A Little Bit More About Me, the Salvation

Dogma Defended Very Explicitly, and Why

Sedevacantism Must Explain Our Crisis




Back in June of this year, a very kind person sent me an email commenting on The Epistemologic Works. I replied with a text posted in the Letters & Admonishments (L&A) section of the website entitled A Little About Myself, Why I Designed the Website as I Did, and How Sedevacantism Explains the Quandary We’re in Today. She then responded with another very nice email, trying to convince me that Benedict XVI is not an antipope. The text following the words of this forward is my answer.


Call yourself Catholic, my dear reader --- or want to be Catholic --- but can’t help being skeptical & confused about the issue of sedevacantism? Then this letter, as well as the previous one, is for you. The term simply comes from the Latin phrase sede vacante, which means ‘the seat is empty’. It is what the Church says when a pope dies or otherwise leaves his papal throne vacant & unoccupied until the next valid election. A small but conspicuous minority of people who consider themselves Catholic nowadays say that the papal throne has been abnormally empty since the 1960s or 1950s, a few of them even claiming that it has been going on much longer. Please see Was Benedict XV an Antipope? in the Books & Articles (B&A) section for more information about the latter notion.


An unprecedented situation?


Certainly. Leastwise, during New Testament times.


Nevertheless, a total impossibility?


Absolutely not.


And there is both hard evidence and solid logic to back this up. Read on, then, if you dare, to see that my assertion is neither idle, nor foolish, nor groundless. It is, to the contrary, the only explanation that can make any real sense of the Great Apostasy that we face today. And while I do not imagine that this is a thorough exposition of the subject --- that will have to come later, Heaven willing --- what I have said in this and the previous letter are more than enough to show a good-willed man that the topic is in deadly earnest. That is to say, it is to be ignored or written off solely at the peril of your immortal soul. For whereas a Catholic does not, strictly speaking, have to believe that sedevacantism explains our present situation in the Roman Catholic Church, to deny that it does then makes such a Catholic prey to the notorious heresies of all those who are perpetuating the present crisis, who only pretend to be Catholic.


The text below is exactly as I sent it. Only a date of transmission and a few chapter headings for better mastery of the letter’s structure have been added.


+ + +   1. Introduction   + + +


25 December 2009


Dear X,


It’s gracious of you to take time out of your busy schedule and reply to me. I can understand how hectic the beginning of the school year must be, and especially for a special education teacher. Praise will probably embarrass you --- but it is admirable that you want to serve kids whose needs or situation demand your strength & patience in spades. Particularly when the money is barely enough to get by on.


By the way, I’m sorry you got sick from exhaustion. Both you and your kids depend on you to stay healthy, so I hope you can do so! On the other hand, it gave you time to look at my email.


What should I wish for you, then? Health & busyness or exhaustion & leisure?


I think I shall be sensible --- however unrealistic, possibly --- and pray for you to have both health and leisure at the same time… if only in very modest amounts, at the very least.


I can empathize with you. I’m not a schoolteacher, but I have for the last decade-and-a-half worked with either those who are elderly or who in some way need assistance. In fact, this is why I’m short of time or strength to devote to the website. Aside from a large family & religious duties, my present means of income requires a schedule that makes it hard to get enough sleep without devouring a great portion of my day. So either I don’t have enough time to think about the website or I don’t have enough strength to work on the website.


Oh, that the twain would meet!


Anyhow, here are a few thoughts in some detail:


+ + +   2. The Only Good Reason to Debate   + + +


You said, “Well, you do like to write. I imagine you might enjoy debate too... If so, we are quite opposite. But, I do remember finding your website interesting and thought provoking.” [Email of X to Paul Doughton on 11 October 2009, paragraph three. Only minor typos corrected in this or other quotes.]


Yes, I do like to write. That much is true. And I’m glad you found The Epistemologic Works website “interesting and thought provoking.”


However, no, I don’t like to debate.


Not that a vigorous mental joust can’t be fun. It’s just that the One True Faith of Roman Catholicism is far too serious to waste on territorial posturing, and the crisis of the Great Apostasy far too heartbreaking to indulge a mere head-butting rivalry.


There’s really only one reason --- and one reason alone --- that I engage logical argumentation about the truth of a topic on this website with someone… because the salvation of a precious human soul is gained solely by professing & obeying the Truth, the Whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth that God infallibly teaches us through His Catholic Church for the last two millennia.


You said, “One day, in my anguish, in my confusion, I finally got to my knees and cried out to Jesus… I said, ‘I don’t know....please help me to believe Your truths. Help me to understand what You want me to understand. I am Yours to mold.’ The Triune God has opened my mind to the Truth. Our pope [Benedict XVI)] is not an anti-pope, dear Paul. He is the successor of Peter.” [Email of X to Paul Doughton on 11 October 2009, paragraphs four, six & seven]


My dear X, I would certainly never want to belittle the anguish you have gone through or to ridicule your sincerity. I do not doubt that you are in earnest, or that you have very gravely come to your conclusion that Benedict XVI is a true pope.


Nevertheless, neither pain suffered nor seriousness of intent is a guarantee of one’s correctness about something.


I repeat:


Neither the pain you have suffered nor the seriousness of your intentions can --- all by themselves --- guarantee that you are making a correct conclusion.


This is why I bother ‘debating’ certain things on my website. Because debate done for the right reason is all about finding the pertinent evidence, sound logic & correct conclusion about the truth of an important matter. And it is evidence & logic --- using our minds as God designed us to use them --- which leads to an accurate understanding.


The pertinent evidence here is what the Catholic Church, as confirmed by Her Infallible Papacy, has declared; or what Her Perpetual Practice has always upheld; or what She has undergone through the years and thus learned by experience. And the sound logic at this point is where simple good sense --- reasoning carefully & honestly based on the evidence --- leads us.


Which in turn causes us to draw a correct conclusion.


+ + +   3. Pertinent Evidence for Sedevacantism   + + +


Yet what is some of the pertinent evidence?


My dear X, for one thing the Roman Catholic Church down through the centuries has been afflicted by at least thirty-five antipopes prior to the 1500s. This is not something I have made up; it is the solid facts of public history. You can look on the Internet or investigate at a decent reference library to authenticate the truth of what I say.


And this evidence of previous antipopes is blatantly pertinent because it means that the existence of an antipope is always possible, at any point in time during the Church’s history. In other words, just because a man claims to be pope --- and just because lots of people accept him as such --- does not make him so. As a matter of fact, the dearth of antipopes since the 1500s is an anomaly in Church history, something unusual compared to all of the antipopes who have appeared regularly on the scene in practically every century since the AD 200s.


Nor should you dare to think that it is obvious to most of those who are Catholic when a particular man is an antipope. This is most definitely not the case, as history clearly shows.


For instance, Anacletus II was elected as an antipope in AD 1130. This occurred right after the election of the real pope, Innocent II, whose elevation to the Throne of St. Peter was highly irregular --- thus making the claim of Anacletus II seem very believable, who was elected by a vast majority of the cardinals of that time.


Indeed, for the first year or two, nearly the entire Catholic world accepted Anacletus II as a real pope and doubted Innocent II’s legitimate claim to the Papacy.


We repeat:


For the first year or two after the competing elections of these two men, nearly the entire world of Catholicism accepted Anacletus II’s bogus claim to the Papacy while doubting the rightful claim of Innocent II to the Petrine Throne.


Moreover, this confusion lingered in places for the whole decade. St. Bernard of Clairvaux almost single-handedly swayed the clergy, the laity and the rulers of various Catholic nations to the correct opinion, that Anacletus was a usurper. This took several years to accomplish. Meanwhile, Rome itself did not accept their very own rightful bishop, Innocent II, as the Pope until the bitter end when an army invaded the Papal Estates and established Innocent II by force. It was only in 1139 that the disgraceful affair was finally finished, the successor to Anacletus II, Antipope Victor IV, acknowledging Innocent II’s rightful claim to St. Peter’s Throne.


Now do you see why popular opinion --- even overwhelmingly popular opinion --- cannot be a reliable guide as to the legitimacy of a man’s claim to the Papacy?


It is evidence & logic that determine a man’s legitimacy as Pope… not the popular opinion of the moment.


Nor is it a matter of infallible papal declaration. Because a man cannot first certainly be the Pope in order to rule for himself ‘infallibly’ as the Pope unless he first be shown with all hard proof & solid logic to be the Pope to start with! Nor can the previous pope state infallibly who his successor is to be… because popes are elected, not appointed by the previous pope. And although a future pope could rule infallibly (or authoritatively, at least, if not infallibly, since there is some uncertainty amongst theologians about the limits of a pope’s infallible capacity) about who was truly a pope before him, such a future ruling does no immediate good for the Catholics of that troubled time when the identity of a real pope is in dispute!


We say again:


The identity of any particular pope at the time of his papacy is a matter of pertinent evidence & sound logic, not an infallible declaration.


Again, you may investigate the matter for yourself. Examine the accounts of public history about the conflict between Innocent II & Anacletus II over who had the Papal Throne during the 12th century.


The incident is eye-opening.


+ + +   4. Intelligence Rightly Used   + + +


But you said, “Why am I telling you this? I don’t know. I feel I need to explain that sometimes our minds can steer us way off track. Our intelligence can fool us....and Satan will take advantage of those things which we enjoy.” [Email of X to Paul Doughton on 11 October 2009, paragraph ten]


Yes, my dear X, you are right. A man’s intellect can sometimes lead him astray.


Yet only if he uses his intelligence wrongly.


God did not give us our minds for no reason. Our intellect is there for a purpose --- to lead us to the truth, that which is necessary for us to know & obey so that we may save our immortal souls from the threat of an Everlasting Hell.


You don’t like intellectual debate.


I don’t blame you.


I don’t like it either when it comes to the Catholic Faith or the Great Apostasy. It’s actually a cross and a penance for me to bear. It can be excruciatingly painful.


And maybe you’re not capable of intellectual debate.


If so, I don’t blame you. In fact, I sympathize with you!


Not everyone has the same talents or equal skills.


But I can tell from your emails that you are quite intelligent. I have no reason to think that you’re not able to follow my presentation of the evidence & logic. Thus, however annoying or hurtful or frightening it may be, you can look at the facts and follow the reasoning to see if what I’m saying is true… or, at least, could very well be true.


This much I am confident that you can do.


+ + +   5. What Converted Me Is the Papacy   + + +


But you also said, “I, too, enjoy intellectual pursuits... that is why I enjoyed your site… and your writing. I caution you to examine the reasons you feel the way that you do regarding the pope... Pray about it...” [Email of X to Paul Doughton on 11 October 2009, paragraph eleven]


My very dear X, this is where some personal information about myself will be helpful. I converted to the Catholic Church from Protestant heresy. I was raised to distrust the Roman Faith and to denigrate it. I didn’t hate Catholics, but I certainly didn’t respect them and considered them to be clueless about the Bible and very immoral, as well as pretty wimpy when it came to explaining or defending their religion.


All of which were, unfortunately, correct opinions however wrong I was in my religious position at that time. So-called ‘catholics’ of the last fifty to a hundred years --- in America, leastwise --- have been abominable in their practice of the True Religion and very much ignorant about Catholic dogmas.


Nonetheless, once God struck me over the head with the Saving Truth --- that a man really can’t save himself apart from membership in His One & Only Catholic Church --- I did my dead-level best to be a part of what I thought was the Catholic Church at that time… a post-Vatican II parish in Los Angeles.


Now, I assume you know what I went through. You spoke of the confusion you experienced in the 1970s. That confusion had only worsened by the late 1990s, which is when I converted. The R.C.I.A. that I went through was a joke… I knew more than they did about the dogmas of the Catholic Faith and even though they were supposed to be ‘catechizing’ me! What’s more, they were, almost half the time, plainly heretical in the positions that they taught. It was infuriating & agonizing.


The only thing that saw me through the process at the time was a single factor:


My love of the Papacy.


You see, dear X, it was a profound & intricate study of the Papacy that led me to convert. I read hundreds, and even thousands, of pages of the Early Church Fathers and compared what they said & taught to what my Protestant heresy had said & taught. The two could not be reconciled. Ancient Christians were not just earlier versions of Protestants as I had thought. They were Roman Catholic, pure & simple.


Yet what converted me more than anything else was this --- that earliest Christians, from the very first century even, had believed in and obeyed the Papacy, the rightful Bishop of Rome. No other religion, no other self-styled ‘christianity’ taught or admitted this.


Only Roman Catholicism.


But if real Christians had always upheld the Papacy and Its Infallibility (which they did, as I could see from my meticulous studies for two-and-a-half years), then how could anything the popes solemnly upheld or condemned ever be wrong? And if never wrong, then why even bother testing with intricate study all of the other dogmas that the Catholic Church asserts, checking earliest Christians to see if this is what they, too, taught & upheld?


Not that I didn’t study and notice the many other Catholic dogmas that ancient Christians obviously taught & upheld. Merely that, given that the Papacy is infallible in Its solemn teachings, then a careful study and substantiation of an Infallible Papacy is all it really takes to confirm all of the other dogmas that the Catholic Church asserts! No other laborious study is even needed.


The point?


When I tried so hard to join with a post-Vatican II or ‘Novus Ordo’ parish in Los Angeles, I did so --- in spite of all of the nonsense & pain that it entailed --- because I fell in love with the Papacy. And since I was convinced that John Paul II was the pope at that time, the whole world acclaiming him as St. Peter’s Successor, then I burned with a neophyte’s ardor for him and for his person.


In short, I venerated him highly.


+ + +   6. Sedevacantism Explains a Riddle   + + +


The reason I’m telling you this is simple. I had every reason in the world to remain affiliated with the leaders of the post-Vatican II Church. And I had no impulse to doubt them. Only one thing caused me to question them… the hard & indisputable fact that they kept contradicting what previous popes & councils had infallibly declared, or what the Catholics of previous centuries had always practiced without subtractive change or destructive alteration.


For instance, if one pope or papally-approved council in an earlier century declares unequivocally one thing with solemn infallibility, then how can another pope or papally-approved council of a later century teach something in direct logical contradiction to what the previous popes or general councils had infallibly declared at an earlier date?


How can the head contradict the head, how can truth oppose truth?


Either the earlier declaration isn’t actually infallible or else the later teachings clearly are heretical.


And the explanation that earlier infallible declarations ‘have to be understood rightly’ doesn’t cut it. Because what this explanation always means during modern times, when spoken by those who call themselves Catholic in the last fifty to a hundred years, is that Catholics of the last half century or so now understand the infallible teaching rightly, whereas those poor, ignorant & socially backward slobs of earlier centuries, previous to Vatican II or previous to the 20th century, had no real clue about the actual truth & correct understanding of the teaching.


How blessed we are nowadays! But how unfortunate Catholics of former eras!


Dear X, this is diabolical, and it is a bald-faced lie.


Understanding of dogmas may deepen, howsoever, one’s understanding may never contradict what the understanding of the dogma was prior to the ‘new understanding’.


In brief, post-Vatican II leaders like Paul VI, John Paul II & Benedict XVI clearly and inarguably have a new & contradictory understanding of many Catholic dogmas, a new comprehension that unavoidably flies in the face of what Catholics of centuries previous to them had always understood these dogmas to mean or entail.


+ + +   7. Salvation & St. Peter’s Throne Denied   + + +


E.g., one little demonstration will suffice, although there are literally dozens upon dozens of problems that could be showcased were I to have the time and you the interest to pursue the matter. In AD 1302, Pope Boniface VIII infallibly declared:


“Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins... Therefore, if the Greeks [Eastern Schismatics, who practice what is called ‘eastern orthodoxy’ in more recent times] or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors [subject to the Roman Papacy], they must confess not being the sheep of Christ [admit that they aren’t truly Christians since they aren’t truly followers of Christ], since Our Lord says in John ‘there is one sheepfold and one shepherd.’ ...Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” [Pope Boniface VIII’s Unam sanctum, emphasis & annotation added]


X, there is no way to get around this. Because not only does Pope Boniface state very clearly how no one can find either “salvation” or “the remission of sins” apart from being inside the “one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic” Church, but he proclaims very starkly --- and, without question, infallibly --- “…that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”


X, both persons of the early 20th century and post-Vatican II people have claimed that men can be saved visibly outside the Catholic Church via an ‘invincible ignorance’ or an ‘implicit desire for baptism’ and a consequently ‘invisible connection’ to the Roman Catholic Church. This, they have said, is enough for God to let a ‘sincerely ignorant’ or ‘morally upright’ person who is not actually Catholic enter into Heaven. That is to say, God must make rather routine exceptions to the very ancient & infallible rule of ‘no Salvation outside the Catholic Church’.


The problem is, this flies grossly in the face of what Pope Boniface infallibly declared. His language is the language of total exclusion. When he says “that it is absolutely necessary for salvation”, the term “absolutely” rules out all possibility of there being an ‘exception’ to the rule. Moreover, it is wholly absurd & logically impossible for a man to “be subject to the Roman Pontiff when he is, in actual fact, a visibly practicing member of a false religion or of no religion at all!


And yet Boniface VIII stated unequivocally in an infallible definition “that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff in order to achieve “salvation” and that this requirement “is absolutely necessary, thereby ruling out all possibility of logical exceptions to the requirement stated!


There’s no way to get around it. And it has nothing to do with Fr. Leonard Feeney, who people love to vituperate. Because Fr. Leonard Feeney didn’t say this infallibly; rather, it was Pope Boniface VIII who did.


Nor can intelligent & learned people pretend that Catholics prior to the 20th or 19th centuries understood this teaching to mean anything other than what it very plainly, logically & grammatically states. I know, because I’ve read the writings of ancient Catholics. They were fully uniform in their comprehension of the Salvation Dogma of the Roman Catholic Church --- they neither taught nor admitted any exceptions to the rule, apart from those who were catechumens and seeking to enter the Catholic Church, but who died ‘accidentally’ along the way before they were baptized in water.


Thus, Pope Boniface VIII was not innovating something new… he was merely restating, in infallible terms, what Catholics had always taught & believed from the beginning.


Now… did Paul VI, did John Paul II, or does Benedict XVI teach what Boniface VIII infallibly defined, understanding it as both he & all others before him and after him until the 20th century have understood it to be meant, as, indeed, the words & grammar of the infallible definition itself rigorously & plainly demand that it must be logically understood to mean?


Obviously not.


All three men subscribed to Vatican II. And the Vatican II Council very openly taught that men can be saved without actually being subject to the Roman Pontiff, and without actually belonging to the Roman Catholic Church or visibly practicing Its Singular Faith.


This blatantly flies in the face of what Boniface VIII infallibly defined --- and people know it. That’s why they always ignore & forget what Boniface VIII declared, getting rather peeved & upset or mocking & arrogant when his words are quoted to them.


Furthermore, leaders like Paul VI, John Paul II & Benedict XVI have said or done other things, in addition to Vatican II, that affirm their denial of the Salvation Dogma. For instance, Paul VI’s creed that he issued right after Vatican II ended, which allowed for the salvation of souls outside any kind of visible membership within, or visible connection to, the Catholic Church. Or John Paul II’s public speculation in 1999 that perhaps Hell is empty of souls, not to mention his formal approval of his well-known catechism in the early ’90s that undeniably teaches that men who are not actually Catholic can save their souls. Or Benedict XVI’s open admission, when he was still known as Cardinal Ratzinger, that the teaching of ‘no Salvation outside the Church’ in its literal sense is too “ecclesiocentric”, whereas the teaching that merely belief in God is enough for Salvation is too “theocentric”. What’s just right, said he, is a “christocentric” position --- some sort of belief in ‘christ’, whether or not the person doing the ‘believing’ is Roman Catholic.


X, all of these things together is sufficient to indict these men as notorious heretics who deny a basic & infallible teaching of the Catholic Church. A teaching so basic --- as Pope Boniface VIII infallibly showed --- that you cannot even be Catholic, to start with, without professing it. But if you doubt the facts that I have cited, then it is your responsibility to pursue it further and find out for sure if what I say about them is true. You can either do this on your own or else ask me for further information, like exact references & sources. Nevertheless, it is now your responsibility, not mine.


My job is simply to let people know.


+ + +   8. Benedict XVI Will Lead You to Hell   + + +


Yet do you imagine that I became sedevacantist at the drop of a hat, jumping ship on the spur of the moment?


Not so.


I tried. I tried for four long years. I tried and I tried to exculpate John Paul II from the crime of notorious heresy, my fervent love for him and for the Papacy begging me to exonerate him, if that could be done. And I prayed earnestly all the while, seeking guidance & wisdom from Heaven.


It couldn’t be done.


Because the facts are the facts. Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and others like them are notorious heretics, not holding to the Catholic Faith whole & undefiled. The blatant or obstinate denial of any of the dogmas of the Catholic Religion would be enough to indict them, but only one example is sufficient to demonstrate the truth of the matter.


That is to say, it takes but one proven example of blatant (i.e., vividly opposing a basic dogma that’s necessary to hold in order to be Catholic to start with) or obstinate (i.e., stubbornly opposing a deeper dogma despite being given the opportunity to know better) denial of a dogma of the Catholic Church to show that a person is some sort of a formal heretic and thus not Catholic.


The fact, then, that all of these men accept Vatican II in its entirety --- a council which undeniably contradicted the infallible definition of Pope Boniface VIII in Unam sanctum --- and that each of them has further blatantly contradicted the infallible definition of Unam sanctum in their public speeches or public actions, is, all by itself, vivid proof that they have denied the ancient & basic dogma of ‘no Salvation outside the Catholic Church’ to mean what Catholics have always understood it to plainly mean and that they have also denied the absolute necessity for a man to be subject to the Roman Pontiff in order to save his precious & immortal soul.




My dear X, this leaves the ball in your court. For it is not a useless debate to be avoided when it comes to this topic --- it is instead a matter of Eternal Life & Death to get it figured out, and to get it figured out correctly.


End of sentence.


Because if you claim Benedict XVI as your pope, then you will eventually deny --- or do already deny --- that a man can’t save his soul outside visible membership in the Roman Catholic Church; and you will eventually deny --- or do already deny --- that it is absolutely necessary unto salvation that a man be subject to the authority & teaching of a legitimate Roman Catholic Pope.


You will deny these dogmas --- or already deny them --- because Benedict XVI himself denies them, who you claim to follow as your pope.


And so did John Paul II.


And Paul VI, as well.


Indeed, all persons who know what Vatican II taught and accept its teachings as their own are therefore deniers of these infallible truths, that there is no Salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church and that it is absolutely necessary for a person to be subject to the Roman Catholic Papacy in order to save his immortal soul.


+ + +   10. Pope Paul IV Proved Sedevacantism   + + +


Yet you said, too, “Benedict is going to unite the Church. I believe that God is working through him to mend the great schism… Christ wants his body healed. Mother Mary wants her Son’s Church whole. We must pray.” [Email of X to Paul Doughton on 11 October 2009, paragraph twelve]


Dear X, you might be right. Maybe it’s true that “Benedict is going to unite the Church.”


Yet Benedict XVI is not Catholic. So what “Church” will he unite?


Not the Catholic Church.


As I said before in my previous email --- a copy of which, keeping your identity anonymous, is posted in the Letters & Admonishments section of The Epistemologic Works website under the title A Little About Myself, Why I Designed the Website as I Did, and How Sedevacantism Explains the Quandary We’re in Today --- a person must meet several criteria to be validly elected a pope, one of which is the necessity of being Catholic.


But if you doubt this, then please examine the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul IV, Cum ex apostolatus officio, which he issued in 1559. A search of the Internet will give you several places where an English translation of the papal document exists.


In fact, as a self-proclaimed Catholic it is your duty to do this should you be skeptical of my claim.


Because in this papal document Pope Paul IV infallibly defined --- had there ever been an uncertainty --- that a man cannot be promoted or elected to office in the Catholic Church and be a notorious heretic prior to his assuming the office. And Paul IV even mentions specifically the Office of the Papacy, including it in the scope of his definition.


We repeat:


Pope Paul IV infallibly declared that a man cannot assume office in the Church if he is a notorious heretic prior to his election or promotion, even if the man in question has just been elected as a ‘pope’.


And if a man cannot be elected as ‘pope’ who is a notorious heretic, then how can a man continue as ‘pope’ if, while in office, he falls into notorious heresy?


Do you see?


This is why the Church’s Canon Law contains --- and has contained since earliest centuries --- provision for automatic excommunication of notorious heretics without any official declarations from Church Authority needed; why it also contains provision for automatic loss of ecclesiastic office if the notorious heretic in question is of the clergy; and why it does not make an exception for the person even if the notorious heretic in question is a pope!


This type of excommunication --- the excommunication of a pope who falls into notorious heresy --- is a factual judgment, not a jurisdictional judgment. No wise Catholic pretends otherwise, since no man can stand in judgment of the man who is the Pope when it comes to matters that fall under the Supreme Authority of his Office. Thus, no wise Catholic pretends to ‘depose’ a pope from his Petrine Office. A wise Catholic only recognizes as a notorious fact what has become notoriously obvious:


That such a man is not actually a pope anymore since he is not actually Catholic any longer.


+ + +   11. Conclusion   + + +


So you are right, X. “Christ wants his body healed. Mother Mary wants her Son’s Church whole. We must pray.” However, Christ’s Body is not healed by a notorious heretic masquerading as a pope. And the Church of Mother Mary’s Son is not made whole by accepting either notorious heresy or notorious heretics as if they are truly Catholic, and regardless of whether we do so openly or only tacitly.


Such persons must be denounced for what they are, openly & frankly.


This is not my opinion, my dear X. It is fact, founded in Holy Mother Church’s infallible teaching as well as affirmed by Her long history, and it is simple good sense.


The reality is painful --- the sheep are adrift without a shepherd.


The situation is confusing --- even what few real Catholics are left today tend to divide off from one another over issues of little, no or mistaken importance.


The solution is evasive --- only God’s Miraculous Intervention seems able to solve it.


Notwithstanding, the facts are the facts and the truth is the truth.


It is a Great Apostasy long prophesied in Sacred Scripture, warned of by many marvelous saints, intimated by Queen Mary in at least some of Her Apparitions, dreaded publicly by several Roman Bishops, and foreshadowed by the example of the Church of the Old Testament when they underwent a massive apostasy of similar proportions prior to Christ’s Arrival on earth at the beginning of the New Testament.


Please take these facts seriously and think it through logically. Your eternal fate depends upon it.


My dear X, I wish you well. I do not want to be unnecessarily ‘harsh’ with anyone --- even the most willfully obstinate of souls. You, though, have been gracious & polite. I have tried to respond in kind. I am glad you are not ‘disenchanted’ with me.


Not so much for my sake, that you think well of me.


But for your sake… that you take my words seriously, thinking it through carefully.


Yours very sincerely again in the Charity of Christ’s Cross and the Tender Mercies of His Blessed Ever-Virgin Mother,


                                                          -Paul Doughton


+ + +


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