How the 1917
Code of Canon Law Simply
Is Not, However Someone May
Want to Think Otherwise, Any Act
of ‘Infallibility’, the Truly Infallible
Definition of Papal Infallibility at
1800s Proving This
A NOTE TO THE READER:
This very brief addition to the Unity of Worship issue for real Catholics --- or those becoming real Roman Catholics during the Great Apostasy --- is an email sent to a thus far very kind gentleman in the United States as a follow-up, and concluding statement, on the argument he’s made, insisting the 1917 Code of Canon Law (also known as the ‘Pio-Benedictine Code’) permits real Catholics, in time of ‘need’ (such as imminent death…) to turn to notoriously & pertinaciously non-Catholic priests for the Sacraments (e.g., Extreme Unction). Such notoriously & pertinaciously heretical, schismatic or apostate priests are hence automatically excommunicated. You may read the logic & proof for such an ‘audacious’ or ‘shocking’ claim here. If unlearned or disbelieving, please do. This is no game and your immortal soul is at stake. The gentleman with whom I’ve corresponded, by the way, does not dispute automatic excommunications. He merely insists that three canons in the 1917 Code permit the Catholic in ‘need’ to turn in ‘dire desperation’ to such non-Catholic priests. I’ve dared to say the three canons he cites are bad canon laws. Whereas, on his side, he has argued the pope was acting ‘infallibly’ in officially publishing the 1917 Code and, additionally, that the Pio-Benedictine Code is ‘infallible’. This I have shown, here and elsewhere on The Epistemologic Works, is simply not true. The Vatican Council in the 1800s, with Pope Pius IX’s approval, bequeathed infallibly four criteria by which real Catholics may know when popes proclaim infallibly and when they do not. Ergo, real Catholics may say, with all politeness, “Actually not. Neither papal statement nor 1917 Code is an act of infallibility.” Ergo, we respect their authority yet identify bad laws.
What this amounts to is a very simple & true fact. A real
Catholic NEVER knowingly
mixes the identifiably holy with the identifiably unholy. End of
sentence. This is because Our Triune God
is All Holy. A notoriously & pertinaciously
heretical, schismatic or apostate priest serving a real Catholic (one of Our All Holy
God’s Own holy members!) the Sacraments thereby
‘forces’ the holy to mingle with the unholy, angering &
opposing the Will of the All Holy. This is what occurs saying it’s ‘okay’ now for Catholics in
‘need’ (say, near death),
but without a real Catholic priest to whom he or she may turn, to use NON-Catholic clergy for doing so. Case in point. I first uploaded Unity of Worship Addendum on the feast day of St. Hermenegild. I
then read the account of the day’s universal feast to my family, as always
we do. Hermenegild was going to be king of his father’s Visigothic kingdom
some day very soon. Sadly, like most invading hordes during the 1st
millennium, they wound up Arian heretics. That is, keeping the
Sacraments still valid ---
they still baptized properly, their priests were truly priests, etc. ---
notwithstanding, the young Hermenegild’s father was an Arian heretic.
And outraged when Hermenegild became truly Catholic, stripping him of
all right to inherit the kingdom or keeping any earthly possessions, throwing
him into a dark, cold dungeon, shackled in chains. Enduring this & not breaking in his resolution
to be truly Catholic, he never
had the Sacraments even once. His father would likely murder him. How do we
know these things? Because Pope St. Gregory the Great, eminent pope,
saint, doctor and early Church father wrote a full account of
Hermenegild, used in lessons for Matins till today by any Catholic Whole
& Entire. Gregory in turn knew St. Leander personally, the bishop of
You might think. Yet you would think wrong.
Per St. Gregory the Great, circa AD 600:
“It was the Feast of
Easter. At an early hour of the night… his wicked father sent an Arian
bishop to him, with this
message, that if he would receive
Communion [the Eucharist] from
his hands (the Communion of a sacrilegious consecration!) he
should be restored to favour. True
to his Creator, the man of God [St.
Hermenegild] gave a merited reproof [well-deserved disapproval & blame] to the Arian bishop, and, with holy indignation, rejected his sinful offer…” (The Liturgical Year by --- mostly ---
the Very Rev. Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B., Abbot of Solesmes, originally
published in full, at least in Ireland in the late 1800s, in Dublin by James
Duffy & Sons at 15, Wellington Quay, in 1879, simultaneously printed in
London at 1A, Paternoster Row, approved & apparently, imprimatured, by
Henry Edward, Archbishop of Westminster in 1867. Later
reprinted by Loreto Publications in
Pope St. Gregory’s own words --- “a sacrilegious consecration!”
Comprehending now? A non-Catholic clergy’s Sacraments are done sacrilegiously. Why? Because the non-Catholic clergy is unholy due to his non-Catholicity, ergo, his Sacraments --- whilst valid --- are sacrilegiously confected. Period. There is no ‘practical justification’ for a real Catholic in time of ‘need’ --- such as impending death or lack of true Catholic clergy from which to receive the Sacraments --- to get unholy & sacrilegious Sacraments from spiritually filthy hands of the non-Catholic and thus unholy priest, bishop, etc., who is willing to give such Sacraments to you. They are DEFILED by his unholiness! It offends Our Triune Catholic God. It is mortally sinful when done knowingly or in culpable ignorance. Again, period. This is why we dare to say that three canons in the 1917 Code of Canon Law are bad. They have no good theological or moral justification for doing so. It is, either, a foolish act on the part of the canon law experts who so laboriously assembled 2414 canons altogether for the 1917 Code, rewriting canon law for the first time ever in Church’s history; or, else, a wicked act on the part of at least one or two or three of these canon law experts, purposefully inserting a few bad laws into the body of the 1917 Code so as to undermine & destroy the Roman Catholicity & Praxis of Catholics in the Latin Rite further. Hence potentially damning more souls in the process, we might add.
This very brief email is a short addendum to Unity of Worship Redux: How the 1917 Code of Canon Law Does Not, & Cannot, Vitiate or Change the Church’s Ancient Teaching re Religious Separation Applied to Ritual or Worship . You may find it in Letters & Admonishments (L&A), just as the newest entry is also in the L&A section.
Unity of Worship Redux was, in turn, a relatively short return to the issue as put forth in a brief article, Unity of Worship: Why Real Catholics Dare Not ‘Worship’ With Any Non-Catholic or False ‘catholics’, Pretending It ‘Pleases’ God; Nor May a Pope ‘Change’ This Law, or the Ignorant Remain Ever ‘Guiltless’ . It is in Books & Articles (B&A). The two latter writings being ‘letters’ (emails), it’s mainly why they’re not in B&A.
Yet all three are imperative. Please read them each one if you’re unlearned or disbelieving.
Again, this is no game and your immortal soul is at stake. You will die some day --- everyone does, and neither you nor I are exceptions to this universal requirement.
And we’ll answer for what we’ve thought, said or done. This includes religion.
I’ve kept the gentleman anonymous out of courtesy for him.
Apart from bracketed annotations, all else is unchanged.
Please follow all links given to understand completely.
TEXT OF EMAIL ON 10 APRIL 2019:
As always, you have been courteous and a gentleman in your correspondence. I do sincerely appreciate that, as I have dealt with countless persons, whether truly Catholic or not, who have been rude, impatient and just plain uncivilized. Thank you so much! You do have my utmost respect for your charitable behavior.
However, it looks to me as if here, in this matter, we’ll simply have to agree to disagree, as the saying goes. Unless it seems terribly important to you to continue the discussion, it seems to me we’ve both made our points and, barring a small miracle, so it stands.
Simple logic reveals that either you’re correct, or else I’m correct, or neither is.
That said, I’ll merely sum up my response as adroitly as possible.
In logic, from my point of view, your response is the fallacy of ‘begging the question’. In other words, presume the thing to be true without first asking if it is actually true --- and reasoning it through accurately & honestly to determine the truth of the matter.
You’ve first presumed Pope Benedict XV’s words in his sweeping papal bull, Providentissima, to be an act of papal infallibility without first asking if it actually is an act of papal infallibility. Then, having presumed this, you have taken his statement in this official document as ‘evidence’ that the 1917 Code of Canon Law must be an act of papal infallibility as well. When, in actuality, canon law, throughout Church history, is subject to changes by future popes. That is to say, no pope can ‘bind’ a future pope regarding canon law; a future pope has the authority to adapt canon law as he sees fit.
This is because canon law is primarily a matter of government & discipline.
Canon law, as enacted by a pope, additionally applies only to certain regions or areas.
In the case of the Pio-Benedictine Code (1917 Code of Canon Law), it was solely for the Latin Rite. Only later, adapted & tweaked accordingly --- that is, changed to fit unique circumstances elsewhere in the Catholic Church --- was it applied to the eastern rites.
If this doesn’t make sense, please read the aforementioned Chapters 171 to 186 in Part 7 of Baptismal Confusion in order to see that I am not making this up out of nowhere, on my own. [My dear reader, please go here or follow the link just above to see ironclad proof of this, if you’re unlearned or skeptical of this.] Whereas, if you have read these chapters in Baptismal Confusion on The Epistemologic Works, still thinking canon law in recent centuries ‘inarguably’ an exercise of papal infallibility, then either 1) you haven’t understood the logic and evidence, or else 2) you do not wish to agree despite understanding.
Again, I am not making the logic & evidence up out of nowhere, on my own.
Chapters 171 to 186 in Baptismal Confusion make this plain, based on the Vatican Council’s papally-approved infallible definition of papal infallibility, clearly giving us, as Roman Catholics, four criteria to know when a pope really has invoked his God-given Charism of Infallibility. Those chapters also quote from eminent ecclesial scholars --- every one of which is a highly trained priest, except for one [this one exception who, in spite of not being a priest, was still highly trained, greatly respected & eminent amongst his fellow scholars!] --- again showing how I haven’t the audacity to make this up out of nowhere, on my own.
Even if Pope Benedict XV meant & intended what you believe him to have said in Providentissima, that alone does not ‘magically’ make what he said an act of papal infallibility. Once something really has been infallibly defined, it is irreformable. Therefore, no pope has the authority to ‘change’ what is irreformable, whether in meaning or words. And when any pope is not actually invoking his Charism of Infallibility, then, surprisingly enough, his papal words are thus fallible.
Meaning, not for sure wrong. But, too, not for sure right either.
Which is not me saying we should disrespect a pope’s words.
We must respect our rightful authorities, with good piety.
And I’d like to think most popes, most of the time, are being good & wise.
Nevertheless, when a good-willed Catholic has excellent & rational cause for very respectfully disagreeing with his or her rightful authority, then such a Catholic is not being ‘wicked’ or ‘rebellious’ in doing so. As I noted before, Catholics with adequate intelligence (that is to say, not a child or cognitively disabled, etc.) are required to give rational obedience to rightful authority, not blind obedience. Yet why stress this?
A pope is a man, not God. While being a true pope, he hence can be good & wise, or good & foolish, or bad & foolish, or bad & clever. So let’s say what you believe Pope Benedict XV to have meant in Providentissima is correct. Is this an act of infallibility? No, it’s not. Why? Because canon law is primarily to govern, concerning matters of the Church’s discipline, and not primarily to teach, define or condemn. Canon law of the most recent centuries fails to meet each of the four infallible criteria as given to us through the Vatican Council of the 1800s. So is Benedict XV infallible here?
Even if you’re right about his intent, no he’s not.
If you’re right about his intent, he could be good & foolish. Or bad & foolish. Or bad & clever. Church history is full of examples of true popes being good & foolish, or bad & foolish, or bad & clever, or so forth and so on. God has permitted these situations. It is not ‘unthinkable’. It is utterly possible, and sometimes God punishes or tests us by permitting our rightful leaders to speak & act in ways that are not good or wise.
(Incidentally, you can find historical evidence for bad or foolish popes, as well as other Catholic Church leaders being bad or foolish, on The Epistemologic Works in the book, Inter Regnum . It tends to shock people calling themselves Catholic --- yet it’s true! [Again, beloved reader, go here or follow the link above to see proof.])
So, ‘begging the question’? I must say yes. I shan’t grapple with whether or not I logically think Pope Benedict XV meant what you believe he intended to mean in the major papal bull, Providentissima. That’s because it’s more impressive to realize how Benedict XV is not exercising papal infallibility even if you’re right about his intent. In reality, he may not have meant what you believe he intended to mean. He also may not have read the 1917 Code of Canon Law thoroughly unto a full understanding. It was composed by canon law experts, not the pope himself. Do you see the difficulty?
The 1917 Code of Canon Law fails every one of the four criteria for infallibility.
The Vatican Council, with Pope Pius IX’s approval, gave us these four criteria.
Can one infallible statement contradict another infallible statement…?
Obviously not. That’s why I dare to point out that, even if you’re correct in your interpretation of Benedict XV’s words in the section you highlight in his authoritative papal bull, Providentissima, then we’ve an even bigger problem --- one pope speaking infallibly contradicting another pope speaking infallibly. I don’t claim this is the case. However, if your interpretation is correct of Pope Benedict XV’s words, then we do indeed have the troubling situation of two popes contradicting each other.
And, like us, logically speaking, either one pope is correct or neither pope is correct.
And yet I do know, with moral certainty, that Pius IX ruled infallibly.
He gave us the Vatican Council with its four criteria.
For me, that’s how it stands, X. It’s why I respectfully disagree. But I am not a Catholic fundamentalist. [My precious & beloved reader, please go here to discover what Catholic fundamentalists (CFs) are, and why they are dangerous to one’s soul.] Ergo, I am not trying to ‘blast’ you by disagreeing. Time will tell which of us is correct. The truth is what I want. If I’m wrong, then it doesn’t matter. I’ll change my mind, admit I was wrong, and uphold what is true. Because truth is that important to me. If you’re wrong, then I hope you’d do the same. And if we’re both mistaken… well, then, I trust we’ll both be willing to admit our mistakes.
In any case, thank you for being thoughtful & charitable in responding.
Wishing you & yours well in the charity of Our Lord & Lady.
-Webber Paul Clement Doughton
Wednesday after Passion Sunday
during the Season of Lent, 2019
A BRIEF NOTE:
If harboring confusion or skepticism regarding what this short letter has dared to say, particularly if still unlearned or recalcitrant about the 1917 Code of Canon Law, then you are morally obligated to see another, slightly longer, letter that dovetails with this letter perfectly and is called Unity of Worship Redux: How the 1917 Code of Canon Law Does Not, & Cannot, Vitiate or Change the Church’s Ancient Teaching re Religious Separation Applied to Ritual or Worship . As well as, if not yet knowing about or examining it, while confused or skeptical of this matter, then you are morally obligated to examine the relatively short article that started it all off, leading to the two following letters, called Unity of Worship: Why Real Catholics Dare Not ‘Worship’ With Any Non-Catholic or False ‘catholics’, Pretending It ‘Pleases’ God; Nor May a Pope ‘Change’ This Law, or the Ignorant Remain Ever ‘Guiltless’ . The former resides in the Letters & Admonishments section of The Epistemologic Works and the latter in the Books & Articles section of this website. This is a matter of eternal life or death. Follow all links provided when uninformed & disbelieving. Figure it out --- please do so!
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