This Is the Great Apostasy…

Now, How Do We Make Sure Our

Souls Survive It?


What the Great Apostasy

Means, Religiously Speaking, and What

Real Catholics Must Do in Order to Obey God During

This Time of Hideous Evil & Confusion, Whilst

Making Certain Our Souls Go to Heaven







This article is a letter recently sent to a concerned soul in the South. He had written to me saying several things, but his dilemma was simple --- where do we get the Sacraments?


The following is my reply. It will serve as a better introduction to the Great Apostasy than The Epistemologic Works website has had before. It is as originally written, apart from the man’s identity kept anonymous, personal remarks removed at the beginning, a few typos fixed and minor tweaks made, an endnote added, and a small section corrected. Please see the end of this article for details regarding this small sectional correction.



+++ 1. The Church in Eclipse During the Great Apostasy +++



X, in your first email you stated, “I believe the True Catholic Church has been in eclipse...”


I agree with you regarding the Church being in “eclipse” --- if by “eclipse” we mean that the brain and the nervous system of the Body of Christ (which Body is Roman Catholic and not any other religion) is not functioning fully as it ought, and that the heart and circulatory system of this Body is not pumping and circulating fully like it should.


For what happens if the brain and heart stop working like they should?


The body dies --- just like Jesus Christ died upon the Cross.


Yet did His Body then rot in the tomb?


No, it did not.


Rather, the Human Nature of Jesus Christ resurrected a short time later.


Likewise, Jesus’ Ecclesial Body --- His Catholic Church --- has died upon a Modernist Cross, murdered by the satanic lies of the Religion of Modernism.


But is His Catholic Church now rotting in the tomb?


No, it is not.


Rather, the Ecclesial Body of Jesus Christ will resurrect in the not-too-distant future.


Now, I cannot dictate to God as to when this will occur. Nevertheless, just as God miraculously birthed His Church in Jerusalem against the opposition of hell, I know that He will --- in His Own Time and according to His Plan --- revive His Church centered in Eternal Rome to the fear & awe of an apostate world. Both clergy & laity have fled the infallible truth for religious lies… but His Spirit will raise up others in their stead.


After all, Jesus did say the gates of hell will not prevail against His Ecclesial Body (Matthew 16:18)… and we know hell could not keep His Human Body dead in the tomb forever (Matthew 28:5-7).



+++ 2. The Difference Between Valid & Licit Priests +++



But, X, as a result of this modern crucifixion of the Catholic Church, you also stated, “I believe…  [we] can’t find any valid priests…”


And hence you asked, “…where [do] you find the 7 Holy Sacraments…?”


Well, allow me to fuss a little over terminology.


(Incidentally, I realize you probably already understand what I’m about to explain. However, I want to make sure you comprehend, not to mention that others, with whom I may share this explanation, may benefit from reading it.)


Because, theologically speaking, the absolutely accurate thing to say is, “I believe we can’t find any licit priests… hence, where do we find the Seven Holy Sacraments dispensed both legally and thus permissibly?”


The point?


There is a difference between validity and legality.


That is to say, a man can be a valid priest while not being a licit & legal priest.


Validity just means he’s really a priest.


Legality (or licitness) means he’s not just a real priest but may also be permitted to practice the priesthood.


The upshot?


I have serious reservations about the validity of the NO (Novus Ordo) priesthood. This is because after Vatican II they completely revamped the rituals for ordination of priests and consecration of bishops. Notwithstanding, traditionalists have most certainly preserved the validity of the liturgical rituals for Holy Orders.


As a result, whilst all of these traditionalists are… as far as I can tell… themselves heretical and thus not truly Catholic (what I call Traditional Novus Ordoists, or TNOs, for short), they do indeed have valid priests and bishops.


But, of course, the catch is as we noted above. For they may be real clergy --- the priests of the CMRI, SSPX and SSPV, for example --- yet they are not acting permissibly like priests since they are not actually believing & acting like they’re wholly Catholic.


Incidentally, one can see historical precedence for, and thus proof of, what I have explained above regarding valid vs. licit priests by studying the Eastern Schism. After several flip-flops back and forth --- wherein Easterners went in and out of formal union with the Head Church of Catholic Rome --- by the end of the 1400s they were in, essentially, what we know today has been a permanent state of schism against the Catholic Body of Christ.


Yet were their clergy, then, to be considered invalid due to the schism?


Pope Leo XIII implicitly referenced this schism in a papal bull issued at the end of the 1800s. For in considering the question of whether or not Anglican clergy, who wanted to convert to Catholicism, were still truly & sacramentally priests after the rite of their ordination had been seriously tinkered with during the 1600s (they were not valid anymore, by the way, was what he decided), he briefly mentioned examining the form of the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the many rites of the East, along with ancient ritual in the West, to reach a carefully informed --- and thus morally certain --- conclusion.


There is legitimate variation in these forms, each going back to earliest times and derived from the Apostles. Ergo, studying them tells us the limits to such variation in form.


So what does this mean for the clergy of the Eastern Schismatics?


That, while these Easterners were both canonically and formally schismatic --- and hence certainly excommunicated, being outside the True Church and not participating in the Oneness of the One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Body of Christ --- notwithstanding, they still had a valid priesthood.


And why would that be?


Because their clergy descended from the Apostles and they had preserved form & matter in their use of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.


Ergo, their priesthood was apostolic and, consequently, still valid.


(This is in stark contrast to the Anglican heretics, who had not kept the validity of their priesthood since they had purposely fiddled with the form of the sacrament --- going past the boundaries of legitimate variation, hating the Catholicity of a real clergy that exists, more than anything else, to make the very real and literal sacrifice of God’s Flesh & Blood in the Holy Eucharist --- in order to conform with their now firmly ensconced Protestant prejudice against the Sacrifice of the Mass.)


But still licit, i.e., legal, and thus permissibly acting like priests?


No, because these rebellious Easterners were no longer truly Catholic without repudiating their schism and their concurrent heresies and then obediently joining the One True Church as submitted to the rule of an Eternal & Catholic Rome.



+++ 3. What Makes Apostate People Apostate Nowadays +++



Now, Eastern schismatics ceased to be Catholic because they denied the Filioque Clause of the infallible Nicene Creed and rejected the rightful exercise of the Supreme Authority & Jurisdiction of any legitimate Roman Bishop.


However, what makes people calling themselves ‘catholic’ not truly Catholic lately?


That is to say, what makes people of the Great Apostasy apostate?


You may already know the answer to this, X. Yet I can’t count on that.


Too, I’m taking this opportunity of answering your questions to post the text of this letter (with your anonymity respected, of course) on my website as a good introduction to the nature of the Great Apostasy that we live through today, as well as to inform any remaining real Catholics what it is they must do in order to obey Our Lord whilst surviving a spiritual famine that is global and may last years longer.


A better introduction, at least, than I’ve had up until now.


And, while there’s a lot of things that people get heretical over during our present time, there is one, big, huge, glaring, religious falsehood that is driving this love for the various heresies against Catholicism more than anything else:


The denial of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’.


I’ve grappled with this infallible teaching of the Catholic Religion --- the Salvation Dogma --- in For Those Who Consider Themselves Catholic in the section of First Things First on The Epistemologic Works website, as well as in Chapters 125 to 132 of Baptismal Confusion and Chapters 2 to 3 of Should You Go to a CMRI Mass or Take Part in the Worship of Other Traditionalists? in the Books & Articles section. Not having had time yet to write a thoroughly-documented tome devoted exclusively to the defense of this dogma, I hope, in the meantime, to post excerpts from the just-mentioned writings threaded together into a relatively brief but adequate whole explaining this nearly forgotten but still passionately hated truth… the truth that there really is no salvation apart from a visible, (and for adults of sound mind) conscious & voluntary membership in the Catholic Church, which Church, centered in the leadership of Eternal Rome, is the Singular & True Body of the Everlastingly Divine Person, Jesus Christ.


All the same, why make such a big deal out of it?


Because it’s at the heart of our apostasy. Like a gigantic maelstrom around which everything swirls helplessly, the world is caught in a flood of modernist delusion that leads straight into the ravenous pit of hell. At the center of that maelstrom is the fantasy that it doesn’t matter what a person believes when it comes to religion.


Any religion, any belief… as long as it submits to modernist thought… is fine.


But do you doubt that it’s a lie?


Study Sacred Scripture. Pore over the writings of the early Church Fathers. Examine the teachings, lives and beliefs of the Saints & Doctors of old. Heed the definitions and declarations of the Magisterium when speaking solemnly and infallibly.


You will never find any notion of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ in any of these sources other than this:


That there really is, for a human being of at least normal intelligence, no other way to save his soul than by seeking to know, and actually believing in, the Catholic Faith whole & entire, along with a serious and real resolution to obey whatever the Catholic Church commands him to do in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.


In other words, ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ really does mean --- and always has meant from the very beginning with Christ & His Apostles! --- that there is, literally, no Salvation for any person outside of visible membership in the Visible Body of Jesus Christ, which Sacred & Visible Body is the Roman Catholic Church’.





+++ 4. How Putative ‘Catholics’ Explain +++

This Dogma Away



Putative ‘catholics’ deny this ancient understanding of the Salvation Dogma. They speak like a serpent, changing what the Salvation Dogma has always meant since apostolic times into something it was never intended to mean.


These ‘catholics’ may be liberal, conservative or traditional. In actuality, they are just different flavors of a many-faceted Modernism. They are a spectrum that runs from one extreme to another, blending together in various ways toward the middle. A middle that causes many people to think like Goldilocks and call it ‘just right’. It doesn’t matter. Neither aiming for a theological ‘middle’ nor sticking the label of ‘catholic’ on it can ever change what the middle really is or what such people really are.


To wit, a special kind of modernist best known as ‘Novus Ordoist’.


(‘Novus ordo’ is Latin for a ‘new order’ or ‘new way’ of doing things, and it’s what Vatican II enthusiasts in the mid-20th century called their ‘New Order Mass’ so as to distinguish themselves from the old way of believing and old way of doing things within the timeless, infallible & divinely-established Roman Catholic Church.)


And these Novus Ordoists --- these modernists pretending to believe in the One True Religion --- have changed ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ into a fairy tale. The most highly educated or more conservative of them realize how the fantasy in its more liberal form cannot possibly look like it harmonizes with an infallible teaching that has been taught explicitly from the beginning with Christ & His Apostles. Hence, they take the Salvation Dogma and twist it into something a little more subtle like the following:


“Well, obviously, there is ‘no Salvation outside the Church’. Catholicism has always upheld this statement. However, we must understand the teaching in its proper sense. The passage of centuries has deepened our grasp of this rather harsh-sounding dogma. After all, God is merciful. He doesn’t want anybody in hell. And He sees into a person’s heart. He knows if you mean well. So, yes, ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ --- unless, of course, you really don’t know that there’s no Salvation outside the Church. In which case, there’s plenty of Salvation for you outside the visible boundaries of this Church since you’re ignorant and sincere about your non-Catholic beliefs and thus invisibly connected to this very visible, ultimately global, Spirit-driven-and-enlivened, always-spreading, always-missionizing, always-catechizing Church without even knowing it!”


Pretty ridiculous?




And while I stretch it to the point of nonsense near the end of the hypothetical speech above… I do so to drive home, quite seriously, how unbelievable their position is!


It’s an odd thing, but when people are filled with animosity toward God’s Truth, the ridiculous can become the ‘sublime’ for them. Just as long as they can avoid believing in a Catholicism that is whole and entire. This is the Great Apostasy prophesied by Jesus in the Gospels, by Ss. Peter & Paul in their scriptural letters, by the Church Fathers & Saints in their writings, by Sacred Tradition itself for those who pay attention, as well as various officially-approved apparitions, such as Our Lady of Fatima, Salette & Guadalupe.


The long foretold satanic rebellion is here.


And it revolves around the lie of ‘salvation-in-the-state-of-invincible-ignorance-and-sincerity’ for those who are not actually Roman Catholic.



+++ 5. So Where Do We Find the Sacraments? +++



So, my dear soul, in this terrible predicament… where do we find the Seven Holy Sacraments?


To the person who is heavenly-minded, the answer is heart-rending:


Almost nowhere on earth today.


We are spiritually starving, and we must bravely shoulder the cross we bear.


A cross that demands we carry it because we cannot of a good conscience, when we know that a particular priest or his flock are notoriously & pertinaciously heretical --- or, at least, how there is most excellent reason to suspect them of such heresy --- then join with them religiously, receiving the sacraments from such a priest’s doctrinally filthy hands. For that matter, we dare not religiously associate with the people who ought to know better and yet still receive the sacraments from his illicit hands, they appearing heretical, too, just like the illegal clergy to whom they turn, thereby transforming the illicit sacraments these priests serve from a medicine of immortality into a destructive poison which damns the culpable soul forever.


(Please go to the Books & Article section of The Epistemologic Works to see documented proof for this principle of religious separation --- although not necessarily intended to be a total social isolation! --- in Should You Go to a CMRI Mass or Take Part in the Worship of Other Traditionalists?)


But before you or anyone despair, please listen up. Because we do have a few small but crucial and powerful consolations if we are truly Catholic.


One, we still have the Sacrament of Baptism.


And, two, we can still have the Sacrament of Matrimony, although not everyone in every situation.


Three, we have the devotions of the Most Holy Rosary and the Stations of the Cross.


Four, we have countless devotions and indulgences which are unparalleled in their extravagant number during the Church’s history prior to our own dark days.


And, five, we have the Council of Trent, the greatest of all general councils thus far, assuring us infallibly and very explicitly of what we must believe in order to be truly Catholic and to staunchly defy the religious lies and Modernism of our era.


Penultimately, six, we have various saintly revelations, apparitions & instructions reassuring us of Heaven’s Charity & Protection during our perilous times, as well as giving us wisdom & advice about how to survive spiritually and so save ourselves eternally despite the horrible danger to our souls.



+++ 6. What These Consolations Mean +++

in Our Situation, Part I



But what does it mean to have these consolations?


Faced with the Great Apostasy and no living shepherds to whom we may lawfully turn, what good does it do to have these consolations in the hands of mere sheep today?


To begin with, NUMBER ONE, the Sacrament of Baptism can never be taken from us.


This sacrament of regeneration is so important, so critical, so imperative, that Holy Mother Church authorizes anyone --- be this person merely a layman, or a woman, or even a non-Catholic and unbeliever! --- to administer it in need according to the will of the Church upon anyone who freely and knowledgeably receives it (or, if a baby, whose guardian at the moment grants the infant this spiritual rebirth).


And, of course, if we don’t know when Heaven will provide us with lawful priests again, then, surely, lest death overtake us, we who rightly profess the Catholic Faith whole & entire are in urgent need and can lawfully receive the sacramental water from anyone willing to administer it according to the correct form and intent of the Church!


Ergo, in spite of the most deadly battle since the Arian Heresy of the 4th century, even without a functioning Hierarchy, when the Ecclesial Body of Jesus Christ appears to be dead in the tomb and without life, we can still be joined to this Saving Body, which will not corrupt despite its lack of priestly animation for the time being, and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with hope of eternal glory if we persevere unto the end.


Find this hard to believe?


And despite the example of the Arian scourge of the AD 300s causing, by some Catholic scholars’ estimation, up to 90% of the Church’s Hierarchy to fall into open heresy, becoming hellish wolves instead of an aid unto salvation for their flocks’ souls?


Then consider the example of Japan, too. A few centuries ago the heathen leaders of this country persecuted Catholics mercilessly and deprived them of their clergy for some 200 years… and yet, when Catholic priests were allowed to return at the conclusion of that lengthy persecution, what do you think they found?


To their astonishment, a hardy community of Roman Catholics who had kept the True Religion in their homes and in their hearts, catechizing one generation after another, baptizing their infants or any converts, and all without a single priest for some two centuries to shepherd their souls or provide for their spiritual needs!


Mind you, this is not how things ought to be all of the time; nonetheless, it is proof that true Catholics can survive in spite of long religious deprivation.


The implication?


Despite our spiritual famine during the Great Apostasy, which has gone on for decades, real Catholics can survive and in spite of everything against us.


It’s not easy, it’s not pretty, it’s not the way things ought to be under normal circumstances --- but if God requires it while punishing this wicked world, then He can also, by His Mighty Graces, enable us to come through the horror with our salvation intact at the end.



+++ 7. What These Consolations Mean +++

in Our Situation, Part II



Yet, NUMBER TWO, some Catholics, at a bare minimum, can have the assistance of the graces from the Sacrament of Matrimony.


How so?


Because matrimony is --- to the surprise of many who you might think should know better --- the one sacrament where not only a priest is not absolutely required to be present for it to actually occur, but is not even the work of a single person, as in the administration of water baptism by the baptizer upon the baptized. To the contrary, the graces of matrimony are continually administered by two individual people to each other whilst joined in the state of holy wedlock.


I.e., by two baptized spouses united as one flesh.


Hence, anyone in their household (such as their children, naturally) or near them in religious unity with them (that is, fellow Catholics enjoying their spiritual friendship), can benefit from these graces. Graces that flow from them as baptized spouses to one another and overflow into the lives of their children with them, or to other Catholics proximate to them and in charitable and neighborly religious unity with them.


Bringing us to NUMBER THREE, the Stations of the Cross and the Holy Rosary.


The loss of the Most Holy Mass and the Blessed Sacrament is grievous. With no lawful priests to whom we may turn --- priests who are truly Catholic --- we spiritually starve without the Flesh of Christ. For, while we can, if able and having missals, read through the prayers of the Mass on Sunday and do so aloud with fellow Catholics where possible, only a priest can consecrate the host and give us the Bread of Heaven.


But are we without recourse?




The two most profitable devotions in the Church, apart from the Holy Mass and the Divine Office --- which Divine Office, by the way, is permissible for lay people to pray if they are able to do so and freely willing --- are the Way of the Cross and the Marian Psaltery (the Rosary).


A good Catholic should practice the latter every single day, praying through five mysteries, preferably according to the custom of Joyful Mysteries on Mondays & Thursdays, as well as all Sundays during Advent & Christmastide, etc.; Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays & Fridays, as well as all Sundays during Septuagesima & Lent; and Glorious Mysteries on Wednesdays & Saturdays, as well as all Sundays during Eastertide & after Pentecost.


Meanwhile, although it is not officially required by the Church, I would strongly recommend practicing the devotion of the Stations of the Cross at least once a month, and, even better, every single week, preferably on Fridays.


These devotions gain great merits!


They are, too, the most indulgenced devotions available to Catholics.


Please, my dear soul, if you are truly Catholic and not yet practicing them, I beg you, do not neglect to pray these prayers and carry them out in your life! They are a precious lifeline without which we cannot be certain to save our souls, especially in our predicament.



+++ 8. What These Consolations Mean +++

in Our Situation, Part III



Which leads us to NUMBER FOUR, the countless devotions and indulgences available to us during our times.


Put simply, it is unparalleled in Church history how many indulgences we have today!


A wealth that I cannot believe is simply by chance. God in His Infinite Wisdom & Mercy has provided us an ‘emergency kit’, so to speak, for those who preserve Catholicity when all else has failed. That is to say, we get these incredible aids --- fantastic assistance in remitting the temporal debts of our sins during such horrible trials --- even without the Mass and without confession to a priest, when the danger to our souls and opposition to our salvation is unrivalled since the time of St. Noe (Noah) and the Flood.


(Incidentally, please read on and see what the Church has us do when confession to a licit priest is impossible. It is more difficult… nevertheless, there is still hope for our souls!)


Putting us at NUMBER FIVE, the infallible, detailed & amazingly explicit teachings of the greatest of all twenty ecumenical councils of the Church, the Synod at Trent.


Suffice it to say that careful and intelligent study of this Council’s instruction will do wonders in helping the good-willed soul in guarding against the lies and promises of the present-day world’s Modernist Religion. We may be in dire straits, a blindness not seen since Noe’s Flood, the Machabean Apostasy, or the Arian Heresy, but Trent’s teaching sheds a heavenly light that the darkness of hell can never overcome.


And so we arrive at NUMBER SIX. To wit, various saintly revelations, apparitions and instructions.


Because we have not been left unprepared.


We may feel caught unawares --- not being properly instructed, at first --- but God has actually given prophecies to various saints and sent us appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the past two thousand years, not to mention the instructions of Sacred Scripture & Tradition, and wise fathers or doctors of the Church, that, in retrospect at least, have been more than sufficient in preparing the wary for the rebellion we see.


That is to say, our Catholic ancestors warned us of the global apostasy to come.


And, whereas that may seem, to the uninstructed, like little comfort, it is --- to the one who is wise --- a great solace in this time of martyrdom. That God is not needlessly cruel, oblivious to our suffering, and has given us a ‘heads up’, as it were, to let us know this was on its way, that, from His Being in eternity, He knew all along about its existence and what would happen well before any of us were born. He saw, and He warned us, from the very beginning.


So why does it seem like a shock?


Because our evil times, and increasingly careless leaders, didn’t prepare us.


Hence, it looks pretty flabbergasting. It catches us off-guard.


Notwithstanding, once you study the topic meticulously, you find out how God knew ahead of time, warning the Church early on, that it would come. I mean, think about it…


Could this worldwide apostasy have come upon us if everyone was prepared for it?


No, it couldn’t.


People had to be blind --- and rebellious --- for it to occur.


Nonetheless, keep this rock solid assurance in mind:


God will protect us if we trust in Him. His Church, while appearing dead, is not extinguished or rotted away. It is His Church and His Body, not ours. We’re merely members of it, provided we’re truly Catholic. God will revive it in His Own Time.


Indeed, He will work everything for good… and despite the heinous evil.



+++ 9. Still Another Crucial Assistance +++

During Our Evil Times



And so we arrive at NUMBER SEVEN.


But did I forget to mention this consolation earlier?


No. I simply left it for last, a precious blessing to surprise you with.


Perhaps, my dear soul, you already know about it. However, again, I can’t count on that.


Furthermore, what few people today --- who care to call themselves Catholic and may think of themselves as traditional --- get this far in their thinking, knowing that things can’t possibly be ‘normal’ and that something in our world is terribly, terribly wrong during the Great Apostasy, stumble over number seven. Maybe they’re ignorant and proud, not wanting to acknowledge this option could exist. Or, maybe, they’re aware of the opportunity but extremely frightened, not knowing how to use it and thinking the whole idea merely academic to the point of being a de facto impossibility.


Yet what is number seven?


The Sacrament of Penance without a priest available.


For remember:


If truly Catholic but you don’t know of any truly Catholic priests near enough for you to seek their help… then what are you supposed to do when you fall into mortal sin?


Without lawful priests, are we lost forever?


This is what many think today, and so they make one of two mistakes:


Either, one, since God is merciful and not willing that anyone should perish --- and given that His Church cannot fail --- they assume every Novus Ordo priest must actually be Catholic and thus permissible for  them to go to for what they presume are really the sacraments. (Which also means, when you think about it, that --- granted that the people making this assumption are Catholic to begin with --- they either follow the Novus Ordo priest into his notorious & pertinacious heresies and so cease to be Catholic, or else turn a blind eye toward his heresies and act as if he’s Catholic nonetheless, and hence that it’s okay to go to him as long as a higher authority doesn’t formally excommunicate him.)


Or else, two, since God is merciful and not willing that anyone should perish --- and given that they refuse to face life without most of the sacraments --- they assume that, since every Traditional Novus Ordo priest is validly offering sacraments despite notoriously & pertinaciously denying, at the very least, ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ and thus revealing himself to be not truly Catholic, then, with no other options available, it is… somehow… mysteriously permissible to go to these illicit priests until a higher authority in the future retroactively and formally excommunicates him.


Ah, but the proof that it is wrong to go to a non-Catholic priest?



+++ 10. A Short Detour Into +++

Automatic Excommunications



Please refer to Should You Go to a CMRI Mass or Take Part in the Worship of Other Traditionalists? in the Books & Articles section of The Epistemologic Works website. There you will see that Church’s Canon Law provides for, and always has, automatic excommunication of any member of the Church who notoriously & pertinaciously contradicts a dogma both common and explicit to Catholicism since the beginning with Christ & His Apostles, common dogma which any Catholic of sound mind must know and profess in order to be certain he’s Catholic to start with, the open & repeated denial of such a dogma thereby revealing to anyone who’s Catholic and of sound mind how the denier is not truly Catholic anymore, if indeed he was believing the Catholic Faith whole & entire in his private thoughts prior to this open & repeated contradiction of a dogma.


Automatic… as in, it happens automatically without higher authority having to do anything further of a formal nature. It’s already set up to go into action in Canon Law automatically even without official action or pronouncements from the Hierarchy.


Incidentally, this is one of the ways people can know that contemporary antipopes are antipopes --- that is to say, not truly popes. No intelligent Catholic pretends to have authority over such a man and ‘excommunicate’ him (if, indeed, a particular antipope was publicly Catholic to begin with). No. He merely sees how the antipope’s public testimony or public behavior inescapably contradicts a dogma common to Catholicism since most ancient times, how there is no possible way to both fairly & logically interpret this antipope’s public testimony or behavior to be something that is truly orthodox. Then, seeing this is repeated and not accidental --- i.e., it wasn’t just a fluke or unintentional --- an intelligent Catholic confidently and rationally concludes that the Church Herself excommunicates the antipope from visible membership in Her Visible Body.


For if visibly not a member of Her Body, then how can this person be the visible head of the Catholic Body of Jesus Christ, one of the requirements of which, in order to be the head, is, first, to be an actual and visible member of that of which you are the head?


Do you see?


Canon Law makes no distinction when it comes to automatic excommunication.


Or, to put it plainly, Canon Law has never said:


“Notorious and pertinacious heretics are automatically excommunicated without any formal pronouncements, unless, of course, the person is a pope. Then, naturally, only a pronouncement from a higher authority will suffice. But since no one in the Church is higher than the pope, then  --- oops! --- no amount of blatant and repeated heresy will ever automatically excommunicate a pope. He’s the pope no matter what… even if he becomes a publically professed Satanist and openly tries to destroy Catholicism!”


Obviously, I’m being silly.


Yet with a deadly serious point.


Automatic excommunications are automatic in order to protect the Church. No declarations of a formal nature are required because the Church’s members could be harmed in the meanwhile if an official pronouncement takes a long time to happen or never occurs. Toleration and religious unity with such notorious & pertinacious heretics in the meantime would only serve to confuse and scandalize those who are still truly Catholic. At worst, it would cause other Catholics to follow the heretic’s bad example and cease to be Catholic, too; at best, it would cause Catholics to divide up against each other as some tolerate religious participation with such a heretic and others refuse to countenance religious unity with the notorious & pertinacious heretic.


Dear soul, do you understand why Canon Law provides for the operation of excommunication automatically in these cases?


But back to the Sacrament of Penance without a licit priest.



+++ 11. The Sacrament of Penance +++



A real Catholic knows he needs a priest in order to have his mortal sins absolved. A well-informed Catholic also knows he can’t go to a non-Catholic priest to get this absolution. After all, in doing so --- and even if, religiously speaking, a non-Catholic priest could actually absolve those mortal sins that are confessed to him --- such a Catholic then incurs, as he confesses to a non-Catholic priest, the new mortal sin of going to a non-Catholic priest whilst knowing better, which puts him right back into the state of mortal sin that he (supposedly) was getting out of by confessing his mortal sins to this non-Catholic priest!


Yet what if there’s no other option?


What if there are no Catholic priests available for him?


The Council of Trent gives us the clear and infallible solution. For the Tridentine Fathers via the Solemn Magisterium assure us regarding the Sacrament of Penance:


“Whence it is to be taught [therefore, given that what the Council of Trent has just said is infallibly true, it is to be taught] that the penitence of a Christian after his fall [into sin] is very different from that [penitence that he experienced and practiced] at [the time of] (his) baptism; and that therein are included not only cessation from sins [that is, the Catholic no longer does these sins] and a detestation thereof [that is, he now hates these sins that he no longer does], or a contrite and humble heart [that is, his heart is sorrowful for these sins that he did and he is humble before God because of this sinfulness], but also the sacramental confession of the said sins [but such a Catholic, too, confesses his sins to a priest] --- at least in desire and to be made in its season [yet if there is no priest he can go to for the time being, he at least wants to confess these sins to a priest and plans to do so just as soon as a priest is available to whom he may go] --- and sacerdotal absolution [the priest to whom he confesses then absolves him of the sins confessed]…” (Translated from the original Latin into English by Canon Waterworth as of 1848, from Chapter 14 of the Decree on Justification, Session 6. Published by Devin-Adair Company in 1912 in New York City. Cited from p.42 of the paperback republishing by TAN Books & Publishers in 1977 in Rockford, Illinois, under the title, Dogmatic Canons and Decrees. All emphasis and annotations added here and in the following two quotes, except for the “(his)” in the quote above, which is as it is in the original cited text.)


And also:


“If anyone saith [says] that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema [if anyone claims that just being Catholic is enough to make him worthy to receive the Eucharist without having to confess his mortal sins and be absolved from them, let him be excommunicated from the Catholic Church and cursed and damned forever if he does not change from this heretical opinion and reconcile himself to God’s Church]. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily [out of concern that no Catholic takes the Eucharist in the state of mortal sin], and so unto death and condemnation [and thus this Catholic in mortal sin ends up in hell tormented even more horribly due to taking the Eucharist unworthily], this holy synod ordains and declares [the Council of Trent infallibly teaches us] that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin [when a priest is available, then a Catholic who is in mortal sin must confess to him this mortal sin before he dares to receive the Eucharist], how contrite even soever they may think themselves [and this crucial rule of confession of mortal sins before getting the Eucharist is binding no matter how perfectly contrite the Catholic is, when a priest is available, to whom he may make a confession].” (Ibid., p.84. From Canon 11 of the Decree Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Session 13.)


As well:


“Contrition, which holds the first place amongst the aforesaid acts of the penitent [contrition for sins is the most important thing a sinful Catholic does in getting these sins forgiven], is a sorrow of mind and a detestation for sin committed, with the purpose of not sinning for the future [the sinful Catholic, who is good despite the sin, is sorry for these sins and hates them, not wanting to do the sins again]. This movement of contrition was at all times necessary for obtaining the pardon of sins [contrition for sins has always been necessary for these sins to be absolved and forgiven]; and, in one who has fallen [into sin] after baptism, it then at length prepares for the remission of sins, when it is united with confidence in the divine mercy, and with the desire of performing the other things which are required for rightly receiving this sacrament… The synod teaches [the Council of Trent infallibly teaches us], moreover, that although it sometimes happen that this contrition is perfect through charity, and reconciles man with God before this sacrament be actually received [sometimes a Catholic may be perfectly sorry for his sins out of a love for God as the best reason of all, which perfect sorrow makes him at peace with God even before he is absolved by a priest], the said reconciliation, nevertheless, is not to be ascribed to that contrition, independently of the desire of the sacrament which is included therein [nevertheless, even though perfect sorrow and contrition for sin may make a sinful Catholic at peace with God, we cannot believe that this happens without this Catholic actually wanting to get the Sacrament of Penance from a priest and intending to do so when the opportunity arises].” (Ibid., pp.92-94. From Chapter 4 of the Doctrine on the Sacrament of Penance, Session 14.)



+++ 12. Perfect Contrition and the Intention to Confess +++



What does this all mean?


My dear soul, it means a Catholic person can have perfect contrition for his mortal sin and seriously intend to confess this mortal sin to a Catholic priest as soon as such a man is available for him to do so, while, in the meantime… God forgives this mortal sin and counts it as if it were already absolved by one of His priests.




Absolutely amazing?




And we have the infallible and adequately clear assurance of Trent to back us up on this. Indeed, yet another example of how God has given us the Council of Trent --- along with all of the other consolations I mentioned previously in Chapters 6 to 10 of this letter --- in order to prepare us for these trying times of ours, when the whole world has gone into apostasy and we are left alone, as it were, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, there being no shepherds alive right now to assist us in this difficult task.


Nevertheless, we are not alone.


Because our shepherds at Trent did prepare us for the very situation that we face:


The forgiveness of our mortal sins without a priest to whom we may turn.


And, again, how is this accomplished?


Via perfect contrition and an intent to confess.


Yet what is perfect contrition?


Sorrow for your sin not merely because the sin is so ugly or you’re afraid of going to hell for it, but because you love God above all things and you are sorry to have offended him by your commission of this ugly & hellish sin.


And what is an intent to confess?


It means you seriously and honestly intend to confess your mortal sins to a truly Catholic priest as soon as such a man is reasonably available for you to go to --- and even though you have already confessed them privately to God in the Sight of Heaven. Without this serious intent to confess later on to a priest, no amount of perfect contrition in the world will suffice in God’s Sight to forgive you your mortal sins in the meantime. It also means all mortal sins forgiven in this way will go back to being unforgiven if a Catholic priest becomes reasonably available and yet you, while knowing this to be true, nonetheless refuse to take advantage of the opportunity available and remain as you are, without sacramental confession and thrown back into the state of mortal sin due to rebellion.


So how does a Catholic confess privately to God without a priest?


The same way you confess with a priest… you simply accuse yourself in prayer of all of your sins, naming them and describing them so as to adequately take responsibility for them, adding ameliorating circumstances that may lessen or increase your guilt.


Is there any convenient guideline to assist in doing this?


Any Catholic, who understands how to make a good confession to a priest, can make a good confession privately to God without a priest available. The exact same process is followed. Certainly, one should make an Act of Contrition when doing so. But if one desires further help, there is a long Contrition Prayer to assist a Catholic in covering everything necessary to assure one’s self of forgiveness in God’s Sight. Both the Act of Contrition (a holy prayer of ancient origin) and the long Contrition Prayer (a much more thorough prayer of recent origin) can be found on The Epistemologic Works website in the Prayers section. Scroll down this section to the subsection entitled Prayers of Contrition & Penance. There you will find links for both An Act of Contrition and A Thorough Contritional Prayer.




But how can a good Catholic be sure he has a contrition that is perfect?



+++ 13. Contrition Is an Act of Intellect & Will +++



As stated above, perfect contrition is sorrow for the best reason of all:


Because you love God above all things, and you have offended him with your sin.


This is better than being sorry because sin is so hideous and ugly. Or because you’re going to wind up in hell forever if you die with a mortal sin upon your soul, unforgiven. Both of these latter types of sorrow are an imperfect contrition, called attrition.


Imperfect contrition --- attrition --- is not bad. It’s better than nothing.


It’s only imperfect since it’s not perfect… and not because it’s not pleasing in and of itself in God’s Sight, as a good and holy remorse for the sin that you’ve done.


Indeed, imperfect contrition --- attrition --- is so satisfactory to God that He forgives one’s mortal sin with attrition when you confess to a priest. That is to say, when you’re imperfectly sorry for your mortal sin, nevertheless, because this contrition is so pleasing to God, He forgives you when you confess the sin sincerely and adequately to a priest, who acts in God’s Stead and absolves you from the deadly transgression.


How wonderful is that?


That God is so charitable as to spare us from hell with only attrition for our sin!


Yet without a priest, how do we make sure our contrition is perfect?


This is where so many people go wrong.


Those who are proud, ignorant and impatient assume that it’s impossible to have mortal sin forgiven without a priest to confess to. Or they assume it’s the next thing to being impossible --- that God wouldn’t ever allow us to get into this type of predicament, and even though they might admit, if only in theory, that the Church does indeed guarantee us a way to be forgiven without a priest to whom we may confess.


Meanwhile, those who are afraid, ignorant and timid assume that it’s practically impossible to have mortal sin forgiven without a priest, due to perfect contrition being --- so they assume --- too difficult to have. After all, isn’t it only saints who can come up with the kind of sorrow and tears and remorse necessary to be perfectly contrite?


The proud, ignorant and impatient we’ve already shown are fallible and wrong about forgiveness without a priest. The Solemn Magisterium infallibly assures us of this.


It’s up to them to be humble enough and patient enough to listen.


The afraid, ignorant and timid, though, we answer now:


Yes, it is more difficult to be perfectly contrite than it is to be imperfectly contrite. Notwithstanding, no, ‘more difficult’ doesn’t mean impossible or practically impossible!


It just means it’s harder than attrition.


Nor do we need to be saints in order to have it. That is to say, copious tears and heartrending feelings of sorrow and remorse are tremendous, helpful and precious… but they are not at the heart of what it means to be perfectly contrite.


Rather, contrition is --- at the bottom of everything --- an act of the intellect and the will. Tears and feelings of sorrow are spiritually beautiful and immeasurably helpful… but they are not what makes contrition into contrition, nor contrition something perfect!


To the contrary, we simply need an intelligent mind to know that we ought to be contrite, and for the best reason of all --- that we should love God above all things and that we are sorry for having offended Him with our hellish trespass. Then, knowing this, we exercise our free will to tell Him that we love Him above all things --- and that we are supremely sorrowful for offending God with our eternally deadly crime against His Law.


This is what perfect contrition is.


Tears and remorseful feelings can flow out of this. The tears and feelings are not, however, to be mistaken for the act of the intellect and the will that contrition really is at the core of everything. To think otherwise is to be subject to our ignorance and to be misled by the devil into potentially damning our souls, if only by falling into despair.


My dear man, your immortal soul is very precious. The immortal souls of other human beings are also very precious. We are made in the Image of the Triune Catholic God.


This is why, in spite of my incompetence, the words above are worth reading.



+++ 14. Beware of Illegal TNO Sacraments +++

and Catholic Fundamentalism



X, your first email --- which I’m addressing last --- asked:


“Where can I find valid priests and sacraments?”


We’ve already answered this query.


For, while there may be quite a few (relatively speaking) priests & sacraments that are valid (if nothing else, all of the TNO parishes in various places, see Chapters 3 & 5 in this letter), they are certainly not licit and thus not legal for real Catholics to knowingly frequent.


Of course, without the actual Eucharist legally available, real Catholics can still seek a spiritual communion. We can even look toward those places where we know a TNO priest (such as an SSPX, CMRI or SSPV priest, etc.) is saying the Mass and offer adoration, at a distance, toward the sacramental Christ present there in the TNO chapel, making reparation in our orthodox hearts for the fact that heretics are crucifying God Incarnate all over again, subjecting Him to cruel torture in their religiously unclean mouths, unclean hands and unclean souls.


Nonetheless --- and despite its immense value --- no number of spiritual communions will ever equal the treasure of the Most Holy Eucharist in sacramental reality.


Nor ought we to fall prey to Catholic fundamentalism.


This is a type of person who claims to be Catholic (whether he really is or not is ultimately beside the point) but who, like a Protestant fundamentalist, does two things:


One, just like a Protestant fundamentalist pretends Sacred Scripture is always easy to interpret and that he can never be wrong in his understanding of the Bible, so, too, a Catholic fundamentalist (CF) pretends the Infallible Magisterium is always easy to comprehend, and that he can never be less than perfectly correct in any of his interpretations of Holy Mother Church’s infallible words.


And, two, just like a Protestant fundamentalist pretends the actions or words of others are always easy to judge and that he can never be wrong in his understanding of their moral status, so, too, a CF pretends that the actions and words of others are always easy to assess, and that he can never be less than perfectly correct in any of his judgments, impatient and hasty though he’s been, overlooking facts and details and nuance and charity and patience in his condemnation of another person’s moral condition.


(You can find out more about the dangerous errors of CFs in the articles, Catholic Fundamentalism: What It Is and Why It Is So Deadly and The Hideous Schism of Catholic Fundamentalism. They are in the Books & Articles section of The Epistemologic Works website.)


We cannot afford to be Catholic fundamentalists.


Such people are proud, ignorant, impatient, and --- granted they’re truly Catholic to begin with --- they inevitably lead to schism & heresy, culpably damning their souls if they die in this state without having done all they should to get out of it, as well as the soul of anyone who culpably follows them into religious falsehoods and lack of charity.



+++ 15. The Prophecy of St. Daniel and +++

Our Lady of Fatima



Yet you also, X, asked one more thing in your first email:


“Has the prophecy of Daniel started the clock ticking[,] so to speak?”


To which I reply:


Yes, in my opinion, it has.


As a matter of fact, we seem to witness with our own eyes “…the abomination of desolation, standing where it ought not…” in the holy pre-Vatican II sanctuaries of the Roman Catholic Church spread throughout the world. (Mark 13:14a DRC)


Nevertheless, I am not omniscient (all-knowing); I am not infallible (never-wrong); and I have no sacerdotal jurisdiction over anyone else in this world (I am not a lawfully appointed priest, bishop or pope with full religious authority over someone else).


Consequently, I could be wrong… and real Catholics may legitimately disagree.


But the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. We really are in the worst plight this world has ever faced, equal to the time of St. Noe and the Flood. Indeed, worse than then. Because we have the One True Religion fully revealed, and humanity has had time to be evangelized, with the earth’s most powerful nations in recent days at one time truly Catholic. Ergo, we are even more responsible for the heinous evil we have done.


To whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:43)


St. Daniel in Daniel 12:11, as well as in Daniel 9:27, clearly prophesied something religiously horrendous near the end of our world, a prophesy that Jesus Christ clearly referenced and upheld (for instance, see Matthew 24:15). This prophecy definitely seems to refer to the invalidity of the Liberal & Conservative Novus Ordoeucharist’ of our era, the Great Apostasy (the situation in most cases where people still claim to be Catholic today), and to the illegality of the Traditional Novus Ordo Eucharist (the situation in those far fewer remaining cases where people still claim to be Catholic nowadays).


All the same, Sacred Scripture can be hard to understand. (2 Peter 3:15-17)


What’s more, biblical prophecy can be profound and multilayered, which we cannot pretend to always interpret fully & correctly all by ourselves without the Church’s leadership. (2 Peter 1:19-20, 1 Timothy 3:15, Matthew 16:13-19 & 18:15-18)


Hence, even if my opinion is correct, there could be something yet deeper in the prophecy of St. Daniel, or still another interpretation that is, simultaneously, equally legitimate in regards to the interpretation you’ve ventured, with which I concur.


The outcome?


Dear sir, we must heed Sister Lucy’s warnings as the longest lived seer of Our Lady of Fatima, and acknowledge that we are going through the fulfillment of St. John the Evangelist’s Apocalypse. Specifically, the twelfth chapter.


And, whether or not a human lifespan is sufficient to see the final end, the last battle between Fallen Angel (Lucifer) and Heavenly Queen (Mary) is engaged. We are watching it being played out now, even as I write.


As Sr. Lucy exhorted in one of her many private letters, we cannot today rely on our shepherds to help us. They have proven faithless, hired hands who flee when the sheep are threatened (John 10:12, see John 10:1-16 for the full context) --- who, in fact, often become the wolves that threaten us, hungry for our souls. The sheep must fend for themselves. They must be strong where the strong have been traitorous or weak.


Uncatholic to say this?


No, for it would be uncatholic to follow the uncatholic into ruin.


As St. Paul the Apostle, first auxiliary bishop of Rome, informed us:


“I wonder [I am amazed] that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another [and false] gospel. [That is to say, I am astonished that you so quickly abandon the Roman Catholic Religion preached to you and believe, instead, in a heresy that still goes by the name of ‘christian’ while it is nothing of the sort.] Which is not [in reality] another [true gospel], only [rather] there are some [heretics] that trouble you, and would [they try to] pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or [even] an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that [true and infallible Roman Catholic Gospel] which we have preached to you, let him be anathema [let him be excommunicated and cursed, burning in hell forevermore]. As we said before, so now I say again: If anyone preach to you a gospel, besides that [true and infallible Roman Catholic Gospel] which you have received [that you were carefully taught by us when we converted you to the Catholic Religion whole & entire], let him be anathema.” (Galatians 1:6-9 DRC, all emphasis and annotations added.)


Not that we say this to repudiate lawful & valid shepherds of the Church. Rather, we say it, imploring God to send us faithful shepherds again, since weak & ignorant sheep like us should not be without a wise & vigilant pastor watching over the Catholic flock.


Nonetheless, it is God’s Roman Catholic Body, not ours. We’re merely members of this Body, if truly Catholic. It is His Body to have scourged and crucified, as well as His Body to restore and resurrect. And He will do the latter in His Own Good Time.


X, I operate on the charitable assumption that you are truly Catholic. (If not Catholic or uncertain --- but willing --- please go to the What Must I Do to Be Saved? section of The Epistemologic Works so as to begin your journey upon the narrow path unto life within the Church.) As such, we pray for both your physical & spiritual welfare and wish you well. But if not yet truly Roman Catholic, we still wish you well --- and pray for your conversion to a real, timeless, whole, apostolic and absolutely infallible Catholicity.


I hope to hear back from you in the not-too-distant future. Sincerely,



                                                                        -Paul Doughton






Based on long experience, criticism of this article from those who actually read it --- and who consider themselves Catholic --- will predictably fall into this pattern:


“How dare you attack the pope and call him an antipope! Who are you to judge him or to pretend to depose him? How dare you oppose bishops and priests! Some of them are bad, but it’s not up to you to say they aren’t Catholic or aren’t lawful clergy. How dare you reject Vatican II! Maybe it wasn’t the best council, but you aren’t a pope, so who are you to say it’s a false council? How dare you preach to me about ‘no Salvation outside the Church’! I believe my catechism or priest, etc. Who are you? Nobody! What’s more, your interpretation of the dogma is wrong since it goes against Church teaching!”


And so forth.


Of course, the exact criticism will depend on the type of person criticizing. A Liberal Novus Ordoist (LNO) is not going to sound like that. A Conservative Novus Ordoist (CNO) or Traditional Novus Ordoist (TNO) will say much of the above, but in varying degrees. To wit, the more TNO someone is, the more he will agree with me. Meanwhile, if ‘sedevacantist’, then he will agree with me all the more. If a believer in ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ --- or, as it’s called in Latin, ‘extra Ecclesiam nulla Salus’ (EENS) --- in its strict, ancient and thoroughly correct sense, then he’ll find still more to agree with, though he’ll likely quibble over reception of the sacraments from those who are just blatantly heretical, astonishingly careless or Catholic fundamentalists (CF).


The point is, none of these criticisms hold water.


As for a pope, no real & intelligent Catholic pretends to ‘depose’ him. He’s the supreme authority in a visible Church, and neither I nor anyone like me pretends he’s not. We merely note the obvious:


No one becomes a pope just because everyone says he’s the pope.


For instance, Anacletus II was never a pope during the 12th century merely because everyone at first thought he was the pope. Or, to put it still another way, a papacy is never determined by the popular opinion of a particular era of people. Just because everyone in Europe assumed, way back in AD 1130, that Anacletus II had been made the pope, did not make him actually so.


A person must be elected canonically, legally and legitimately.


Now, there are rules for papal elections. There are also laws about who can become pope. The former (i.e., rules) governs whether or not a legitimate election has occurred, regardless of the persons in question being valid candidates for the papacy. The latter (i.e., laws) governs who can be a valid candidate in the first place, even before the matter of an election being legitimate can come into play.


For example, a few (but not all) of these laws are the following:


For someone to be a pope, the person must be a man, he must be sane, he must be a bishop, and he must be Catholic.


The first criteria rules out half the human race. And if ever a woman were to be touted as a pope on the Throne of St. Peter, anyone could point out the fact that someone must be a man to be pope and, hence, confidently assert that such a person is most certainly not the pope… and even if the whole human race wants to think otherwise.


The second criteria rules out a small segment of the human race. And if ever an indisputably insane man were to be acclaimed as pope, again, anyone could point out the fact of his insanity while confidently asserting that such a person is most certainly not the pope… and even if the whole human race wants to think otherwise.


The third criteria rules a person out only if he refuses or neglects to be consecrated a bishop within a reasonable amount of time after his election, provided he wasn’t a bishop to begin with. And if ever a man not consecrated as bishop were to be acclaimed as pope after a reasonable amount of time has passed for him to get consecrated, then, once more, anyone could point out the fact of his lack of consecration and thus confidently assert that such a person is most certainly not the pope… and even if the whole human race wants to think otherwise.


The fourth criteria is the big bugaboo for most people nowadays, amongst those who consider themselves Catholic yet tend to be CNOs or TNOs… or who, while truly Catholic, can’t face the reality of Christ’s Catholic Body crucified on a modernist cross. All the same the fact remains --- if a man isn’t publicly Catholic, either because he never became Catholic to start with or else he notoriously and pertinaciously reveals himself to be heretical or schismatic --- then he cannot be made pope without first embracing Catholicism whole & entire, and, as needed, repudiating heresy or schism.




Ergo, anyone could point out the fact of his notorious & pertinacious heresy or schism, and then confidently assert how such a person is most certainly not the pope… and even if the whole human race wants to think otherwise.


The same principle applies to those who really are legitimately elected pope. Should such a man later on become a notorious and pertinacious heretic or schismatic, then he ceases to be publicly Catholic and, consequently, automatically loses his membership within Christ’s Catholic Body, thereby also losing his office as the visible head of that Body.


And if this is not possible, then why did popes beg God to keep them from heresy?


That is to say, up until more recent times, why did men, who are legitimately elected as pope, then pray, as part of the official ceremony during their enthronement, that God would not let them fall into heresy?


Why ask for the prevention of that for which it is already impossible to occur?


It doesn’t make sense.


This is just one of several reasons to take so-called ‘sedevacantism’ seriously.


And, while it’s true many earlier theologians of the Church --- where they might have entertained the notion --- treated the prospect of a pope’s notorious defection from the Catholic Religion as more theory than possibility, they did so not because it’s utterly impossible for a man, pope though he is, to defect from the True Faith. Remember the ceremonial prayer where a newly elevated pope asked God to keep him from falling into heterodoxy, not to mention that a pope is enabled by God, in some very special circumstances, to pronounce infallibly… and not that he is infallible in absolutely everything he says and does, no matter what, all of the time!


Rather, they treated the possibility as somewhat theoretical because they preferred to believe, personally, that God would never allow such a prospect to transpire.


Notwithstanding, if a human being has a truly free will, wherein he can knowingly choose either good or evil --- and the Church infallibly assures us that we do indeed have this kind of real freedom, which is why we must answer for the evil that we do! --- then how is it, strangely, that a man who is pope could not then knowingly exercise this perilous freedom of his will and so wickedly choose to espouse what is heretical?


Why is he, of all human beings, weirdly, without this real freedom of will to do evil?


And how can God reward him for orthodoxy when he’s not free to be a heretic?


The truth is, anybody can choose to be a heretic --- even a pope.


And what goes for him, goes for his fellow bishops and priests, too.


Which is why, then, a council can turn out to be heretical as well.


After all, there have been many false councils in the past, just as there have been many antipopes during centuries gone by, in addition to many bishops or priests who became traitors against Catholicism. There have been these things for one simple reason:


Because human beings can choose to believe lies.


The central religious lie of our times is that it doesn’t matter what religion you are. According to modern people, you can be of sound mind, die while believing in things that are religious falsehoods, and God will still take you into Heaven.


Per them, ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ is false.


And Novus Ordoists --- who dare to call themselves ‘catholic’, whether of the LNO, CNO or TNO sort --- have chosen to believe the opinion of these modernists, rather than the unchanging testimony of an infallible Roman Catholic Church across the past two thousand years, when it comes to the eternal salvation of an immortal soul.


During the Arian Heresy some 1700 years ago, most Catholics chose to deny the Dogma of the Incarnation --- the truth that the Creator became a Man, that this Man was truly and wholly God from all of eternity, and that this Divine Incarnation is absolutely necessary for the eternal salvation of every single human soul.


Likewise, during the Modernist Heresy of our times of the Great Apostasy, most Catholics have chosen to deny the Dogma of the Ecclesiation --- the truth that the Body of this Divine Incarnation is ecclesial as well as human, that it is singularly Roman Catholic and no other religion, and that this Divine Ecclesiation is also absolutely necessary for the eternal salvation of every single human soul.


Both denials are religious lies.


And both put people of sound mind in the punishment of everlasting hell if they die in this false belief, never caring enough… or being humble enough… to figure out what the infallible truth is about these infinitely important things, prior to facing Judgment.


But it’s the latter religious lie that afflicts our world so very much today.






I corrected the text of the letter, that I sent to the gentleman in the South of the United States, in what is now the last part of Chapter 2 in the article above regarding the Great Apostasy. The former text misled an uninformed reader into thinking Pope Leo XIII examined the validity of Eastern Schismatic clergy. He did not. The priesthood of the Eastern Schism has never, to my knowledge, been in question amongst those learned in theology. Rather, Leo examined whether or not the Anglican Protestant clergy were valid, for the reasons elucidated in the corrected text.


My mistake came out of faint memory (it’s been 15 years since I deeply studied the affair) and rushed time (I wanted to respond quickly whilst writing a better website introduction to the Great Apostasy, leaving too few hours to brush up on Leo’s effort and think through the explanation carefully, to be sure the reader would understand it rightly).


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