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Articles: SSPX: Society of St. Pius X

Una Cum: Mass 'in Union with our Pope'?
Most Rev. Donald J. Sanborn

Naming the post-Vatican II “popes’ in the Canon of the Mass.



In the many discussions which have taken place over the past fifteen years about the vacancy of the papal see since the time of the Vatican II “popes,” there has always been a “bottom line” which occurs in the Te Igitur of the Mass, which is the first prayer of the Canon. It is the passage in this prayer which requires the priest to pray for the reigning pope and bishop of the diocese in which the Mass if offered. If you pick up your missal, and turn to the Canon, you will see the phrase we are presently talking about: “...which in the first place we offer up to Thee for Thy holy Catholic Church, that it may please Thee to grant her peace, to protect, unite and govern throughout the world, together with Thy servant N. our Pope, N. our Bishop, and all true believers and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.” In Latin the phrase together with is rendered by una cum. Because the rubrics instruct the priest to leave out the name of the pope or bishop if the see is vacant, i.e., when a pope dies and the new pope is not elected, the mention or non-mention of the name by the priest is a litmus test for the priest’s position about John Paul II and the New Church. If he thinks that John Paul II is the true Pope, successor of Saint Peter, then he must place his name in the Canon. If, on the other hand, he does not hold him to be a true Pope, but a false one, then the priest must not mention his name in the Canon. So this little phrase in the Mass, una cum, says it all: is he or isn’t he the Pope?

The position of the Society of Saint Pius X is quite clear: he is, and if you do not agree, then get out. If I am not mistaken, they take an omission of the name to be a schismatic act. This they maintain despite the fact that they seem to admit a gray area in the speculative order; many of them openly speak about doubt concerning John Paul II’s papacy. Fr. Schmidberger even stated that the Fraternity was not in communion with the ConciliarChurch which identifies itself with the Novus Ordo Missæ. How such non-communion would not include John Paul II is mysterious. How can they be so emphatic about breaking communion with the conciliarists, and yet at the same time insist that priests declare themselves in communion with the head of the conciliarists?

Actions speak louder than words, and the appearance of the odious name in the Canon of the Mass is an action which clearly states that the Fraternity is in communion with the ConciliarChurch.

What if, however, you are not in communion with the NewChurch, but the only traditional Mass available to you is one in which a public declaration of communion with the Heresiarch is made? Is it licit to attend such a Mass?

In the course of the discussion, I will first examine the import of the una cum phrase, as there are varying theories, as is evident from the accompanying article in Forum. Next I will cite texts from diverse authors indicating that the mention of the reigning pope’s name is an explicit declaration of ecclesial communion. From here I will examine the ecclesiological problems of being in communion with John Paul II, and the liturgical problems which arise therefrom, and finally draw some moral conclusions from the principles stated. Afterwards I will respond to objections.


Import of the Una Cum Phrase

To my knowledge, there are three differing opinions of how this phrase should be understood. The first is to take una as an adjective, modifying Ecclesia, thus rendering the meaning to be “one with” or “united with.” The basis for this opinion is the fact that the Roman Pontiff is the principle of unity of the Catholic Church as a whole, and the local bishop the principle of unity of the particular Church. The second is to take una as an adverb modifying offerimus. “We offer...together with etc.” The reason for this opinion is that the Mass is an ecclesial act, offered not merely by a particular priest, but by the whole Church, in the name of which the priest is functioning. Since the Roman Pontiff is the head and principle of unity of the whole Church, it is fitting that his name be mentioned as the principal offerer. The third interpretation is to take the una cum phrase as an appositional link with Ecclesia, by which it would mean essentially including: “...which we offer Thee for Thy holy Catholic Church, which includes...”

Which is the correct way to accept una cum? I think that the third way is correct. Convincing proof to me is the fact that in medieval times, the name of the king was often inserted in this place, as well as that of the pope and bishop, which name is incompatible with the first two meanings of una cum, but not with the third. For the king is neither the principle of unity of the Church, nor is he in any way a principal or extraordinary offerer of the Mass. In these matters, he does not differ from the peasant in the pew. He is, however, a prominent member of the Mystical Body, as are pope and bishop, and does deserve special mention as such in the Mass and at other times in the sacred liturgy. The una cum phrasealso appears in the Exsultet of Holy Saturday where the names of the pope and local bishop are to be inserted and, prior to 1918, the name of the Austrian Emperor. In this context the names are clearly there as prominent members of the Mystical Body.

Such a conclusion, however, does not deny the fact that the Roman Pontiff is the principle of unity of the Roman Catholic Church, nor that the Mass is an ecclesial act. To the contrary, both of these truths must be asserted about both the Church and the Mass.


A Declaration of Ecclesial Communion

Praying for someone as pope and as bishop of the diocese is different from merely mentioning the name of your favorite aunt, or even that of the king or emperor. It is more, much more, than a mere friendly gesture of praying for someone. Rather the mentioning of these names of pope and bishop — and particularly that of the pope — has always been taken by the Church to be a sign of recognition of communion with the Roman Pontiff. Conversely, the deliberate failure to mention these names, and particularly that of the pope, has always been interpreted by the Catholic Church to be a declaration of non–communion with the Roman Pontiff. Submission to the Roman Pontiff is the foundation of the relation of the communion among the members of the Mystical Body, which is the same thing as the Roman Catholic Church. (Cf. Sacerdotium V, “Communion”). The mentioning of the name of the pope in the Mass, therefore, has always been commonly taken as a token of recognition of and submission to the power of the reigning pontiff; its omission has been taken as a sign of lack of recognition of and of submission to the reigning pontiff. Thus the eastern schismatics omitted the name in their Masses, and, when they returned to the unity of the Catholic Church, would resume the mention of the name, and purposely omitted any name which was obnoxious to the Catholic Church, such as that of the schismatic patriarch.

I adduce the following texts in proof of the foregoing:


Pope Benedict XIV

But whatever can be said about this controverted point of ecclesiastical learning, it is sufficient for us to be able to affirm that the commemoration of the Roman Pontiff in the Mass as well as the prayers said for him in the Sacrifice are considered to be, and are a certain declarative sign, by which the same Pontiff is recognized as the head of the Church, the Vicar of Christ, and the Successor of Saint Peter, and becomes of profession of a mind and will firmly adhering to Catholic unity; as Christian Lupus correctly indicates, writing on the councils (Tom. 4. Editionis Bruxell. pag. 422): This commemoration is the supreme and most distinguished kind of communion.” Nor is this any less proven by the authority of Ivo Flaviniacensis (in Chronicle, p. 228) where it reads: “Let him know that he separates himself from the communion of the whole world, whoever does not mention the name of the Pope in the Canon, for whatever reason of dissension; nor [by the authority of] the well-known Alcuin, who, in his book De Divinis Officiis (chap. 12) wrote this: “ It is certain, as Blessed Pelagius teaches, that those who, for whatever reason of dissension, do not observe the custom of mentioning the name of the Apostolic Pontiff in the sacred mysteries, are separated from the communion of the whole world.” This fact is further proven by a more severe statement of the Supreme Pontiff Pelagius II, who held the Apostolic throne in the sixth century of the Church, and who in his letter contained in the Labbeana Collectio Conciliorum (Tome 5, col 794 sq. and col 810)left this in writing concerning our subject: I am shocked at your separation from the whole Church, which I cannot tolerate; for when blessed Augustine, mindful of Our Lord’s words which placed the foundation of the Church in Apostolic Sees, says that he is in schism whosoever shall separate himself from the authority of or communion with those who preside in these same Sees, and who does not publicly profess that there is no other Church than that which is established in the pontifical roots of the Apostolic Sees, how can you not esteem yourselves to be cut off from the communion of the whole world, if you withhold the mention of my name in the sacred mysteries, as is the custom, in whom, though unworthy, you see at the present time the strength of the Apostolic See through the succession of the episcopate?”


It is clear from this text that the mentioning of the name of the reigning pope is not a mere friendly gesture, but rather a test of communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and that failure to mention the name of the reigning pope is a sure sign of schism from the one, true Church.


R. P. Pierre Le Brun

‘Una cum famulo tuo....with our Pope N. your servant. Saint Paul recommends to us that we pray for our pastors. We name in particular and in the first place the bishop of the first See, who alone is called because of honor and distinction the Holy Father, our Pope, that is, our Father. It is quite fitting that in praying for the unity of the Church, we also pray for him who is the center of communion, who presides over this Church, as St. Ireneus says, with which every other Church must agree. He presides as Vicar of Jesus Christ, as the successor of Saint Peter, upon which the Church has been established.’

“Et antistite nostro N. ...& our Prelate N. After the Pope we mention the bishop who governs the local diocese. For since the successor of Saint Peter is the center of unity of all the Churches of the world, the bishop is the center of unity of his flock, who form with him one Church, as St. Cyprian says. This union of the faithful with the bishop makes a particular Church, like the union of all the faithful and of all the bishops together make the universal Church, as the same holy Doctor also states. “


Dom Ernest Graf, O.S.B.

Let us note in the first place that the priest speaks in the plural. Like the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Eucharistic Sacrifice is a universal one. The Mass is the act of the Church, accomplished on behalf of the Church — that is, for the pastors and the sheep and the lambs entrusted to their care. Hence we make explicit mention of the Pope, the universal shepherd, of the diocesan bishop, and finally of all those who profess the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.”[1]


Fr. William J. O’Shea, S.S., D.D.

ˆ”There is one official who symbolizes and represents the unity of the Church in each diocese, and who has been placed there by the Holy Spirit to rule the Church of God: that is the bishop. Originally only the local bishop was mentioned: papa once meant any bishop, but was later restricted to the pope. Outside Rome the words “et antistite nostro N.” were added to avoid confusion; our Canon now prays both for the symbol and center of unity in the Church at large and in each diocese in particular. “Et omnibus...fidei cultoribus” is an ancient addition which refers not to the faithful but to the other bishops throughout the world, who are real “cultores fidei”: “maintainers of the catholic, apostolic and orthodox faith.” The faith is designated by its ancient titles: it is catholic, for the whole world; apostolic, coming from them and resting upon their teaching; orthodox, the true faith.[2]


F. Lucius Ferraris

‘First the priest offers the sacrifice for the Church, then in particular for the Pontiff, in accordance with an extremely old custom of the Churches, for the purpose of signifying the unity of the Church and the communion of the members with the head.’


All of the authors speak similarly. It is, therefore, accurate to say that the mention of the name of the reigning pope is a declaration of ecclesial communion with him as head of the Catholic Church, and not merely as a private Catholic.


An Ecclesiological Nightmare

The obvious question which poses itself now is: is it licit to declare oneself in communion with John Paul II as head of the Roman Catholic Church? I declare emphatically no, since to do so is an explicit recognition of the new religion as the Catholic Faith, and of the NewChurch as the Catholic Church. For where Peter is, there is the Church. The notions of pope and Catholic Church are intrinsically inseparable, and to be united to one is to be united to the other; to be separated from one is to be separated from the other.

To hold, however, that the new religion is the Catholic Faith and the New Church is the Catholic Church is to implicitly assert that Vatican II, including its heresies on religious liberty, ecumenism, and the Church, is the ordinary magisterium of the Catholic Church (declared to be such by Paul VI), that the New Mass and sacraments are Catholic and not sinful to accept, that the 1983 Code of Canon Law is a heresy-free and sin-free Catholic document.

Thus the mentioning of John Paul II’s name in the canon of the Mass is to approve of the entire Vatican II reform as Catholic and to accept the entire NewChurch hierarchy as the Catholic hierarchy. It is to declare that the new religion is the way of salvation, and that every Catholic can accept it in perfectly good conscience, nay, must accept it under pain of grave disobedience or even schism. This fact becomes evident when we hear the rest of St. Ambrose’s well-known ecclesiological axiom: Where Peter is, there is the Church: and where is the Church is, there is no death, but life eternal.[3] If, therefore, John Paul II is the Pope, then the Church of which he is the head is the Roman Catholic Church, and the hierarchy with which he is in communion is the Catholic hierarchy. It would then follow that their ordinary magisterium (e.g., Vatican II) is infallible, their rites and sacraments are both valid and Catholic and therefore entirely acceptable, and that their general laws (e.g., 1983 Code) do not prescribe anything sinful. For where the Church is, there is eternal life, and the Catholic would need not trouble his conscience about the doctrines, rites, sacraments and practices of the Novus Ordo Church.

I would sooner accept death than admit these things about the John Paul II church.

But the loathsome name in the canon is an implicit admission of the legitimacy of the reform and of the new church; it is like the tiny grain of incense offered to the Emperor. It is therefore not licit to mention the name of John Paul II in the canon.

The Society of Saint Pius X attempts to avoid the ecclesiological problem which the mentioning of the name causes by asserting the impossible ecclesiology to which they adhere. They do recognize John Paul II as pope and his Church as the Catholic Church and his hierarchy as the Catholic hierarchy, but say, at the same time, that the faithful must sift the acts of the hierarchy in order to distinguish what is Catholic from what is non-catholic.

This theory strips the Church of its essential role as infallible mother and teacher of the human race, and transfers this dignity to the “sifter,” in this case the Society of Saint Pius X. It separates the three things which St. Ambrose so aptly linked together: pope, Church, and eternal life. If the doctrines, sacraments and laws of the pope and of the Church have to be sifted, lest something non-catholic, sinful, or poisonous be given to the faithful, then eternal life is not something intimately linked with the Church.

If the Church needs a sifter, then why have the Church? Of what use is it? The purpose of the Church is to bring men infallibly to their ultimate supernatural end of eternal life. It accomplishes this infallibly by its three essential functions of teaching, ruling and sanctifying. The effect of its act of teaching is its doctrine; the effect of its act of ruling is its laws, and the effect of its act of sanctifying is eternal life by means of its sacraments and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

If the Church can err in these matters, so much so that a sifter is necessary, then she can err in her essential mission, which is to bring men to eternal salvation. But if she can err in this mission, that is, if we could go to hell by following her and believing her, then for what purpose does she exist?

This is why St. Ambrose has linked eternal life to pope and Church, since they are linked inexorably together in the divine constitution of the Catholic Church.

The priest who is saying the traditional Mass in defiance of the orders of John Paul II and the local Novus Ordo hierarch is doing so because the New Mass and sacraments are evil, the new doctrines are erroneous, and the new practices of the N.O. church are sinful. He must necessarily conclude that they do not proceed from the Church, since the general doctrine and practice of the Church cannot be evil, erroneous or sinful. From this he must conclude that John Paul II cannot be the pope, since, if he were, the author of the evil, erroneous and sinful doctrines and practices would be the Church. But this is de fide impossible. Ergo.

Pope, Church and eternal life are three inseparable entities: when one is removed, the other two immediately perish.


Communion with Heretics

Another problem with the una cum declaration is that it is a sin against the profession of the Faith.

As much as it is necessary for the Catholic priest to mention the name of the reigning pontiff as a sign of his communion with him and the Catholic Church as a whole, it is equally necessary for him to avoid mentioning the name of anyone who is not in communion with the Catholic Church. When schismatics were reconciled to the Catholic Church, they had to omit, as part of their sign of adherence, the names of their schismatic Patriarchs from the canon of the Mass. In his Bibliotheca, Fr. Ferraris cites the case of a schismatic bishop who was reconciled to Rome. The papal legates reassure the pope that, during the course of the Mass, no name was mentioned which was odious to the Catholic Faith:

“Finally the legates of [Pope] Hormisda recount to the Pope with these words what happened to them during the reconciliation of the bishop of the city of Troili Scampina: We confess, they said, that it would be hard to find in another people so much devotion to you Holiness, so much praise to God, so many tears and so much joy. Nearly all the people received us into the city , both the men and the women with candles, and the soldiers with crosses. Masses were celebrated, and no name which is loathsome to religion was mentioned but only that of Your Holiness.”

He also mentions that it is licit to pray for the conversion of infidels, heretics and schismatics in the Memento of the living, since it is a private and not a public prayer, thereby implying that it would not be licit to mention them publicly:

“The priest should be warned however [with Azor. lib X, cap. 22, quæst. 3,] that he can correctly pray in the Memento for the conversion of infidels, heretics and schismatics, since this is a private and not public prayer.”[4]

Benedict XIV himself ordered the Italo-Greeks to mention the name of the Pope and local bishop, lest there be any suspicion of schism among them, and furthermore forbade from mentioning the name of a schismatic Patriarch:

“The second part of the same warning follows in which, as was noted above, the Greek priest is enjoined, during the Mass, after he has prayed for the Roman Pontiff, to pray also for his own bishop, and for his Patriarch, provided that they be Catholic; for if one or the other or both were a schismatic or a heretic, he would not be permitted to make a mention of them.”[5]

Pope Benedict, in fact, makes frequent warning of the necessity not to mention the name of anyone who is a schismatic or a heretic:

“...but let him carefully avoid making mention of the names of schismatics or heretics.”

“Nor is he [the Greek priest] generally prohibited, in the often cited Monitum, from making mention of the Patriarch, but only in the case where the Metropolitans or Patriarchs should be schismatics or heretics...”[6]

He then cites three cases in which priests were specifically forbidden by the Holy Office to mention the name of schismatic prelates, in 1673, 1674 and 1732 respectively. The one in 1673 is of special interest, since the priest’s motive in mentioning the name of the schismatic was to attract the schismatics to the Catholic Church. The answer was it is absolutely forbidden. Put that in your ecumenical pipe and smoke it.

Pope Benedict states that the reason for this prohibition is that heretics and schismatics are excommunicates, and it is not licit to pray publicly for excommunicates: “The Sacred Canons of the Church prohibit praying for excommunicates...And although there is nothing wrong with praying for their conversion, this must not be done by pronouncing their names in the solemn prayer of the Sacrifice. This observance is in accordance with the traditional discipline...”[7] He furthermore quotes St. Thomas: “One can pray for excommunicates, although not in those prayers which are offered for the members of the Church.”[8]

Oddly neither Pope Benedict nor St. Robert Bellarmine see any problem in mentioning the name of an infidel ruler (e.g., the Turkish Sultan of Constantinople). St. Robert, whom Pope Benedict follows, states that it is tolerable since there is nothing proper to the nature of the Mass which prohibits it to be offered for infidels, and that they know of no Church law which condemns the practice. Both are clear, however, that they are not referring to heretical or schismatical rulers, but only the unbaptized, for the heretical and schismatical are excommunicated, and are therefore subject to exclusion by the laws of the Church. Thus heretical and schismatical rulers fall under the same prohibitions as heretical and schismatical Patriarchs. Since there is no law prohibiting the mention of infidels, however, it seems to Pope Benedict and St. Robert that it can be done. The former, however, qualifies his opinion by saying, “However, leaving these assertions to their probability...,” and goes on to say that it is a moot point in any case, since none of the Greek Catholics mention the name of the Turk in the Mass.[9]


“But, John Paul II is a Heretic…”

Now that we have established that heretical and schismatical prelates must not be mentioned in the Mass, it remains only to assert the minor: John Paul II is a heretic. Therefore he must not be mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.

The fact that he is a heretic I must leave to other books and articles to prove. This task has been accomplished already in diverse times, publications, and languages. Suffice it to say that he has, both by word and by deed manifested an adherence to heresy.

The glaring objection to this minor premise of the argumentation is that John Paul II is not formal in his heresy, and therefore does not incur an excommunication. Therefore he may still be licitly mentioned in the Mass.

I respond to this objection in the following manner: (1) there is strong evidence that he is formal in his adherence to heresy; (2) the law of the Church presumes guilt (i.e., formality) in the public profession of heresy until the contrary be proven; (3) it is the practice of the Church to treat all those who publicly adhere to heresy as formal heretics in the external forum, whether or not, in the internal forum, they be morally guilty of their heresy; (4) to recognize John Paul II as a member of the Catholic Church ruins the theological basis of resistance to the changes. Now let us examine each of these responses individually.


(1) There is strong evidence that John Paul II is formal in his adherence to heresy.Formal heresy is distinguished against material heresy. The former involves stubbornness against the teaching authority of the Catholic Church; the latter lacks this stubbornness. The only manner in which a person may lack stubbornness, or pertinacity as the canonists call it, is through ignorance of the fact that the opinion to which he adheres is contrary to divine and Catholic faith. For the other motives of adhering to false opinion, such as pride, vainglory, a spirit of contradiction, etc., all constitute a sufficient bad will to qualify the heresy as pertinacious and formal.

John Paul II, however, cannot be reasonably excused on the title of ignorance, even culpable ignorance. He received his seminary education in one of the finest institutions of the Church, the Angelicum, under the tutelage of one of this century’s best theologians, Garrigou-Lagrange. Nor is John Paul II a brainless dolt. He speaks many foreign languages fluently, and he could never have risen to the heights of bishop, “cardinal” and “pope” unless he possessed a sharp intellect. To the contrary, he is one of these post-World War II avant-garde theologians like de Chardin, de Lubac and Rahner, who set out to overthrow the tradition of the Catholic Church and replace it with what we have today. He was a liberal seminarian, a liberal young priest, a liberal bishop, and liberal phony cardinal, and now is a liberal phony pope.

He is not some do-gooder Catholic-at-heart who has, through no fault of his own, stumbled into modernism along the way. Rather he is one of the great Novus Ordo theoreticians, the choice of none other than Cardinal König, who was among the most modernistic prelates in the whole world.

The pertinacity of a John Paul II and of clergy like him can be seen in their hatred for the pre-Vatican II Church. In this consists their bad will, for in hating the pre-Vatican II Church, they are hating the Church.

Another strong argument in favor of his pertinacity is that lack of formality on his part does not assign a sufficient cause for the destruction which has been wrought in the Church. The devastation which surrounds us is not the work of a disorganized group of ignorant Catholic clergy “who don’t know any better,” but the effect of a diabolical conspiracy of the gates of hell against the Church. An enemy hath done this. To say that the spearheads of this noxious reform, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, are not conscious parties to the overthrow of the traditional Faith is to posit an effect without a sufficient cause. It is impossible. It would be comparable to Our Lord’s saying in the parable of the wheat and the cockle, “The sowers just made an honest mistake.” The Novus Ordo religion is so radically different from Catholic Faith, that no person in his right mind, regardless of education, could fail to recognize the difference. The pertinacious modernist simply replies: vive la différence.

Nor am I saying here that John Paul II must necessarily be one of the plotters. Sufficient for formal heresy is any type of mala voluntas: pride, curiosity, self-aggrandizement. Only ignorance excuses.

Furthermore, John Paul II has been sufficiently told that his new religion is a substantial departure from the pre-Vatican II religion. He does not live in a cave. Yet he continues to adhere to and implement this new religion.

The question of John Paul II’s pertinacity is admittedly a judgment call, but to paint him as a material heretic is to me the same thing as saying that Robespierre was only a material terrorist. He meant well.


(2) The law of the Church presumes pertinacity unless the contrary be proven. The presumption of the law is against John Paul II:

“The very commission of any act which signifies heresy, e.g.,, the statement of some doctrine contrary or contradictory to a revealed and defined dogma, gives sufficient ground for juridical presumption of heretical depravity.”[10]

Not only has John Paul II made statements of doctrine contrary to revealed and defined dogma (e.g., non-catholic religions are means of salvation, contradictory to outside the Church there is no salvation), but he has also explicitly declared himself to be in communion with — in the same Church as — schismatics and heretics. He has, furthermore, compounded these abominable statements with acts which confirm his adherence to heresy, such as communicatio in sacris and ecumenical services with everything that walks on two legs. It is not, therefore, the law or the spirit of the Church to automatically exonerate the guilt of someone publicly spewing heresy, but rather to presume it. The guilty party must come forward and prove his innocence:

“There may however be circumstances which excuse the person either from all responsibility, or else from grave responsibility. These excusing circumstances have to be proved in the external forum, and the burden of proof is on the person whose action has given rise to the imputation of heresy. In the absence of such proof, all such excuses are presumed not to exist. When satisfactory proof is offered, the juridical presumption will yield to fact, and the person will be pronounced innocent of heresy, and not liable to censure.”[11]

(3) It is the practice of the Church to treat all those who publicly adhere to heresy as formal heretics in the external forum.This is the most important point. In my article on communion (Sacerdotium V), I pointed out that the Church makes no judgment about the interior dispositions of those who adhere to heresy, but rather treats them as formal heretics. If the Church did not do this, its very divine constitution as the congregation of the faithful (congregatio fidelium) would be eroded; the unity of faith would not survive as one of its four marks. If only those excommunicated by name were considered to be outside the Church — the heresiarchs like Luther — and the rest were considered to be in good conscience and therefore Catholics, the Church would have lost in the first few years of its existence the sacred deposit of faith. It is precisely because membership in the Church is strictly dependent upon the profession of the orthodox faith that the Church has her mark of unity of faith.

For this reason, regardless of our “hunches” about culpability of his heresy, it is necessary that we treat him as a heretic and as an excommunicate. For heresy incurs an automatic excommunication; in normal times it is authority which confirms the automatic excommunication with a declaratory sentence. When the authority itself falls into the heresy, and fails to excommunicate itself, so to speak, and other heretics who are deserving of it, the faithful of the Church must observe the reality of his self-severance from the Church, even if it is not established legally. For law is a reflection of reality, and reality does not cease to be reality because authority fails to enshrine it by law. When heretics occupy the places of authority, heresy becomes the law, and orthodoxy becomes heresy. This legalization of heresy does not debilitate the Catholic faithful, but rather places a heavy burden upon them to bear witness to the wickedness of the law, and to its logical consequent, the non-authority of the apparent authority.

For there are some who argue that, since John Paul II is not excommunicated by a declaratory sentence, that we are free to regard him as a Catholic.

Not so. The declaratory sentence which follows an automatic excommunication is merely a legal recognition of something which already exists. If this were not true, the automatic excommunication would be meaningless. The excommunicated person is already severed from the Church; the declaratory sentence merely legally ascertains both the fact of the delict and the guilt of the party who has committed it. Once the declaratory sentence is handed down, all in the Church, including the guilty party, are required to observe the excommunication.

In the present crisis of the Church, during which we are deprived of authority, a declaratory sentence of excommunication is impossible. This lamentable fact, however, does not and cannot mean that the Church becomes an absolute free-for-all, for the Church would be essentially defective if it did not maintain its unity of faith. This unity of faith is that by which is it constituted; it is that by which it is recognized as the one true Church of Christ.

Catholics then must recognize the heresy as heresy in the would-be authority, presume guilt (pertinacity) unless there is evidence to the contrary, and hold as excluded from the ranks of the Church those who profess adherence to the Vatican II religion. It is true that there are many cases of non-pertinacious adherence to the new religion among the lay people, and even perhaps among priests, but this particular lack of guilt is determined on a case-by case basis, whereas the presumption of guilt is required by the general law.

Hence most — nearly all — traditional priests of all persuasions do not require a formal abjuration nor an absolution from excommunication of Novus Ordites returning to the traditional Faith, for the reason that the priests perceive in them a lack of pertinacity in their adherence to the Novus Ordo. On the other hand, I know of no traditional priest who considers a Hans Küng to be a Catholic, since pertinacity is presumed in his case. So should it be presumed in the case of John Paul II, since (a) the law requires it, and (b) ignorance is the only viable excuse from pertinacity, and ignorance is virtually impossible in JP2, nor is there evidence of it.

Nonetheless it is important to recall that there is no substitute for the authority of the Church, and even the collective spurning of John Paul II by Catholics does not equal the same thing as the declaratory sentence of authority. For until someone is excommunicated by declaratory sentence, it would be legitimate for any Catholic to say, “I think that there is evidence to say that he is not pertinacious in his heresy, and therefore not excommunicated.” This is true since a presumption always yields to fact, and since John Paul II’s pertinacity is not an established legal fact, the fact of his excommunication is likewise not legally established.

In any case the certitude about John Paul II’s non-papacy does not arise from arguments of his pertinacity in heresy, but rather from serious ecclesiological arguments, namely, that it is impossible that the authority which he claims to have — the very authority of Christ — prescribe for the Church what John Paul II has prescribed. If the authority of the Church, which is the authority of Christ, can give us official teaching of heresy, heretical sacramental rites, and sinful laws, then the Church would be defectible. But this is de fide impossible. Therefore it is impossible, by the very nature of the Church, that John Paul II be the Pope.


(4) To recognize John Paul II as a member of the Catholic Church ruins the theological basis of resistance to the changes. This is where the una cum question becomes so critical. From the reasoning which I have just presented, it is evident that ecclesial communion with John Paul II as pope means one of two things:

(a) that the reforms of Vatican II are Catholic, since they come from the indefectible Catholic Church;

(b) that the Church has defected, since heresy and sin has come from the official teaching and laws of the Catholic Church.

Since (b) is against the Faith, only (a) is even considerable. If one admits (a), namely that the reforms of Vatican II are Catholic, then the whole motive of adherence to tradition and resistance to the reforms is exploded. What possible motive could there be to retain the traditional Mass, nostalgia excepted, if the New Mass is a Catholic Mass? The una cum traditional Mass, therefore, is either objectively schismatic (altar against altar, as in the case of the Society of Saint Pius X) or it is said under the auspices of the Novus Ordo hierarchy for nostalgic purposes (e.g., the Indult Mass and the St. Peter group). The una cum traditional Mass is, in all cases, an implicit recognition of the Vatican II religion as the Catholic religion, and as the ConciliarChurch as the Roman Catholic Church. But such a recognition is in odium religionis (in hatred of the Faith). Therefore to mention John Paul II’s name in the Mass is, objectively, in odium religionis.

Here let me pause, after having made this rather withering criticism, in order to reassure the reader that I am not saying that every single priest who mentions John Paul II in the Canon is guilty of formal schism or of formally positing acts in odium religionis. I have been very careful to use the word “objectively” in all cases in order to emphasize that it is quite easy for an una cum priest to be in good conscience about this matter. At the same time, everyone knows that the morality of an act is not determined objectively from the mistaken good conscience of the individual, but rather from the object itself. It is about this object that we are concerned in this article, and I am not recommending that anyone be burned at the stake.

And while we are on the subject, I should bring up something which has often been thrown up to me by critics: “You, Fr. Sanborn,were once una cum!” Yes, it is true, I was. Let me explain. I began adhering to the vacancy of the Apostolic See back in 1973 at Ecône, at a time when a third of the seminarians openly thought similarly. In 1979 Archbishop Lefebvre began his una cum campaign and concomitant persecution. I went to see him in Switzerland in January of 1980 for an entirely different matter, at which time he insisted that I become una cum. I reluctantly accepted to do so because, at the time, I labored under the notion that the vacancy of the Apostolic See was a matter of opinion, and that a probable argument could be made for both sides. I thought, erroneously, that the una cum or sede plena position was a legitimate theological opinion. I thus accepted to be una cum because of the principle that one can act on a probable opinion even though one might be convinced that the opposite opinion is more probable. [12] Even in my sede plena days, however, I always felt in my heart that the sede vacante position made much more sense. So I was una cum in all good though uncomfortable conscience from 1980 to 1983. I simply did not see the intrinsic and essential connection between John Paul II’s papacy and the legitimation of the NewChurch; I did not see the necessary logical link between the rejection of the New Religion and John Paul II’s claim to papal authority.

I now realize this link, and therefore realize that if John Paul II’s papal authority is “a matter of theological opinion,” then the non-catholicism of the New Religion and of the NewChurch is also “a matter of theological opinion.” For one cannot separate Pope and Church. Where Peter is, there is the Church. To make, therefore, the identity of Peter a matter of opinion is to make the identity of the Church a matter of opinion. Where true Peter is, there is the true Church; where there is a false Peter, there is a false church. But not: where there is a false Peter, there is the true Church, norwhere there is true Peter, there is a false church. Impossible, for the Pope is the principle of unity of the Catholic Church, as we have already seen; the identity of the Catholic Church, therefore, is inseparable from the identity of the Roman Pontiff. You cannot separate Pope and Church.

In Persona Ecclesiæ

In my article entitled “Communion” (Sacerdotium V), I spoke about the problem of validly ordained priests saying Masses which were liturgically Catholic but outside the Catholic Church. This is the case of the Greek schismatics, Old Catholics (in some cases valid), even High Church Anglicans who have gotten themselves validly ordained in one way or another.

I pointed out, by citing authorities on the matter, that for validity, it is necessary that the minister be acting in the person of Christ at the altar, but for the catholicity of the Mass, he must at the same time be acting in the person of the Church. Saint Thomas Aquinas explains the distinction:

“And because the consecration of the Eucharist is an act which flows from the power of orders, those who are separated from the Church through heresy or schism or excommunication, can indeed consecrate the Eucharist which, when consecrated by them, contains the true body and blood of Christ: they nevertheless do not do this rightly, but rather sin when they do it. They therefore do not receive the fruit of the sacrifice, which is a spiritual sacrifice.”

“The priest at Mass indeed speaks in the prayers in the person of the Church, in whose unity he remains; but in consecrating the sacrament he speaks as in the person of Christ, Whose place he holds by the power of orders. Consequently if a priest is separated from the unity of the Church celebrates Mass, not having lost the power of Order, he consecrates Christ’s true body and blood; but because he is severed from the unity of the Church, his prayers have no efficacy. “[13]

Some saints and popes had some stronger words about schismatic Masses:

Pope Pelagius I: “One body of Christ establishes the fact that there is one Church. An altar which is divided from the unity [of the Church] cannot gather together the true body of Christ.[14]

Saint Cyprian: The schismatic dares to set up an altar and to profane the truth of the divine Victim by means of false sacrifices.”[15] (He also wanted returning schismatic priests to be reduced to the lay state, referring to them as those who against the unique and divine altar attempted to offer outside [of the Church] sacrilegious and false sacrifices“[16]

Saint Augustine:Outside of the Catholic Church the true sacrifice cannot be found.”[17]

St. Leo the Great: “Elsewhere [that is, outside the Church] there is neither an approved priesthood nor true sacrifices.”[18]

Saint Jerome:“God hates the sacrifices of these [ i.e., heretics] and pushes them away from Himself, and whenever they come together in the name of the Lord, He abhors their stench, and holds his nose...[19]

Fr. Cappello explains this distinction clearly:

“Priests who are cut off the Church, although they validly sacrifice in the name of Christ, nevertheless do not offer the sacrifice as ministers of the Church nor in the person of the Church. For the priest has the power to pray, to intercede and to offer in the name of the Church by virtue of his commission from the Church, and with regard to this, the Church can deprive the priest who is cut off from sacrificing in its name.” [20]

From these texts, it is clear that the validity of the Mass is not sufficient that it be a Catholic Mass, but rather another very important factor is necessary: the fact that the priest act in the person of the Church, that is, that he be commissioned by the Church to pray in its name.

This factor creates a terrible problem for the una cum traditional Mass. If the priest is saying that John Paul II is the Pope, and that he is in communion with him, he is necessarily saying that the Church of which John Paul II is the head is the Roman Catholic Church. In order that the Mass which the priest is saying, therefore, be deemed a Catholic Mass, it is necessary that the priest be commissioned by John Paul II to say the Mass in the person of the Church.

Without this commission, without this authorization from him who has the care of Christ’s whole flock, from him who has the commission from Christ to teach, rule, and to sanctify, the Mass becomes a non-catholic Mass. The Catholic priest must be acting as the agent of his bishop, who has the care of the diocesan flock, who, in turn must be acting as an agent of the Pope who has care of the whole flock. The Pope, in turn, must be acting as an agent of Christ, of whom he is the Vicar. This is the very constitution of the Catholic Church; it is this tight link of agency and authority which makes the Church Catholic.

If the priest, therefore, is acting without the authorization of the diocesan bishop, he is then acting without the authorization of the Pope, and his Mass and sacraments are cut off from both Christ and His Church. His Mass is not Catholic, nor are his sacraments, for he is not acting in the person of the Church.

How does the traditional priest today act in the person of the Church, when there is no authority to authorize him to say Mass?

He does so by carrying on the mission of the Catholic Church, which is the sanctification of souls. Thus it is perfectly legitimate and necessary for priests to say Mass, preach, and distribute the sacraments, as they are authorized by the Church to do so through the principle of epikeia. This principle, however, cannot possibly be invoked if the superior is present; one cannot invoke epikeia against a present, acting, and ruling superior. It simply does not make sense, since epikeia is essentially an estimation of the mind of the lawmaker in his absence.[21]

But the una cum Mass puts the lawmaker in Rome, and his personal representative in the local chancery, and thus destroys the entire moral underpinning of the extraordinary apostolates which are carried on by traditional priests.

Thus the una cum Mass ends up as an objectively schismatic Mass no matter how you slice it:

(a) If, for the sake of argument, John Paul II were the Pope, the unauthorized (i.e., non-indult) traditional Mass is schismatic, since it is not said in the person of the Church.

(b) If John Paul II is not the Pope, then the una cum Mass is schismatic since it is said in union with, under the auspices of, a false pope and a false church.

In neither case does the priest have any business saying it.

The only situation in which it would be licit to carry on an extensive, habitual, “unauthorized” apostolate is in a case similar to our own, in which there is a long-term absence of authority. The authorization for saying Mass, preaching, and administering the sacraments would then be per modum actus, that is, in the individual acts themselves, and would not be a habitual authority. The authorization would be from the Church itself (Ecclesia supplet, that is, the Church supplies jurisdiction in the absence of the competent authority).

The Society of Saint Pius X is excommunicated by the person they say to be the Vicar of Christ on earth. They cannot invoke against his supposed authority the very authority of the Church (that is, they cannot invoke the principle of Ecclesia supplet), since he supposedly possesses the fullness of the authority of the Church. To do so is schismatic, and that is exactly what John Paul II considers the Society of Saint Pius X to be — schismatic.


Conclusions of the Speculative Order

The speculative conclusions from the foregoing are the following:

• The una cum phrase is a declaration of ecclesial communion with the reigning Roman Pontiff and local diocesan bishop.

• This declaration of communion is particularly significant, since the Roman Pontiff is the principle of unity of the entire Roman Catholic Church, and the local bishop, subordinately, is the principle of unity of the particular Church or diocese.

Because the Roman Pontiff and local bishop constitute the principle of unity of the Church, the mentioning of their name in the Canon is an ecclesiological declaration, namely that the Church of which they are the head is none other than the Roman Catholic Church.

Because of the principle of outside the Church there is no salvation, it follows that union with and submission to the Roman Pontiff and the local bishop constitute a absolute condition of eternal salvation.

• Because of the principle of the indefectibility of the Roman Catholic Church, and of the infallibility of its ordinary magisterium and its general laws, it follows that the ordinary magisterium of the Roman Pontiff is free from error and the general laws which he promulgates cannot prescribe anything sinful.

• Because of the principle that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is by nature an ecclesial act, that is, an act of the whole Church, it follows that in order for it to qualify as a Catholic Mass, it must be offered in the person of the Church, that is, the priest must be authorized by the Church to sacrifice in its name.

• This authorization must be obtained from the duly constituted authority of the Catholic Church, that is, the Pope and local bishop. They have the power to withdraw this commission from a priest, in which case, should he say Mass, he would not be offering it in the person of the Church.

• The principle of Ecclesia supplet, by which a priest obtains authorization to act in the Church’s name (in the person of the Church) in extraordinary circumstances cannot be invoked against the very authority which grants it. This would be an absurdity.

• Nor can the authorization of the Church be presumed by the principle of epikeia, if the authority of the Church is present and functioning, since epikeia presumes the absence of the authority. Thus epikeia cannot be invoked against the present and ruling authority. This too would be an absurdity, and would lead to anarchy in any institution.


Now let us plug John Paul II, as pope, into the above principles:

• The Church of which he is the head is the Roman Catholic Church.

• The dogmatic and moral teachings of Vatican II, termed ordinary magisterium by Paul VI, deserve the assent of faith (cf. Vatican I), and the reforms of Vatican II, while perhaps not ideal, are Catholic and non–sinful.

• Only those priests who are authorized by John Paul II (and the local bishop in communion with him) can be deemed to be saying Catholic Masses.

• Masses offered by priests unauthorized by him and the local bishop are not Catholic Masses, since they are not offered in the person of the Church. Rather they are schismatic Masses, and fall under the severe condemnations of the Popes and Fathers mentioned in this article.


Now let us plug John Paul II, as non–pope, into these principles:

• The church of which he is the head is not the Roman Catholic Church

• Neither Vatican II nor its reforms deserve the assent of faith or obedience, but rather should be rejected and ignored by Catholics.

• Masses offered in union with John Paul II are non–catholic Masses, since they are offered in the person of a heretical church.

• Catholic priests may rightfully invoke the principles of Ecclesia supplet and epikeia as reasonable authorization of their apostolates, due to the absence of authority, and thus rightfully claim that their Masses and sacraments are authorized by the Catholic Church and are in the person of the Church.


Conclusions of the Moral Order

The following moral conclusions flow from what has been said:

I. If John Paul II were the Pope:

(a) the only traditional Mass which could be licitly attended would be one authorized by him, namely an Indult Mass, or a Mass offered by a priest of the Fraternity of Saint Peter.

(b) it would be gravely sinful to attend a Mass which was not authorized by him, e.g., the Mass of a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X or of a non-una cum priest, since these would be schismatic Masses. The confessions and marriages would be invalid.

II. If John Paul II is not the Pope:

(a) it would be objectively gravely illicit to attend a Mass which was together with Thy servant John Paul our Pope since (1) it would be an explicit declaration of union with a false, non–catholic church and religion (Where Peter is, there is the Church) and (2) it would be active participation in a Mass which was not offered in the person of the Church, in a Mass which would be, objectively, schismatic.

A Neither-Nor Ecclesiological Twilight Zone

The position of the Society of Saint Pius X is odd in this sense: on the one hand they insist that John Paul II is Pope, but on the other hand they carry on an extensive apostolate, including the consecration of bishops, in absolute defiance of his condemnation, as if he did not exist.

It puts them in a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” ecclesiological[22] position. For if you regard John Paul II to be the Pope, their apostolate is obviously off-limits, for the reasons stated above, viz., because it would not be in the person of the Church. On the other hand, if you say that John Paul II is not the Pope, then their apostolate becomes off-limits, since it involves both an adherence to a false religion and church, as well as attendance at Masses which are not offered in the person of the Church.

They are, therefore, in a neither-nor ecclesiological Twilight Zone which has to be resolved some day. The recent discussions about their claims to jurisdiction are a symptom of this radically impossible ecclesiology which they are asserting.

It must never be forgotten that they are still looking forward to an absorption by John Paul II into the NewChurch fold; they are still looking for the side chapel in the modernist cathedral. This was plainly stated in 1988, that is, that the negotiations with “Rome” would continue, and that perhaps in five years (= 1993) the whole problem would be resolved.

This desire to be reinstated by John Paul II is an important point to remember, for it means that the Society of Saint Pius X belongs by explicit desire to John Paul II’s NewChurch, and their una cum Masses are an expression of this desire. Whether all of the adherents of the Society of Saint Pius X will go along with the reconciliation remains to be seen. Bishop Williamson said to Monde et Vie last August (1992) that he thinks that the next pope will be an anti-pope. The Mother of All Battles might then be fought out in the Society of Saint Pius X.


Answers to Objections

Objection I. The priest who is una cum is in good conscience, and does not want to be part of anything which is non-catholic. Therefore he is not formally schismatic. Therefore his Mass is not schismatic.

Answer. That most priests who are una cum are in good conscience, I admit. That they are therefore not formally schismatic,I admit. That therefore their Masses are not schismatic, I deny. The Mass is an ecclesial act, and its “ecclesiality,” its very catholicity, does not depend on the formality or materiality of the schism of the priest. The priest’s good or bad conscience does not in any way affect the object of the act of the una cum statement, which is both to declare communion with John Paul II as pope, and to place the Mass under the auspices of something other than the Roman Catholic Church. By analogy, a priest may, through inadvertence, throw away a consecrated host into the sacristy trash can. Others around him who know that the host is consecrated cannot consent to or participate in the priest’s action, even though the priest did it in good conscience. Everyone knows that the objective morality of an act does not flow from the intention of the agent but from the object itself.


Objection II. Anyone who has not been officially excommunicated (by declaratory or condemnatory sentence) may still be mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. ButJohn Paul II has never been officially excommunicated. Therefore he may still be mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.

Answer. Anyone who has not been officially excommunicated (by declaratory or condemnatory sentence) may still be mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, I distinguish, in normal times, I admit, in times when the Apostolic See and apparently all episcopal sees are possessed by heretics, I deny. As I said earlier, heresy becomes the law when heretics gain positions of “authority.” Catholics in such a case cannot permit the Church to become an absolute anarchy and hold harmless the wholesale abandonment of the Faith throughout the world. By analogy, the New Mass has never been officially condemned by the Church. Yet Catholics by the instinct of their faith uncompromisingly reject it. Thus one could just as easily say, “The Church has never officially condemned the New Mass, so therefore we are free to accept it.” No, the firmness of Catholics against the New Mass, the new sacraments, the new doctrines of Vatican II, in short the whole new religion, must ecclesiologically translate into a rejection of the authority of the “Popes” who promulgated it. If the new religion is defective, it cannot be from the Catholic Church. If it cannot be from the Catholic Church, then the Conciliar “Popes” cannot be said to have the authority of the Church. Otherwise you end up with a defectible and defected Catholic Church. While it is true, therefore, that John Paul II has not been officially condemned, the situation in the Church is such that Catholics must bear witness to the heresy of the new religion, and therefore of his lack of authority. If Catholics let these Conciliar “Popes” pass as true Catholic Popes, then historically the Catholic Church will be said to have defected. Hence it is absolutely necessary that Catholics treat them as non–popes.


Objection III. The mentioning of the name of John Paul II in the Mass is an evil, certainly, but it can be tolerated for the greater good of not depriving sacraments of a great many people.

Answer. An evil may only be tolerated if its toleration does not entail the positing of an intrinsically evil act. But to mention John Paul II’s name is intrinsically evil, for, as I have said, it involves the identification of the Roman Catholic Church with the NewChurch, the Roman Catholic Faith with the new religion. To mention his name is objectively, really and truly in odium religionis, in hatred of the Faith. It is a name loathsome to our Faith. Since he is being mentioned as pope, it involves an identification of what Church you belong to. It is an intrinsically evil act, however, to declare yourself to be a member of a non-catholic church, and in communion with a non-catholic heresiarch sect-leader. I do realize, on the other hand, that what I am saying presents dire consequences for many, should they accept it. I do not see, however, how the Te Igitur of the Mass is not a true ecclesiological battlefield in which a profession of Faith must be made. The reason why there has been such a great proliferation of the una cum Mass is because Archbishop Lefebvre always sought to have the traditional Mass under the auspices of the NewChurch. Only in 1976, when he declared the Vatican II Church to be a schismatic church, did he openly depart from this idea. Even then, however, he continued to seek to have the Society recognized by the schismatic church. Even now, despite the excommunication, the same Society seeks re-admission into this same schismatic church. If Archbishop Lefebvre had been as firm on the Church issue as he had been on the Mass, virtually no traditional priest would be una cum today. You cannot have the Catholic Mass in a schismatic church, but that is exactly what the Society is attempting to do. Catholics must reject the NewChurch as much as they reject the New Mass. Let us not do evil things in order that good things come about. (cf. Romans III : 8)


Objection IV. The lay people can attend the una cum Mass without necessarily consenting to the una cumphrase.

Answer. Active participation in worship is consent to the worship, and one is presumed to consent to everything which is part of the worship. The name of John Paul II in the Mass is exactly the same thing as the presence of John Paul II in the sanctuary as pope. It is a sign, a declaration of ecclesial communion. Such external and public signs deserve external and public disapproval; active participation gives external consent. Furthermore, the presence of John Paul II’s name as pope, as principle of unity of the Church, places the entire act of worship in the schismatic category, and not just the little phrase, since it places the entire act of worship outside the Church. But outside the Church there is no salvation.



It is evident, therefore, that the mention of John Paul II’s name in the Canon (a) is an explicit declaration of ecclesial communion with a heresiarch; (b) is an explicit declaration of the identity of the Roman Catholic Church with the Novus Ordo Church, for where Peter is, there is the Church; (c) causes intrinsic and insoluble problems— ecclesiological nightmares — for the traditional priest, since it places his Mass outside the Church and makes it schismatic, since he is setting up altar against altar.

The only logical alternative for someone who recognizes John Paul II as pope is to place himself in the Fraternity of Saint Peter, or to say an Indult Mass.

Since the una cum phrase is a statement of communion, the following things are true:

• The una cum Mass is therefore the equivalent of having John Paul II in your sanctuary during the Mass, and of showing him the external signs of being the Pope, such as incensations, genuflections, etc. Of course you would have to give him Holy Communion, for if the Pope is not a member of the Catholic Church, then who is? Where Peter is, there is the Church.

• The una cum Mass is the equivalent of singing the Oremus pro Pontifice, a hymn sung to pray for the Pope:Let us pray for our Holy Father John Paul. May God preserve him, and give him length of days, and make him blessed upon earth, and not deliver him into the hands of his enemies.

• The una cum Mass identifies John Paul II and the local Novus Ordo bishop with all the orthodox and the maintainers of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith. This is absurd. It is a lie. To lie in the Canon of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass cannot be pleasing to God.

And if they are the orthodox, and the maintainers of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, then, by God, let us be with them and not against them. But if they are not the orthodox, and the maintainers of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, then, by God, let us be against them, and not with them.

Where Peter is, there is the Church:

where the Church is, there is eternal life.


(Sacerdotium 6, Winter 1993)

[1] Dom Ernest Graf, O.S.B., The Priest at the Altar, (New York: Joseph F. Wagner, 1926) p. 181.

[2] William J.O’Shea, S.S., D.D.,The Worship of the Church (Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1958) p. 393.

[3] Enarratio in Ps. 40, no. 30.

[4] op. cit., p. 51.

[5] op. cit., § 18.

[6] ibid., § 22.

[7] ibid., § 23.

[8] In 4 Sent. dist. 18. quæst. 2. art. 1.

[9] Pope Benedict XIV, op. cit., §§ 27 & 28.

[10] Eric F. MacKenzie, A.M., S.T.L., J.C.L. Rev., The Delict of Heresy, (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America, 1932) p. 35. (Cf. Canon 2200 § 2)

[11] ibid.

[12] Before the Thomists have a hemorrhage, let me point out quickly that one of the Princeps Thomistarum of this century, Hugon,, says that it is legitimate to do such a thing. “Non repugnat ut intellectus adhæreat uni opinioni, dum alteram existimat probabiliorem.” Cursus Philosophiæ Thomisticæ Logica Maior, Tract. III., q. 1.

[13] IIIa q. 82 a. 7, corpus & ad 3um.

[14] Ep. ad Joan. Patr., P.L. 69, 412.

[15] De Unitate Ecclesiæ, c. 17. P.L. 4, 513.

[16] Ep. 72, c. 2. P.L. 3, 1048-1049.

[17] cf. Prosperum Aquitanum,Sent., sent. 15 P.L. 51, 430.

[18] Ep. LXXX Ad Anatolium, cap. 2.

[19] In Amos, V: 22, P.L. 25, 1033-1034.

[20] Cappello, Felix M. S. I.., Tractatus Canonico-moralis de Sacramentis, (Turin: Marietti), 1962, I, p. 462.

[21] “Epikeia non potest licite adhiberi: (a) Si superior, qui dispensationem legis concedere valet, facile adiri queat.” Prümmer, Manuale Theologiæ Moralis I, no. 231 ff. q.v.

[22] the word ecclesiological means “pertaining to the theology of the Church.”

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