints have always taught the dogma as having no exceptions. Even the editor here in a post has said that there are no exceptions to extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    However the Letter of the Holy Office also mentions the baptism of desire and being saved in invincible ignorance as an exception.
    So in the Letter the magisterium in the past has said there are no exceptions and now it is saying there are exceptions. So at one of the two times, the magisterium has to be wrong.

    Editor: the only reason this post is getting through is because it is loosely related to the topic and I am trying one more time to show where you are in grave error. Two hypotheses follow:

    1) Mr X desires baptism. He deeply wishes to die a Catholic. Has instruction. Prays the Rosary. Loves the Faith. Can’t wait for his Baptism. He is in a car accident and dies the day before his Baptism was due to take place in his local parish. Is he inside or outside the Church – in God’s eyes? Clearly, unless God is completely unreasonable, that man dies a member of the Catholic Church. Therefore, there is no exception. He dies a Catholic.

    2) Mr Y – for whatever reason – has never heard of the Catholic Church. He longs to do God’s will in all things. He prays to do God’s will in all things. He dies without ever having heard of the Catholic Church. In God’s eyes, is he a member of Christ’s Church ?(always objectively speaking of course) IF he dies a member of Christ’s Church, then he is not an exception.

    You are confused. If the Church taught that non-Christians would be saved in their own religion – THAT would be an exception. But the Church does not teach that. There are no exceptions but in certain cases where souls desire to be part of the Church but are prevented through no fault of their own, the baptism is conferred directly by God, to put it as clearly as I am able to manage right now. If this isn’t clear enough to end your confusion, I am truly giving up and would question your good faith.

    June 17, 2014 at 10:28 am
    • Athanasius


      You claim that the Magisterium has at some point in time formally contradicted itself in respect to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. This obviously cannot be the case given the promise of Our Lord, so it must be your interpretation of statements that is flawed. In general the Church declares that there is no salvation outside of herself, hence it is incumbent upon all who have the ability to seek out the true Church for their salvation. Our Lord has established His Church and made it perfectly visible to man on earth, so for a majority there is no excuse to remain apart from the Catholic religion.

      However, the Church declares with complimentary teaching that for those who are in invincible ignorance, i.e., those upright souls who keep the Commandments of God written in the hearts of all men, who serve God faithfully with the limited lights they have, but who are not given the opportunity to know and embrace the Catholic religion in a formal way, these will have the mercy of God extended to them since they are united in spirit with the Church.

      The primary example would be the Good Thief who died repentant asking Our Lord to remember him. Now this man had not received baptism yet he offered his suffering and death in atonement for his sins – baptism of blood. He desired salvation and Our Lord granted it to him “this day you will be with me in paradise.”

      We find this same theme repeated during the early persecutions when Catechumens, not yet baptised but desirous of baptism, were saved by their desire and the sacrifice of their lives for Christ. It is patently obvious then that a strict reading of the dogma, such as you and other followers of Fr. Feeney embrace, has neither historical nor theological support. All it achieves, like the doctrines of the Pharisees, is to make the all-merciful God a stickler for material protocol across the board, who has no mercy to extend even to those who through no fault of their own, unbaptised babies is another example, condemning them to hell for all eternity, even if they die with no objective mortal sin on their souls. This is preposterous and an insult to Our Lord. The Church has never formally taught such a monstrous doctrine. The letter of Church law is very important, yes, for all those who have the ability to know and abide by it. Your error, though, and that of your fellow Feeneyites, is that you completely ignore the spirit of God’s law, which is mercy and compassion.

      It would be grossly unfair of God to place souls in this world who had no hope of knowing and entering His Catholic Church physically, and then to condemn them to eternal torment for it. I don’t know what kind of God you believe in but it’s not the one the Church holds up to us, the one who died in torments on the Cross even for His murderers. You need to assess very urgently your perception of Our Lord for your own salvation, for what you mete out to others so strictly in contradiction of the spirit of Our Lord and His Church will be meted out to you also at your judgment.

      June 17, 2014 at 11:53 am
      • lionelandrades

        Athanasius says:
        You claim that the Magisterium has at some point in time formally contradicted itself in respect to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

        Here are some of the popes saying the same thing.

        1) Hundreds of saints have used what the secular media calls ‘the rigorist interpretation’ of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

        Here are some of the popes saying the same thing while you and the editor allege that the baptism of desire is a VISIBLE exception to the traditional interpretation.

        Either you or I are correct.One of us has to be wrong.

        Fourth Lateran Council (1215): “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.”

        Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam sanctam (1302): “We are compelled in virtue of our faith to believe and maintain that there is only one holy Catholic Church, and that one is apostolic. This we firmly believe and profess without qualification. Outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: ‘One is my dove, my perfect one. One is she of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her’ (Canticle of Canticles 6:8); which represents the one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Ephesians 4:5). Certainly Noah had one ark at the time of the flood, prefiguring one Church which perfect to one cubit having one ruler and guide, namely Noah, outside of which we read all living things were destroyed… We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

        Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino (1441): “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the “eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”

        Pope Boniface I, Epistle 14.1: “It is clear that this Roman Church is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion, since he ceases to belong to its fellowship.”

        Pope Pelagius II (578-590): “Consider the fact that whoever has not been in the peace and unity of the Church cannot have the Lord… Although given over to flames and fires, they burn, or, thrown to wild beasts, they lay down their lives, there will not be (for them) that crown of faith but the punishment of faithlessness… Such a one can be slain, he cannot be crowned… [If] slain outside the Church, he cannot attain the rewards of the Church” (Denzinger, 469).

        Saint Gregory the Great (590-604), Moralia: “Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped saving within herself, asserting that all they that are without her shall never be saved.”

        June 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm
      • lionelandrades

        The primary example would be the Good Thief who died repentant asking Our Lord to remember him. Now this man had not received baptism yet he offered his suffering and death in atonement for his sins – baptism of blood. He desired salvation and Our Lord granted it to him “this day you will be with me in paradise.”

        Please clarify your terms.
        You could be assuming that the baptism of desire and being saved in invincible ignorance are VISIBLE, persons seen in the flesh.
        For me they are INVISIBLE, cases known only to God.

        Since for me the baptism of desire and being saved in invincible ignorance, or ‘ a ray of the Truth'(NA 2) , refer to persons invisible for us , I have no problem with the Good Thief being saved with or without the baptism of water.

        If there is such a case in 2014 it would not be an exception, for me, to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

        Editor: you are now saying here what I and others have been saying all along. Gimme strength. Seems Athanasius has the magic touch as usual. Signed, Livid, Glasgow…

        June 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm
      • lionelandrades

        Athanasius says:

        We find this same theme repeated during the early persecutions when Catechumens, not yet baptised but desirous of baptism, were saved by their desire and the sacrifice of their lives for Christ.
        Please note that I keep repeating that the baptism of desire is not an exception to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, for me. I do not have a problem with the baptism of desire. I accept the baptism of desire.
        I accept an implicit for us baptism of desire and reject an explicit for us baptism of desire in 2014.

        It is patently obvious then that a strict reading of the dogma, such as you and other followers of Fr. Feeney embrace, has neither historical nor theological support.

        A ‘strict reading of the dogma’, for me, is compatible, with the baptism of desire ( implicit).For me there is no contradiction. So I accept the baptism of desire.
        I can hold the traditional interpretation of the dogma along with invisible for us and visible for God only, baptism of desire. This would not contradict the Principle of Non Contradiction.
        However if the baptism of desire was explicit, then there would be a contradiction and it would not be the teaching of the Church(before 1940).
        The Church accepts a baptism of desire .Before 1940 it was always considered implicit for us. It was a possibility but irrelevant to the dogma. After 1940 the magisterium interpreted it, it seems, as visible for us and so an exception to the traditional interpretation of the dogma.

        Editor: this is the same old nonsensical mantra which I’m only letting through because it is a reply to Athanasius, whom I hope forgives me! Really there is nothing more to be said – it’s all been clearly explained and yet still Lionel is determined to hammer home the straw man of his own creation.

        June 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm
      • Athanasius


        I’m at a loss with this distinction you introduce between implicit and explicit baptism of desire. What exactly are you trying to say? Do you accept the Church’s complimentary doctrine (complimentary to her infallible dogma) of invincible ignorance, baptism of blood and baptism of desire, or do you not accept them? There is no difference in God’s sight between those who implicitly desire baptism and those who make that implicit desire explicit. God reads the hearts of men regardless of if and how that desire manifests itself to others.

        You know, the Church’s formal teaching is very easy for the faithful to understand. Why, then, do you seek to complicate it with incomprehensible interpretations of you own making. Trust the teaching of the authentic Magisterium rather than your own imaginings. It’s not a complicated doctrine, Lionel.

        If you do wish to continue to insist on your own theory then you will have to explain your understanding of things with more clarity. At the moment, I don’t know what exactly it is you believe and don’t believe.

        June 18, 2014 at 9:21 pm
      • lionelandrades

        For you there are exceptions to the dogma on salvation.So you infer that there are VISIBLE cases on earth.Otherwise how could there be exceptions?

        Athanasius thank you for responding.

        I’m at a loss with this distinction you introduce between implicit and explicit baptism of desire. What exactly are you trying to say?

        I am saying that when we have a discussion on a controversial subject we need to define our terms.Otherwise I will be saying something and it could mean something else for you.
        The baptism of desire refers to the catechumen who dies before receiving the baptism of water.Theologically some Catholics say that God will provide him with a teacher and the baptism of water necessary for salvation.(St.Thomas Aquinas was one of them).Other Catholics say that the catechuman had justification and also salvation.He could be saved and is saved. This is theology.
        I am not referring to theology at this moment. Bear with me.
        I am saying that a catechumen who had the desire to receive the baptism of water dies and is in Heaven and is INVISIBLE for us on earth. He cannot be known or seen on earth in a physical sense.This is a theoretical case. A hypothetical case.Please note again I am making an intellectual observation of a fact of life. We cannot see the dead physically. Again I repeat,this is not theology.It is a fact of life that we cannot see the dead.It is an objective understanding that in general, the dead cannot be seen in the flesh on earth.
        So I come back to defining our terms.
        For me the baptism of desire/ implicit desire refers to the hypothetical case of a person who is INVISIBLE physically on earth.Since he is invisible he cannot be an exception in 2014 to the traditional teaching of the Church which says all need faith and baptism for salvation and there are no exceptions.If he does not exist physically he cannot be an exception.
        For you and the editor there are exceptions to the dogma on salvation.So you infer that there are VISIBLE cases on earth.Otherwise how could they be exceptions?

        Do you accept the Church’s complimentary doctrine (complimentary to her infallible dogma)

        Now lets define our terms here.
        The infallible dogma does not mention any exceptions.I have already provided you the text of Cantate Dominion, Council of Florence,1441 etc.
        While I accept an implicit baptism of desire,invisible for me, but theoretically acceptable.
        This is complimentary to the infallible dogma.

        of invincible ignorance, baptism of blood and baptism of desire, or do you not accept them?

        I accept them only as physically INVISIBLE cases.I accept them as possibilities.I do not accept them as being physically VISIBLE on earth.

        There is no difference in God’s sight between those who implicitly desire baptism and those who make that implicit desire explicit.

        This would be the theology.

        God reads the hearts of men regardless of if and how that desire manifests itself to others.

        True. I agree with you here.

        You know, the Church’s formal teaching is very easy for the faithful to understand.

        If the faithful understand the baptism of desire as being known to us in special cases, of being VISIBLE to us, I reject this.For the faithful the baptism of desire is an exception to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.For me this view is irrational.

        Why, then, do you seek to complicate it with incomprehensible interpretations of you own making.

        I am obligated to refer to INVISIBLE and VISIBLE baptism of desire since most people imply ( whether they know it or not) that these hypothetical cases are VISIBLE to us in real life.

        Trust the teaching of the authentic Magisterium

        If the magisterium implies that these cases are VISIBLE to us then it is an objective error.
        If they imply that the baptism of desire (implicit for us) is an exception to the extra ecclesiam nulla salus then the magisterium has made a factual error.It is common knowledge that we cannot see the dead. This is nor theology or a personal opinion.

        rather than your own imaginings. It’s not a complicated doctrine, Lionel.

        It is made complicated by those who infer that the deceased-saved are visible to us.

        If you do wish to continue to insist on your own theory then you will have to explain your understanding of things with more clarity. At the moment, I don’t know what exactly it is you believe and don’t believe.

        I have tried to define my terms.
        Basically I would ask you is the baptism of desire referring to cases physically visible to you on earth ?
        If these cases are implicit for us and known only to God can they be inferred as being explicit exceptions to the traditional interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus e.g Cantate Dominio, Council of Florence? -Lionel Andrades

        This teaching of the Church on baptism of desire refers to cases which are INVISIBLE or VISIBLE for you ?

        June 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm
      • editor


        You are clearly utterly confused on this issue. You appear to be saying that you want proof that there are souls saved through baptism of desire, you won’t believe it unless you see a saved soul. Ridiculous.

        My advice to Athanasius is not to respond to the above post, beyond possibly copying your previous answer. Whatever, Lionel, even if Athanasius responds, take note of this absolutely final warning: NO FURTHER POSTS ON THIS SUBJECT FROM LIONEL WILL BE PUBLISHED HERE.

        June 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm
      • Athanasius

        Oops! I’ve just answered his confused post. Sorry about that.

        June 19, 2014 at 1:22 pm
      • editor


        That’s fine – I allowed for your response and, in fact, it makes it easier for me, in conscience, to stick to my warning about no future posts after this reply from you. We’re going round in circles with this and, as you say, it’s a very easy doctrine to understand. No more posts from Lionel will be published on this subject here.

        Sorry, Lionel, but you’ve had a very fair deal from us on this blog.

        God bless

        June 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm
      • Athanasius


        I think your error lies in your separation of the letter of the law from its spirit, a common error of the Scriptural Pharisees.

        In actual fact there are no exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus since those who go to heaven by invincible ignorance, baptism of blood or baptism of desire, are implicitly part of the Mystical Body of Christ, His Holy Catholic Church, in spirit. That they were, or are, deprived on earth of either the knowledge or time to confirm that union by formal baptism with water or actual reception into the Church in the material sense does not detract from their good will and their dying without unrepented objective mortal sin on their souls.

        The argument, then, about visible and invisible baptism of desire is false. Some cases are known to us from Sacred Scripture, such as the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets, the Good Thief on Calvary and the martyred Catechumens of the early Church. These are all visible examples of baptism of desire and/or blood. Others are unknown to us but are known to God.

        Only two things are important for us to remember in this matter. The first is that the mercy of God excludes the possibility of Hell for all who die in invincible ignorance or with a desire for baptism who have kept the law written in the hearts of all men and who have no objective mortal sin on their souls. The other is that this doctrine cannot and must not be extended to become the heresy of ‘Universal Salvation,’ as some of today’s liberals would like to see.

        It is, as I said before, a very easy doctrine to understand, so stop making a rod for your own back by excessive introspection.

        June 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm
  • Confitebor Domino

    This response is to Fidelityalways’s post at 06.36 a.m. today – which will be some way up the page by now (no reply button).

    There you posted a quote from Mgr Joseph Clifford Fenton which you apparently think supports your position – it doesn’t. Fenton wrote his STD under Garrigou-Lagrange and had you known that you might have realized you were barking up the wrong tree!

    In the passage you quoted, Fenton is talking about modifying or changing the teaching in a (singular) pontifical document – the correction of a single error (the possibility of which everyone here freely admits). You cannot extend his argument to countenance the overturning of unbroken centuries of Tradition.

    Yet at Vatican II – if we were to accept your position – this is exactly what happened. The most glaring example of this is the “teaching” of the council on religious liberty, which is almost precisely the opposite of that which had been taught consistently for many centuries.

    You will find no support for such a move in Fenton. Indeed, Fenton was a peritus at the council and he was one of those most bitterly opposed to Murray’s ideas.

    I’m afraid Dr Fenton was entirely on the opposite side of the fence from you!

    June 17, 2014 at 11:13 am
    • fidelityalways

      That is exactly the point, some documents you hold dear, and incorrectly interpret, or quote as a proper Magisterial Teaching, are not that. The Magisterium has corrected the errors.

      June 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm
    • Leo

      Thank you, Confitebor Domino

      Very well put. Monsignor Fenton was most definitely a firm and resolute defender of Catholic Tradition and opponent of the neo-Modernists.

      Readers might be interested in the following short article, courtesy of John Vennari of Catholic Family News

      Here’s a glimpse of the main point.

      “As if predicting the future, Fenton closes: ‘It is possible that the council might act other than with the fullness of supernatural prudence. It is possible that, seen it this perspective, it may not be successful.’”

      June 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm
      • fidelityalways

        As Mgr Fenton died long before the fruits of The Council were fully evident his judgement may be suspect. The New Code of Canon Law, and The Catechism of the Council Church took years to produce.

        However, it is good that people here take him seriously as in 1949 he wrote an important reminder to those who merely quote documents, and fail to understand them, or journey with The Magisterium as they encourage us to reveal the truths of the Gospel in every age. He wrote:



        By Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton
        Exact from the American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. CXXI, August, 1949, pp. 136-150
        “Despite the divergent views about the existence of the infallible pontifical teaching in the encyclical letters, there is one point on which all theologians are manifestly in agreement. They are all convinced that all Catholics are bound in conscience to give a definite internal religious assent to those doctrines which the Holy Father teaches when he speaks to the universal Church of God on earth without employing his God-given charism of infallibility. Thus, prescinding from the question as to whether any individual encyclical or group of encyclicals may be said to contain specifically infallible teaching, all theologians are in agreement that this religious assent must be accorded the teachings which the Sovereign Pontiff includes in these documents. This assent is due, as Lercher has noted, until the Church might choose to modify the teaching previously presented or until proportionately serious reasons for abandoning the non-infallible teaching contained in a pontifical document might appear. It goes without saying that any reason which would justify the relinquishing of a position taken in a pontifical statement would have to be very serious indeed.”

        June 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm
      • Confitebor Domino


        You can post that passage here as often as you like but it still will not support your view, for reasons I outlined above.

        With respect, if you don’t wish to engage in constructive debate your time might be better spent elsewhere.

        June 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm
      • fidelityalways

        With respect your interpretation of Church documents is pretty lax. Summorum Pontificum, and the accompany letter, and various things by Cardinal Ratzinger, and Pope Paul Vi (son to be beatified), St John, and St John Paul (recently Canonised) couldn’t be clearer. You choose not to listen to sound teaching from The Magisterium.

        June 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm
      • Athanasius


        You should have said “bitter fruits of the Council,” you left out the “bitter.” Words are cheap, fruits are conclusive, as Our Lord said “by their fruits you shall know them.” The actual fruits of the Council are loss of faith in Europe, millions of apostasies, a crisis in vocations, hundreds of seminaries and religious house closed, tens of thousands of parish churches closed, loss of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, no Catechetical formation of the young, many Catholics living in an objective state of mortal sin yet going to Holy Communion. I could go on and on. So you’re wasting your words here. God have mercy on every priest and prelate who has participated in this Conciliar revolution that has left the House of the Lord devastated.

        June 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm
      • fidelityalways

        St John Paul, John Paul, Paul Vl, Benedict and Francis all speaks of the fruits of The Council, and Paul Vl said the work of the SPPX was evil, and part of Satan’s attack on the fruits of The Council.

        We not long ago concluded a Year of Faith to mark the beginning of The Council, and the loyal Traditionalist wait with eager anticipation to learn how we will mark fifty years since the end of The Council.

        And to mark the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict wrote:

        It seemed to me that timing the launch of the Year of Faith to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, “have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church’s Tradition … I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning.”[9] I would also like to emphasize strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter: “if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church.”

        June 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm
      • Athanasius

        Pope Paul VI approved the foundation of the SSPX through the Bishop of Fribourg. The SSPX was at that time in its infancy and in no way the huge organisation it is today. Therefore your claim that Paul VI said the SSPX was evil is calumnious and harmful. I don’t know if you have any awareness of sin but you should consider seriously your behaviour in wickedly expounding these lies in public.

        As regards the rest of your post above, you have completely ignored the proofs of bitter fruits I have presented to you and gone on, like a blind man, to hail the Council. You are by no means an honest and objective commentator on this blog and so I cannot in good conscience continue to debate with you. You have an agenda but it’s not one that has the glory of God, the good of the Church and the salvation of souls as its end.

        June 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm
      • sixupman

        And when SSPX started to grow and become a success the local ordinary and his cohorts set-out to undermine the Society, with the rest history!

        June 17, 2014 at 7:22 pm
      • editor


        You are perfectly correct to withdraw from debate with FA because he is not, in my opinion, as far as I can tell, in good faith.

        For example, somewhere – I can’t now locate the comment – he repeats, after correction, that Baptism is not enough to save a soul even though Fidelis had pointed out that was not her meaning. That is, he was ready to let the casual reader assume that someone had said Baptism, without the other sacraments, is all that is required to be saved. That’s dishonest. In the extreme.

        So, as I said on a previous occasion, nobody ought to feel duty bound to respond to any of FA’s posts now. Been there, done that, bought the T shirt which reads “FA’s not listening to Catholic Truth.”

        June 17, 2014 at 7:39 pm
      • Athanasius


        Absolutely right! I have been watching very carefully throughout my exchanges with FA, as well as his exchanges with others, and have noted that he does not enter into objective debate. Many of the facts revealed here would have caused even the most ardent defender of Vatican II to pause and think that perhaps something has gone seriously wrong in the Church after all. The least any of us could expect from one of upright intention would be a refutation of our facts with their facts, but that hasn’t happened either. All I have seen from FA are unjust accusations and a parrot-like repetition of ‘up with the Council, down with the Trads.’ Well, that’s not honest debate, it’s nastiness. I suspect if this person is Catholic then he has to a great extent lost the faith, or at least is uncomfortable in conscience with the teaching of the Church for 2000 years up to Vatican II. There’s something very much amiss.

        June 17, 2014 at 8:09 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Archbishop L himself reported Paul Vi said it,

        Archbishop Lefebvre own notes of a meeting with Pope Paul Vl 11th September 1976: “The Holy Father was lively enough at the beginning – one could almost call it somewhat violent in a way: one could feel that he was deeply wounded and rather provoked by what we are doing. He said to me:
        ‘You condemn me, you condemn me. I am a Modernist. I am a Protestant. It cannot be allowed, you are doing an evil work, you ought not to continue, you are causing scandal in the Church, etc…’with nervous irritability.
        I kept quiet, you may be sure”

        He also said in in 1972, and 1976 in more coded language.

        June 18, 2014 at 8:33 pm
  • lionelandrades

    Comment removed – off topic

    June 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm
  • Leo

    “The same Archbishop who set up his own cult, and was excommunicated, and who a Successor of St Peter, warned was doing the work of The Devil, and promoting evil?
    “Not exactly one to buy a Used Car of, is he? Less so, one to give theological opinions. He wanted to be a Prince amongst pygmies.” – June 16, 7.37pm

    That’s quite a mouthful, Fidelity Always.

    I’ve no doubt that the Church will settle the question of “excommunication” definitively, and justice will be done at some point in the future. I’ve no doubt that Archbishop Lefebvre will be raised to the altars in God’s good time, once sanity is restored.

    In the meantime, without claiming any authority not due to an ordinary layman, I believe that neither Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop Castro de Mayer, or any of the four bishops were ever “excommunicated”. There was not, is not, any excommunication to lift. A very strong case can be made for that belief, under canon law.

    I think many, many people are hindered by the finger wagging neo Catholic pharisees who set themselves up as some sort of parallel magisterium with the power to declare faithful Catholics anathema. A common canonical adage is that “against necessity, there is no law,” or “necessity knows no law.” In his constitution, Exiit qui seminat of August 14, 1279, Pope Nicholas III confirmed this principle: “one is to be excused from every [positive] law on account of extreme necessity”. Many neo Catholics, not only in effect deny this principle, but actually pontificate that the opposite holds: “against law there is no necessity”.

    The questions of true and false obedience, the fact that in canon law, the supreme law is the salvations of souls, and the fact that Catholics are under no obligation whatsoever to obey unjust commands, no matter who from, has been dealt with on other threads. Catholics theologians of the immense standing of Aquinas, Bellarmine, Suarez, and Vitoria have explained this very clearly and have been quoted on this blog.

    “Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God, therefore superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.” – St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theoligica II-II, q. 104, art. 5, ad. 3

    “A tyrannical law, through not being according to reason, is not a law, absolutely speaking, but rather a perversion of law.” – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, II, q.92, a.1, ad 4.

    On matters of doctrine, Saint Paul, could not have been clearer.

    “But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” (Galatians 1:8).

    The old chestnut of excommunication is probably top of the list when it comes to disinformation about the Society. A great many of those Catholic who give the issue any amount of thought appear not to be aware that the priests of the Society and the laity to whom they minister were never excommunicated.

    The principle that an excommunication without proper cause is null and void is explained by Saint Thomas Aquinas. He writes:

    “An excommunication may be unjust for two reasons… Secondly, on the part of the excommunication, through there being no proper cause, or through the sentence being passed without the forms of law being observed. In this case, if the error, on the part of the sentence, be such as to render the sentence void, this has no effect, for there is no excommunication . . .” –Summa Theologica Supplement to Part 3, Q. 21, Art. 4

    Those who claim that the issue is cut and dried will point to canon 1382 which states that both the Bishop who, without a pontifical mandate, consecrates a person a Bishop, and the one who receives the consecration from him, incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.

    Well they seem to ignore the fact that canon law comes to the defence of Archbishop Lefebvre and the other Bishops. Leaving aside the fact that before 1951, consecrating a bishop without papal mandate (canon 2370 1917 Code of Canon Law) did not incur automatic excommunication, canons 1323 and 1324 of the 1983 Code provide a very firm basis for saying that latae sententiae excommunications were not incurred on June 30 1988.

    Canon 1323 clearly states that those acting “out of necessity” are “not subject to penalties” i.e. not subject to any penalty, and canon 1324, #3 states that “one is not bound by an automatic (latae sententiae) penalty”…who erroneously yet culpably thought” (1324 #1,8) that he was acting out of the compulsion of grave fear, even if only relative, or by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience…” (1323,4)

    Canon 1324 #3 states that, “an accused is not bound by an automatic penalty (latae sententiae) in the presence of any of the circumstances enumerated in #1”. These include the violation of law or precept “by one erroneously yet culpably thought one of the circumstances in in canon 1323, nn. 4 and 5 was verified” (see immediately above).

    In short, canon law states that automatic penalty is not incurred when one even erroneously yet culpably considered himself to be acting out of necessity. Whether or not there was a grave necessity, whether or not the Archbishop was right in thinking there was a grave necessity, are not relevant in the sight of canon law. What is relevant as far as the issue of the excommunications being unjust and therefore void, is that the Archbishop sincerely believed that there was a grave necessity.

    Surely, anyone who is any position to express an opinion on this matter, cannot in good faith doubt the Archbishop’s mind on the crisis facing the Church after everything he had done and said, and written for years, and the lengths he had gone to find a proper and just solution to that crisis.

    Neither the Pope or anyone else in the Church has the power to simply make someone an excommunicate. If that’s the case, we are into the territory of Pope as capricious tyrant. Whether someone is excommunicated latae sententiae depends on whether they have committed an offense that incurs such an excommunication.

    It shouldn’t need to be repeated at this stage that the supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls.

    How can it be reasonably doubted that canon law was very much in Archbishop Lefebvre’s favour, to say the least? How can anyone reasonably doubt that there is grave matter of restorative justice at stake here? How can any Catholic doubt that the Church will one day rectify this wrong?

    June 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm
    • fidelityalways

      The Archbishop was excommunicated for Ordaining four to the Episcopate, and they likewise. Can I offer any confirmation? Yes:


      Dear Brothers in the Episcopal Ministry!

      The remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre without a mandate of the Holy See has for many reasons caused, both within and beyond the Catholic Church, a discussion more heated than any we have seen for a long time. Many Bishops felt perplexed by an event which came about unexpectedly and was difficult to view positively in the light of the issues and tasks facing the Church today. Even though many Bishops and members of the faithful were disposed in principle to take a positive view of the Pope’s concern for reconciliation, the question remained whether such a gesture was fitting in view of the genuinely urgent demands of the life of faith in our time. Some groups, on the other hand, openly accused the Pope of wanting to turn back the clock to before the Council: as a result, an avalanche of protests was unleashed, whose bitterness laid bare wounds deeper than those of the present moment. I therefore feel obliged to offer you, dear Brothers, a word of clarification, which ought to help you understand the concerns which led me and the competent offices of the Holy See to take this step. In this way I hope to contribute to peace in the Church.” 10th march 2009.

      In case you haven’t noticed, you do not interpret Canon Law, but The Vatican does.

      June 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm
      • Fidelis

        St Athanasius was excommunicated twice. He’s now a Doctor of the Church. So what does that prove, that another unjust excommunication was issued by another pope on Archbishop Lefebvre? It just proves that popes do fall into error at times.

        June 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm
      • fidelityalways

        No it says people can err, and be reconciled to The Church as happened, to a degree, for the four SSPX “Bishops”.

        June 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm
      • Athanasius

        Imagine the Pope having to write to his bishops to ask them not to be so angry over the remission of the excommunications of four bishops.

        Now, whether one accepts or rejects the validity of those excommunications of 1988, bearing in mind that Canon Law provides for such action as the consecration of bishops when a state of emergency exists in the Church, we have here a great number of bishops in the Church expressing fury at the Pope because he effectively, in their eyes, lifted a sentence that otherwise would have led to the damnation of four priestly souls. In other words, many bishops in the Church wanted the souls of the four SSPX bishops to be damned and were furious that the Pope extended charity to them. How incredible! Thank you for posting that Papal letter, it says everything that needs saying about the wickedness that presently exists at the highest levels of the Church, confirmed again by Pope Francis today in his sermon when he spoke of corruption.

        June 17, 2014 at 7:27 pm
      • editor

        An excellent and thoughtful point, Athanasius. Well said.

        June 17, 2014 at 7:31 pm
      • fidelityalways

        The Vatican interprets those laws, not you, and I would say it knows what it is doing, not you.

        June 18, 2014 at 8:34 pm
      • Dr John Dowden

        Fidelity Always,

        Yes, it is obviously the case that the Catholic Church’s own jurisdictions (local ordinaries as well as central forums) are the appropriate bodies to interpret their own rules and regulations. Last summer I happen to have fallen among a group of Roman clergy at a conference in one of the colleges, and gleaned in conversation that the Scottish legal “line” is to deal with any “schismatic act” only after it has been repented of, so as to keep scandal to a minimum. But you are obviously right on who is entitled to judge. A proper judgment requires, fairly obviously, legal training. Same would hold of writing any sort of counsel’s opinion. Nothing to argue about there: lay interpretation of canon law has little weight – and the more desperate the “emergency” pleaded specially the less convincing a case will seem.

        Your remarks aimed at the fairly eccentric lay interpretation offered on this blog are, however, misdirected. Sad experience of fecund plagiarism by students has made me suspicious of work which is just that bit too improbably expert, too sure of obscure arguments and drawing on Latin sources that are that bit too recondite. So time to run a plagiarism check.

        Sure enough, the text given above has been re-hashed twice already on this site, sometimes in fuller versions and, in all three instances, Leo completely fails to acknowledge the actual source of a significant proportion of “his” text, which might otherwise appear to be his own original work. It is not. The source of much of it appears to be one Mario Derksen, ‘A Defense of the Society of St. Pius X and it’s [sic.] current legal Status’ (

        Derksen’s effusion seems to have been composed and used on different sites between 2001 and 2003. I gather the author (of the original work appearing here without proper acknowledgement, not of the copy) is (now) a “sedevacantist”.

        The case Leo puts forward is not difficult for the proper authorities to answer but more relevant to the reputation of this blog is that fact that it is not, sad to say, Leo’s case. I have no dog in the fight when it comes to whether FSSPX and RCC are in schism (we are schismatics all from every other point of view) but I deplore this fecund plagiarism.

        June 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm
      • editor


        You really are smarting from Leo’s trouncing on various issues, notably your attack on Saint Pius X. And oh how you are smarting! Yet again you attack Leo in your own self-confessed obscure writing style while failing to even remotely substantiate your claim of plagiarism. Patent nonsense. With all due respect, of course.

        Nobody has to be a lawyer to know the law. I know that if I break the rules of the road, I’m in trouble. At one time I had some points on my licence to prove it. Don’t drive at 43mph in a 30 mile zone and expect them to care that you didn’t see the 30 mile sign. That’s your (actually it was my) problem. Canon Law is clear. Anyone who can’t understand it, needs help. I understood it first time I read it. And I’m no genius, although you are free to disagree with me on that… 😀

        Anybody with half a brain who thought that Archbishop Lefebvre was wrong to think that the Church was in an emergency situation should be able to see now that he was spot on. If not, I suggest they send out a search party to find the other half of that brain. ASAP.

        However, the best bit for us, dear Dowden, has to be the very fact that you and FidelityAlways (add “in the wrong”) are in full agreement because that just seals the case for the prosecution – you being an official, fully paid up Protestant and he being one of the new brand of Protestant Catholics.

        Thank you, Dowden. Thaaaaaaaank you! 😀

        June 17, 2014 at 10:51 pm
      • Dr John Dowden

        Sorry, the plagiarism is manifest. Great lumps of the post are lifted from the source given in the link. Try whatever diversionary tactic you like, trying to make every issue personal. Fact is plagiarism is plagiarism – simple bit of software which (these days) is on all of our desktops. Try the truth for a change and let’s wait and see if the sedevacantist source is the ultimate source or if both are fishing in the same pond. Either way, plagiarism.

        June 17, 2014 at 11:13 pm
      • editor


        I don’t know what it is that Leo wrote that you claim is “plagiarism” but it’s not “plagiarism” to copy and paste text onto a blog – he’s not claiming it as original work in order to be awarded a Degree in Theology, is he? You note that “Great lumps of the post are lifted from the source given in the link” – do you actually believe that Leo is so stupid that he would try to pass off as his own, words that he then supplies the link to check at source? Gerragrip. That’s a completely acceptable convention – I do it all the time. Did you think when I quoted St Vincent Lerins a couple of times, word for word and then put the link to source, that I was trying to create the impression that I was even cleverer, more holy, etc than I am already renowned to be? That’s not plagiarism – it’s called GLTM (good literary time management). Behave yourself, Dowden.

        Gerragrip, Dowden. Stop clutching at “Gotcha Leo” straws.

        June 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Clearly if an expert visited this blog Rome would close it.

        I am, however, doing my best to defend The Church against the unwarranted, unjust, irrational, attack from disloyal dissidents who even hide behind the names of a Saint.

        June 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm
  • Dr John Dowden

    Gosh, we are not going to see any issue except in personal terms: the Sun’s readers’ notorious Gotcha!

    No, since you ask, I do not believe anyone would be so stupid as to give the link demonstrating plagiarism. But Leo did not give the link (that, dear lady, is the point). I gave it, or rather my trusty plagiarism-detection software discovered it and I passed it on. But let the man speak for himself! With an advocate as inaccurate in detail as you, he could hardly do worse.

    From my angle, if sedevacantist sources are key to an FSSPX “defence” that fact is relevant and ought to be disclosed – there was no end of demands for citations when that suited the purpose.

    Name of the game is to give citations and not wait for the plagiarism software to find them. That is in the “truth” game rather than the “catholic truth” version. Derkson’s points may be discreditable but they deserve to be credited as being his. Magna est ueritas and all that!

    June 18, 2014 at 12:35 am
    • editor

      The Sun invented “Gotcha”? Gerragrip.

      Dowden, you have got to get over Leo’s superb knowledge and command of all things relevant to the crisis in the Church. That he uses the same words as someone else to talk about stuff we’re talking about all the time, doesn’t mean he’s cheating in some way. You really are clutching hard at that straw.

      June 18, 2014 at 12:49 am
      • sixupman

        Madam Editor,

        When in the electronic presence of the good Dr. Dowden, should you not make a metaphorical curtsy prior to addressing him, and gentlemen contributors, doff their caps? A great pity there are equivalents of ‘smileys’ for the required courtesy.

        June 18, 2014 at 6:54 am
      • editor

        Ah well now, our Dowden means well, Sixupman. He’s not a Catholic so can’t be blamed, really, for his confusion – especially given that the very Pope himself is confused! Not to mention the “Pope Emeritus”! See new thread to comment further on that one!

        June 18, 2014 at 10:23 am
      • Dr John Dowden

        No, be accurate. The Sun famously/notoriously used it. “Invented” is your careless attribution.

        No, be accurate. Superb knowledge it may be but Derkson’s knowledge is Derkson’s knowledge, no one else’s intellectual property.

        No, be accurate. Using the same few words can be a coincidence, using hundreds of the same words in the same sequence to argue the same point is something different. Use thousands of acknowledged sources to construct a thesis and that is a DPhil. Use one unacknowledged source and that is plagiarism.

        Go on, editor, give accuracy a try. You know it makes sense. And it will make such a nice change.

        June 18, 2014 at 10:51 am
      • editor

        Well, if we are to avoid using all the words used by The Sun non-newspaper, we’d have to work very hard indeed.

        It’s no big deal, Dowden, you are making a mountain out of a molehill. And you’re asking for trouble because in every single case when you thought you had Leo by the throat, he made mince-meat out of your allegations. Stand by!

        June 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm
    • Stephen

      A classic case of building a straw man to deflect attention away from the core topic.

      June 18, 2014 at 12:50 am
  • Leo

    I’ve only read Dowden’s posts alleging “plagiarism” this morning. And it was quite a surprise, to put it mildly. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a bit of time before replying to accusations. Cool head and all that. I think this is such an occasion.


    There are a few questions that jump out of your accusing posts. Obviously, you don’t have to answer them, but I’d imagine others here are wondering the same thing. I’m not a bit bothered, just slightly curious.

    Does every post on this blog, or every post over a certain length, get run through your plagiarism check software? Am I the only blogger to be so “honoured”?
    How long have you considered it worthwhile to conduct such operations? Is it only during the last two weeks?
    Have all others posts scrutinised by you plagiarism software passed to your satisfaction?

    I might just make a few preliminary observations.

    The post of mine yesterday at 1.69pm that you refer to, Dowden is 1,100 words long including words from Fidelity Always. The article of Mario Derksen that you accuse me of plagiarising is 29,000 words long. Considering that you claim that a “significant portion” or “great lumps” involved plagiarism, later upgraded to “using hundreds of the same words in the same sequence” (out of 1,100 words), I’m interested in your explanation as to why you say the source merely “appears” to be Derksen’s article. “Hundreds of the same words in the same sequence” don’t admit to doubt, or difficulty of proof. I’m also a wee bit curious, no more, to know how you came across the article, Dowden. A bit of Googling? Maybe you are expanding your reading programme.

    Certainly, the article has been in the public domain for a while. You appear to acknowledge that, Dowden. I think you are owed some, qualified gratitude for posting it. I hope everyone reads it. I have certainly read it a few times. I have no problem whatsoever in saying that I have drawn from its content in various posts. I’ve had a quick skim of the article again today. I was wondering where I had come across the very useful quote from Pope Nicholas III, so I’m grateful to you for finding the source. I’m not sure if the quotations from Saint Thomas Aquinas are in Derksen’s article, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. I wasn’t surprised either that it contains the words of Bellarmine, Suarez, and Vitoria whom I mentioned. Their words appear on this blog regularly, as do the words of Saint Paul to the Galatians.

    I believe it is correct, although of course subject to correction, that Derksen has unfortunately fallen into sedevacantism.That has no bearing on the issue under discussion, and he no doubt deserves appreciation for his very comprehensive and informative article, which covers the same ground as many other similar documents. Make no mistake, this is no concession on the issue at stake here, Dowden, but in general I am very reluctant to point anyone here in the direction of proponents of sedevacantism. I don’t want that on my conscience. I have in the past relied on the work of a sedevacantist priest, which I consider very informative on the subject of the Mass, but my reservations are real. I believe, again subject to correction, that under the Editorial policy here, posts promoting sedevacantism, or linking to such sites, are deleted. If anyone thinks that the Society are reliant on support from sedevacantists they really aren’t up to speed.

    When I read your posts, Dowden, I was more than a little bit puzzled. Certainly a lot of the same arguments and same quotations appear all over the place on the blogosphere and in published works. When it comes to specific parts of canon law and quotations there is bound to be overlap of words. That’s unavoidable.

    As far as I’m concerned, plagiarism involves a desire for personal gain. I think I have repeatedly made the point, without being guilty of false humility, that I am a very ordinary lay Catholic. I make no claims to authority, or knowledge that isn’t available to anyone with an open mind or good will. Very learned, well qualified Catholic minds have set it all out, for anyone who is willing to listen. I don’t expect anyone to make up their mind on matters of the Faith based on mine or anyone else’s personal opinion: far from it. If an argument can’t be backed up by facts, or the words of Saints, Doctors or Popes isn’t doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight. That’s why it’s worth a bit of effort to quote useful “third party” evidence and not just insupportable opinion. I think I have made reasonable efforts to refute errors with verifiable evidence, quotations etc. In a lengthy post there could be links to four of five sources, if desired, which obviously means detention in the Moderation queue.

    Egos aren’t at issue on this blog, let alone personal gain. We have all learnt a lot from many contributors here. Regulars here are courteous and very quick to express their appreciation, or even flattery. That’s more than enough reward as far I’m concerned. It’s safe to say that most people here are only interested in defending the Catholic Faith in this time of diabolical disorientation.

    Now for the accusation of plagiarism and my post of June 17, 1.59pm.

    I’ve actually put the post through the Grammarly plagiarism software. Sure enough it came up with something. A “significant portion” or even “great lump” was highlighted.

    There was a “Citation Audit” figure of 80%, which possibly means that 80% of my 1,100 words was “plagiarism”, maybe even “fecund plagiarism”. Here’s the interesting bit though. I was told that “a part of your paper is matching some text from the Web. Please make sure that this text is properly referenced”.

    The text referred to was a previous thread on this blog. No mention of Derksen. That might explain your use of the less than certain word “appears”, Dowden.

    The above suggests that I have been guilty of plagiarism in my post of yesterday by reposting my own words on this blog! Guilty. Absolutely. I do it frequently, as I mention most times. There’s not much point in reinventing the wheel. The blog can be fairly fast moving, with time a bit precious. Repetition is the foundation of imparting knowledge, and one or two, it appears, refuse to acknowledge evidence no matter how many times it is presented.

    I’d very much like to take this opportunity to redress an omission and acknowledge the use of Father Paul Kramer’s really excellent book entitled, The Suicide of Altering the Liturgy when trying to put the facts of canon law, namely canons 1323 and 1324 into concise language for a blog post. The book is one of the very best sources of fact and information on this issue. It most certainly is not, to use your words, Dowden, a “fairly eccentric lay interpretation”.

    Maybe someone else has got something more concerning alleged “fecund plagiarism”. I’ll be glad to read it. In the meantime, let readers judge for themselves on the plagiarism charge by reading the 1,100 words posted yesterday and the 29,000 words and produce what you describe, Dowden as the “hundreds of the same words in the same sequence”. I really will be very interested to see that. In fact, I’m inclined to offer a large reward.

    I think the charge of “fecund plagiarism” can slink away now.

    Your are obviously a bit rattled, Dowden and it appears to have got very personal for you, all of a sudden. From translation none issues, to citation none issues, both of which I have previously dealt with, to the totally absurd charge of plagiarism. Anyway, your stated policy of playing the ball and not the man appears to have gone through the window. I think Editor has identified the reason, as no doubt many others have.

    All of which is by the way. We’re all big boys and girls here, I hope. The only thing that really matters is the truth of the Catholic Faith. So, I’m nothing if not reassured by “off the ball” attacks. The more I think of it the more I like it. They merely highlight the weakness and emptiness of the practitioner’s argument. Regulars on this blog are certainly used to the remarkably consistent pattern of those occasional visitors who attack Catholic Truth; accusation and falsehood, notable agitation upon being refuted, followed by the personal nasty stuff. So be it.

    If you’ve made a genuine mistake, Dowden, it’s not a big deal. Right now, though, I’m inclined to say that if you want to indulge in the nasty personal stuff, off you go. Just don’t expect many here to descend to that level. We’re actually much more interested in facts and trying to share Catholic Truth.

    June 18, 2014 at 9:57 pm
    • Stephen

      I have graduated in my time from three Universities, and have subsequently had the privilege of teaching others. Part of that privilege requires the onerous yet important duty of marking papers. Like Tolkien, I often found it a chore, but considered it as a moral function of the job that required dedication and commitment.

      The seriousness in which one marks an exam or assignment is underpinned by an obligation to reward by laudation or otherwise. Most certainly it required candid feedback. This leads me to plagiarism.

      The question that I benchmarked my response to cases where there might be an doubt concerning authenticity was…

      Is this person attempting to pass someone else’s work off as their own?

      This trumped all other evidence around referencing and sourcing of material.

      So it is quite clear I think, to probably all but two people on this forum, that your responses are authentic and organic. It pains me to see folk having to defend against such charges, especially on an informal forum such as this, which does not and should not have a requirement for strict referencing. This is bordering on lunacy.

      In saying this, you have clearly and convincingly articulated your rebuttal to Dowden. Under normal conventions he should retract and apologise or face censure. This is perhaps the only predictable part of this whole non-event: that a troll should ramp up their notoriety to the point where administrators have to consider punitive measures.

      June 18, 2014 at 11:40 pm
      • editor

        Thank you Stephen.

        Leo is too humble to say so himself, but I happen to know that his professional day job is extremely demanding: add to that his dedicated pro-life work and you will see why the time he devotes to this blog amounts to quite a bit of self-sacrifice. I bet they haven’t seen him in the local hostelry for quite some time 😀

        Certainly, I think most folk would have shaken off the dust quite some time back, and that with a clear conscience, given the very detailed and clear comments posted by Leo in response to every one of the points raised by Dowden. I hope that Dowden will, as you suggest, either retract and apologise or at least let things rest now.

        Dowden is not a Catholic and so we have to cut him some slack. There is a definite (with respect, Dowden) blindness in respect of the Faith, but then since the Bishops suffer from the same affliction, we can’t be too hard on our Anglican friend.

        One last word: since Dowden, generally speaking, does stick to the house-rules, e.g. he is not rude (and even says nice things to and about me from time to time, always a winner) I can’t impose “punitive” measures. However, as I’ve often said, when bloggers feel they’ve reached the point of going round and round in circles or for whatever reason are getting nowhere with a particular blogger, then it is best simply to ignore comments from them, as that is likely to become a cause of bad feeling and introduce unpleasantness onto the blog. One does not, above all, wish that, does one? 😀 Peace everyone! Shall we meet to plant olive trees? Peace! Patience! Luv ‘n stuff!

        June 19, 2014 at 12:56 am
      • Dr John Dowden


        The point you make it a fair one.

        What I don’t understand, however, is why you didn’t make it back when another unfortunate CT blogger was facing Leo’s demands to cite books, then to cite particular pages and, finally, to copy out actual passages. That one ended with absolutely no answer being given to the material setting out the accepted academic view of a mendacious little episode. You took no exception at the time to Leo’s invitation to readers to “draw their own conclusions” from failure to comply.

        You cannot have the argument both ways, support Leo demanding citations and condemning Dowden for complaining they are absent. Either the blog is informal – when citation is indeed lunatic – or it is not. If Leo demands citations, he can be expected to give them and, in failing to give them is open to a valid charge of plagiarism. If you have been a university teacher you will know the software. And you will know the normal conventions: judge fairly and judge consistently, green team, blue team, no matter.

        As to the idea of trolling – no. I have been around this blog for a fair while now: came under the misleading impression it was a Roman-Catholic blog connected somehow to the Scottish Catholic Truth Society which has done some good historical work. I thought ‘traditionalist’ meant people interested in the history, liturgy or music of the Scottish Church – I had barely heard of Lefebvre or his schismatic acts. So I had no idea a bit of ecumenical discussion might annoy people – the Roman Catholics I know personally (the ones who actually support the pope and the legitimately appointed clergy) are quite different from the dominant group gathered here.

        Applied equally, your point would be fair. Otherwise the partisan intervention is worthless – I understand of course that you can expect the mindless support of those here who will support their own sectarian point regardless. Perhaps we can have little green ‘like’ and blue ‘dislike’ icons for those who operate at this level of “Catholic Truth”.

        As the impartial academic said, “away and haunt Ibrox!”

        June 20, 2014 at 9:56 pm
      • Stephen

        Mr Dowden
        When I read your scurrilous remarks against Leo, I thought it necessary to chastise you for your baseless agitations. Having done that and show support to Leo, I considered my part done.

        For the record, I do not hover over these boards, involving myself in every thread or sub-discussion. I am a busy man with a family so as much as I would like to educate myself even more by learning from the good people on this forum, it is a limited exercise.

        As you mention above, you came to this forum in error, which I find hard to believe considering your negative involvement in most threads. But if I take you on your word, then it would follow that on perceiving your error you would leave, especially when you had found something obviously not to your taste. That is strange.

        As for the references to football, that is perhaps for a different venue.

        All the best.

        June 20, 2014 at 10:28 pm
    • jobstears


      Stephen is right, to worry about charges of plagiarism here, is lunacy.

      I, for one, am always grateful for your posts. I am in the unfortunate position of having to defend what I believe in, to other Catholics! Your posts have been a gold mine of information, always with the proper sources clearly provided. Even if I had all the time in the world, I could never come up with the material you provide- and most definitely not your insightful commentaries! Thank you.

      June 19, 2014 at 7:44 pm
  • Leo


    Thank you very much indeed for your kind words.

    The way I see it, we’re all in this together and learning from each other here. Right now, everyone is called to do their own bit in defending Catholic Truth and Tradition. We all owe an immense debt to the generations that went before us. I sometimes wonder what Catholics, 100, 200 years from now will be saying about this generation.


    Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments at 11.40pm last evening. Much appreciated indeed.

    Just by the way, does anyone know who it was that said?

    “Great plagiarists write alike”.

    Anyway, Stephen, thanks very much for all your excellent contributions on the blog. You are very welcome here. Just don’t believe everything Editor says about me, including the hostelry bit.

    Reminds me of the time when William Shakespeare walked into his local hostelry.

    The barman turns around, and shouts:

    Hey, I’ve told you before Shakespeare, you’re bard.

    June 19, 2014 at 9:07 pm
    • Dr John Dowden


      The bard was obviously badly sauced.

      For me, the relevant principle for sources and much else was first set out in English by one of Oxford’s greatest “for on few things thou hast been true” (Dr Wycliffe, translating “quia super pauca fuisti fidelis”). Time to bring a dose of Oxford truth to Catholic truth.

      In our e-age, checking student papers, examining for other institutions or reviewing e-submissions for publication, standard procedure is to run plagiarism software. Within the past couple of days the Edinburgh University Press has launched a scheme to let its authors check how exactly their work is being used. Such software cannot, by definition, check materials which do not exist in electronic form. It will however highlight (in vivid red) passages which still exist in e-forms or have been recorded (‘cached’) even if now closed or not open to the general public or specifically closed to those of us using non-western, second-world, internet providers.

      Plagiarism is a fact, independent of motive – raising mens rea is a distraction. Copying one’s own work, creating three Leonine CT texts is not a problem: the software can exclude specific items and indicate remaining problems – a veritable explosion of red. So the possibilities become that print sources have plagiarized on-line originals, have themselves been plagiarized into on-line effusions or that both things are happening. Another blogger using your CT name and CT avatar exists elsewhere and it is not impossible that you are being plagiarized by others.
      I can see that since some have taken their objections to every pope since 1958 to the logical, sede-vacantist, conclusion, it is embarrassing for others openly to cite such work, however useful to justify their own dissent. I can see, too, that there must be a bitter irony for those who loudly proclaim every obscure word published by any Dead Pope before 1958, to then have to reject much said by every Dead Pope after 1958, as well as rejecting the pair still living. While that is an explanation of why sources are suppressed, plagiarism remains where a source is withheld.

      We could be here for ever. But there is a simpler approach. You set out a complex canonical argument intended to argue a case. It is the sort of thing which one could construct by taking 1917 (the document behind much of 1983), then checking it back with Mansi or the like. Writing for Oxford, Powicke and Cheney showed how it can be done. It is standard procedure indeed for anyone tracing the canons of the Scottish Church back to their sources. I am not convinced – correct me if I am wrong – that you have actually gone through such a procedure. Chances are, therefore, that the arguments and supporting quotations are not – again correct me if I am wrong – your own work but were, rather, taken from sources elsewhere. That is what the software implies.

      So, I suggest we keep it simple. If you say the argument is your construct and the supporting sources your discovery from Mansi (or wherever), say so and I will happily apologize. Give the date and place you first set it all out and the software means you are the victim of others who have subsequently been plagiarizing your work. If on the other hand the stuff you have offered three times to CT has its source in the work of others, acknowledge that, and the arguments can be credited to them. If memory serves, it was you who started the business of demanding sources, page numbers and citations (and then ignoring the inconvenient result (June 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm)). So now it is just a case of being true (as Dr Wycliffe translates) in a number of small things. There ought, in principle, to be no difference between mere Oxford truth and ‘catholic truth’. What’s sauce for the goose is source for the gander or we will all get bard and bored, if not bawd and booed.

      And this one is quite significant in substance. You propose a set of arguments which can be used by what we used to call a “papist” to disobey the actual pope. It has a near-relative in an argument of “supplied jurisdiction” which has been elaborated to justify schismatic acts and illicit ministrations by clerics lacking any canonical title. It would be interesting to see if these propositions have any reputable support and, if so, where exactly it comes from.

      June 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm
      • editor


        I really thought you might come on here with sufficient humility to acknowledge that you had misunderstood the situation, and made the proverbial mountain out of an obvious molehill by accusing one of our bloggers of plagiarism (ludicrous). But no. Instead you continue this nonsense which is serving only to make you appear to be ignorant and malicious. I take no pleasure in delivering these harsh words, Dowden, I really don’t. It’s tough love. And if you don’t stop these daft plagiarism charges, it’ll get tougher. Believe me.

        Referring to Leo’s admitted occasional use of material from a sedevacantist site, while (wisely, in keeping with our policy) not including any links which might lead others to visit those sites and perhaps get embroiled in that error, you extremely mischievously write:

        “… it is embarrassing for others openly to cite such work, however useful to justify their own dissent.”

        If you think Leo is a “dissenter” then you’re beyond help. And, indeed, the rest of your post full of, frankly, nasty references to “dead popes” before and after 1958, indicates that you truly, Dowden, do not have a clue about the Catholic Church.

        I grant that you may well be an expert on the man-made Anglican (non) communion, but, hey, who isn’t? The homosexual men are experts, the lesbians are experts, the transgenders are experts, the bi-sexuals are experts, the women who wanted to be ordained were such experts that they got their way in the end, and are now making fools of themselves dressed as men (including the non-transgenders) with their flowing hair and long earrings, looking utterly ridiculous. They’re all experts on Anglicanism so I’d be bitterly disappointed if our Dowden were not one of them there experts as well.

        What you definitely know very little to nothing about Dowden, is Catholicism.

        June 20, 2014 at 11:55 pm
      • Dr John Dowden


        Sorry to have set you off on a tangent. We have to agree to differ on who is entitled to which ecclesial label but there is no particular point in getting upset about Anglican women.

        If you do not consider that men can be ordained priest in the CofE, why bother about women who cannot be any less valid for you? The first CofE woman has already been consecrated to a colonial bishopric somewhere in the antipodes, so she gets dressed up. Your Bishop Fellay also dresses up (more fastidiously, en grande tenue, than some women bishops). But he no more a Catholic bishop than the new CofE woman is (on any official list at least) so what is the exact difference? To answer my own question, jurisdictionally she is the bishop of Somewhere (licit but arguably not valid) and Fellay is the bishop of Nowhere (valid but certainly not licit). Odd old thing ecclesiology. Think of it as amusing rather than upsetting.

        In reality, the women are really quite good and the facts on the ground have changed opinions. When the Oxford and Cambridge colleges started to go mixed, admissions tutors in the old colleges suddenly discovered that with 200 places to fill a year, they could drop the 100 dimmest men and replace them with 100 bright women. Standards shot up. Not even the boat race was spoiled – it was easy enough to add eight good women to eight good men. Exactly the same has happened in the English Church – loads of dud men replaced by able women, whole level has transformed in a generation. The problem now is not recruiting enough candidates, it is turning away some quite good ones – and that is without the trickle of Romans who are moved to embrace Anglicanism and (the two things are often not unconnected) make an honest woman of their lady friend. So if it works, women priests, married priests, married women priests why knock it? A house of many mansions.

        But one important outcome of the Rome-Canterbury bishops’ meeting you have missed so far on this blog was, never mind bishops bidding blessings, an agreement to have an annual Vatican versus Canterbury cricket match. Rumour has it they will burn the bails in a thurible to create the ‘Cranmer Ashes’ trophy. Now wouldn’t it just be wonderful if the Vatican before much longer was able to field a Ladies XI as well? That way you really would have your chance to hit the Anglicans for six.

        June 22, 2014 at 8:03 pm
      • editor

        Dowden writes…

        “If you do not consider that men can be ordained priest in the CofE, why bother about women who cannot be any less valid for you? “

        I don’t. Bother I mean.

        Dowden writes again…

        “When the Oxford and Cambridge colleges started to go mixed, admissions tutors in the old colleges suddenly discovered that with 200 places to fill a year, they could drop the 100 dimmest men and replace them with 100 bright women. Standards shot up.”

        Unfortunately, however, the population shot down. When was the last time you saw a pregnant Anglican priestess?

        June 22, 2014 at 9:55 pm
    • Stephen

      Thanks Leo
      Glad to see you’re weathering the bruta fulmina!

      As Burke said He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist in our helper. (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)


      June 20, 2014 at 11:07 pm
  • Leo


    Thank you very much for those words. I think Saint Augustine once made a very similar point to that of Burke.

    The adversaries of Catholic Truth also remind me of the following words from Proverbs:

    “He that loveth correction, loveth knowledge: but he that hatheth reproof is foolish.” – Proverbs 12:1

    June 25, 2014 at 5:50 pm
  • Leo


    I think the good folk of Oxford would be less than happy if they were aware of the standard of truthfulness that you were putting about on this blog, apparently under their name. The Artful Dodger on the other hand would surely look on with approval, if not a certain amount of envy, and sentiments of being an amateur in comparison.

    Your posts of June 20, 9.56pm and June 20, 10.16pm pertinaciously compound the errors of your false allegations posted on June 17, 7.55pm, June 17, 11.13pm and June 18, 10.51am. You obviously spent some time constructing a “defence” in the June 20 posts. By right, the proper and appropriate response would have been very short, clear and corrective.

    Evasion, confusion, distraction, and provocation appear to be taking on the status of standard operational procedure for you, Dowden, with false personal accusations now being added in. The side shows, smoke bombs, and rabbit holes have become predictably familiar here, along with resolute determination to cling to error. Time and time and time, on issue after issue you have shown apparent scorn for evidence given by others to refute those errors.

    The free online dictionary defines Plagiarism as:

    “The act of appropriating the literary composition of another author, or excerpts, ideas, or passages therefrom, and passing the material off as one’s own creation.
    “Plagiarism is theft of another person’s writings or ideas. Generally, it occurs when someone steals expressions from another author’s composition and makes them appear to be his own work.”

    You have made a false allegation of plagiarism, Dowden.That allegation is totally, absolutely, indisputably, manifestly, 100% false. Maybe you consider such charges acceptable debating tactics, in view of your ill-informed, baseless and unsubstantiated slurs directed against Pope Saint Pius X a month ago, being dismantled, shredded and pulverised. Maybe you don’t consider that to be at odds with patronising pronouncements about academic standards and qualifications. So be it. I expect that most people have a somewhat different way of looking at it.

    For some strange reason, you have now taken to engaging the aid of plagiarism checking software while reading this blog. That’s your own business, Dowden. Possibly it was the excitement of the moment, but it looks like you failed to notice that the highlight text on your plagiarism checker signified a match with my own previous posts on this blog.

    Plagiarism, obviously, must involve some evidence, an exhibit. Some identifiable personal intellectual property has to have been stolen.

    Considering, Dowden, that you claim that a “significant portion” or “great lumps” involved plagiarism, later upgraded to “using hundreds of the same words in the same sequence” (out of 1,100 words), would it be too much to ask for identification of the said hundreds of words, and granted the impossibility of that happening, would it not be unreasonable to ask for a retraction of your spurious allegation.

    Readers will notice that Mario Derksen’s article has now been rapidly dropped from enquiries following original claims that it “appears” to be the source.

    Your recent concern with citations, Dowden, brings irony to rather heady levels on this blog. There is no reversal here. More than once you have claimed that I was demanding citations. Not quite so. Not unreasonably, I along with others here, repeatedly drew attention to the fact that you failed to produce credible evidence to back up your ill-informed and baseless slurs and errors concerning Pope Saint Pius X. This, I fear, is not an isolated necessity. Your past offerings on this blog precede you, Dowden. I have previously addressed the following words to you:

    “I doubt anyone here is expecting you to pretend you are ‘defending a DPhil thesis or writing academic prose’. Personally, I’ve no complaints if bloggers demonstrate the communication skills that most children have mastered by the time they reach their teenage years. Grasp the facts. Express your views clearly. And offer readers some persuasive evidence. I don’t know if simply mentioning the title of a book and telling someone to go and read it counts for much.”

    On the issue of evidence, I have previously highlighted your blatant double standard when it comes to the question of using “partisan sources”. Similarly with the use of ad hominem attacks in exchanges.

    As for citations and my own post of June 17, 1.59pm, I would invite readers to read it and judge if there are any citations missing. Pope Nicholas III, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Paul, canons 1323 and 1324 of the 1983 Canon Law, with extracts in quotation: all given due recognition. Frankly, it amounts to an almost comical bald headed charge against reality to suggest that citations are lacking.

    If you consider the contents of my post to be an “obscure” or “complex canonical argument”, Dowden, you really are struggling. That argument has been all over the place for the last twenty six years, freely available to anyone willing to make an effort to inform themselves. Neo Catholics and Liberals, and all others hostile to the Society are going to keep quiet about it for obvious reasons. The argument can be found with very little effort, a bit of Googling, in the Society’s literature, and elsewhere. I’m certain it is posted on any internet discussion when the subject of the so-called “excommunications” comes up. Walk into any tea room after Sunday Mass at a Society chapel and there should be no problem whatsoever finding someone to outline the bones of the argument. To maintain that the “intellectual property” of anyone is stolen by posting a very, very brief summary of the argument on this blog is one for connoisseurs of the truly ridiculous.

    I think my post of June 18, 9.57pm demonstrated how utterly false and ridiculous you charge of plagiarism is, Dowden. I gave you an “out” by allowing for the possibility of error. Rather than withdraw your baseless allegation, you persisted, claiming justification in your post to Stephen on June 20, 9.56pm by stating “if Leo demands citations, he can be expected to give them and, in failing to give them is open to a valid charge of plagiarism”. Valid? Seriously?

    You have also stated, Dowden that:

    Leo “completely fails to acknowledge the actual source of a significant proportion of “his” text, which might otherwise appear to be his own original work” – June 17, 7.55pm

    “…More relevant to the reputation of this blog is that fact that it is not, sad to say, Leo’s case…I deplore this fecund plagiarism.”- June 17, 7.55pm

    “The plagiarism is manifest. Great lumps of the post are lifted from the source given in the link” – June 17, 11.13pm

    “using hundreds of the same words in the same sequence to argue the same point is something different”- June 18, 10.51am

    After reading all this bizarre, and utter falsehood, and with no retraction in sight one week later, I think I’ll leave the polite response bit to Sir Humphrey Appleby:

    “the precise correlation between the information you communicated and the facts, insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated, is such as to cause epistemological problems, of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear.”

    A bit of shoving and shouldering in the course of a blog discussion is nothing to get unduly excited about. Your false allegations, Dowden, have caused me zero material loss, apart from the time wasted in refuting them. I’m far from inclined to get “precious” about issues concerning one’s good name, whatever that amounts to, when it comes to exchanges on an informal blog.

    “We could be here for ever”, you say.

    No. We’re not going to be here forever, Dowden. There is nothing even remotely resembling equivalence of argument or stalemate here. You have produced precisely zero evidence to back up your false charge of intellectual thievery in relation to my comments of June 17, 1.59pm, and that because the chances of doing that are precisely zero.

    I think that giving the benefit of doubt is often a sensible approach. Failure to retract falsehood and a demonstrably bizarre accusation does however remove all doubt. I don’t think it is necessary to spell out the particular four letter word that is appropriate when it comes to a refusal to retract demonstrably false accusations.

    One week later, I’m prepared, Dowden, to extend the benefit of doubt…until your next post. You have said plagiarism is “fact”. Quite so. The facts here are very evident. The issue now is not facts, but integrity. And it’s not my integrity that’s in question.

    Now please spare us the Artful Dodger routine, or even the Artful Dowden routine. Simple truthfulness is all that is required.

    June 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm

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