Don’t cross the streams…

We decide moreover that all that has been established synodally is to be religiously observed by all the faithful, for the glory of God and the dignity of the Church… [W]e have approved and established these things, decreeing that the present letters are and remain stable and valid, and are to have legal effectiveness, so that they be disseminated and obtain full and complete effect…

Paul VI on December 8, 1965.

There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions engaging the infallibility of the ecclesiastical Magisterium. The answer is known by whoever remembers the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964: given the Council’s pastoral character, it avoided pronouncing, in an extraordinary manner, dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility. But [the Council] has invested its teachings with the authority of the supreme ordinary magisterium, which ordinary magisterium is so obviously authentic that it must be accepted with docility and sincerity by all the faithful, according to the mind of the Council as expressed in the nature and aims of the individual documents.

Paul VI on January 12, 1966.

There are those who, under the pretext of a greater fidelity to the Church and the Magisterium, systematically refuse the teaching of the Council itself, its application and the reforms that stem from it, its gradual application by the Apostolic See and the Episcopal Conferences, under Our authority, willed by Christ. … It is even affirmed that the Second Vatican Council is not binding; that the faith would be in danger also because of the post-conciliar reforms and guidelines, which there is a duty to disobey to preserve certain traditions. What traditions? Does it belong to this group, and not the Pope, not the Episcopal College, not an Ecumenical Council, to establish which of the countless traditions must be regarded as the norm of faith!

Paul VI on May 24, 1976.

Now, from Vatican I:

We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that

when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA,

[As Paul VI did in confirming and promulgating the documents and teachings of Vatican II.]

that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians,

[As Vatican II was intended to demonstrate, both by John XXIII and Paul VI.]

in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority,

[Which was invoked by John XXIII and, especially, Paul VI, in convening, and confirming, Vatican II.]

he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church,

[And again, Vatican II explicitly promulgated ecclesially universal teachings on faith and morals.]

he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.

Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.


either every assertion in the teaching of Vatican II,

which was solemnly confirmed by Paul VI,

is infallible,

or its erroneous assertions (i.e. declarations which do not accord with the traditional Catholic Magisterium) were solemnly affirmed by the true successors of Peter,

which “would be bad.

Just wanted to get that straight for a second.


About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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16 Responses to Don’t cross the streams…

  1. Well, there have already been thousand and thousands of infallible dogmatic judgments taken already – so what are a few more?

    But some will persist and say: there remains, therefore, the duty of the Pontiff – indeed most grave in its kind – of adhering to the means apt for discerning the truth, and, although this matter is not strictly dogmatic, it is, nevertheless, intimately connected with dogma.  For we define:  the dogmatic judgments of the Roman Pontiff are infallible.  Therefore let us also define the form to be used by the Pontiff in such a judgment.  It seems to me that this was the mind of some of the most reverend fathers as they spoke from this podium.  But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here.  Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?

    Having been blessed with a limited intellect, M.J. finds it increasingly easy to maintain the bonds of unity while succoring Bishop Schneider’s appeal for a new syllabus to separate the traditional wheat from the modernist chaff embedded in V2; said otherwise, MJ ain’t smart enough to pitch his tent on the island of sedevacantism.

  2. drprice2 says:

    Post-apocalyptic Western Orthodoxy (a/k/a “sedevacantism”) really isn’t an option for me.

    What I’d like to see is the Catholic Church wake up from its infatuations with the enervating sub-orthodoxies of dialogue and pastoralism and remember who she is. But until she stops exalting those two exhausted shibboleths birthed by No. 21, she will continue in her post-conciliar fugue state.

  3. Flambeaux says:

    Dale, reminds me of something I said about The Law when I was bailing on law school: The Law has become a syphilitic whore with advanced dementia. She wouldn’t recognize her own Father (God) if He picked her up and tried to tend her wounds. All that’s left is for the whole edifice of Modernity to complete its implosion.

    As with the edifice of Western jurisprudence and post-Christian culture, so with the edifice of Catholicism since the Counter-Reformation.

    The good news is that Jews, Catholics, and Orthodox have done this before (picked up the pieces from the ashes of civilization). And we’ll probably do it again since I really don’t think this is “The Big One”. Doesn’t make it any easier to live through.

    Me? I hope we get something not unlike the Carolingian Renaissance during my lifetime but I’m not optimistic.

  4. All hail the Church Somnambulent.

  5. “picked up the pieces”

    That phrase gives me such hope, thank you.

    Dear Post-Conciliar Church,

    The first step is to admit that you have a problem.


    This Guy

  6. steveesq says:

    In his comment from 1976, Pope Paul says that the Council based what it did on the ordinary Magisterium of the Church. How would this Synod be able to do that? It won’t be able to do so unless they change the Gospels to have Jesus say something else about marriage and adultery, and to change the Catechism, among many other documents of the Church.

  7. Theodore The Studite says:

    //It won’t be able to do so unless they change the Gospels to have Jesus say something else about marriage and adultery, and to change the Catechism, among many other documents of the Church.//

    Of course we can change that.

  8. Danielius says:

    “It won’t be able to do so unless they change the Gospels to have Jesus say something else about marriage and adultery, and to change the Catechism, among many other documents of the Church.”

    I disagree, they will put it right next to the current documents. Claiming perfect continuity. Daring people to believe their lying eyes. They will also cite some vague writtings of some obscure bishop to claim tradition or “seeds” for development. You know the drill.

  9. joe m says:

    Your kidding, right. The Gospels say exactly what we say they say. That is the mantra of Living Tradition. Don’t sweat the details. Just venerate the latest Pope soon to be St So-and-So. It’s like Celebrity Apprentice or something.

  10. joe m says:

    And deride those silly if not heretical Protestants and sedevacantists as BAD GUYS. The Pope may be a modernist fool, but he is Pope. Pope = Good. That settles it.

  11. What is required is for the heretic Kasper to do some more theology on his knees and to formally develop the doctrine of double think

    The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth

  12. Re sedevacantism, the fatal fantasy promoted by the wry and sly priest, the Rev Anthony Cekada, and increasingly submitted to by many (and nearly MJ too) soi disant traditionalists

  13. Theodore says:

    Cum ex Apostolatus officio should be considered not as a justification for considering the Chair of Peter to be empty, but rather as an object-lesson to traditionalists who, like Paul IV, are tempted to intemperate harshness and zeal in the face of the present crisis in the Church. When anger, bitterness and despair become the soul’s invited guest, then charity and intelligence flee. What is most astonishing in all this is that normally intelligent, and even learned, Catholics are entertaining or embracing such foolishness – a foolishness which, if taken seriously, would simply mean the end of the Catholic Church. Needed to read that…thanks mjy

  14. William Peirson says:

    Jesus said to seek the poor and suffering to find him. Currently, in this intellectually dim age of “the best thing is so obvs mercy and money to the poor, Traditions is so lame, you guys” we get a lot of “seek out the government doing this stuff for you, just keep giving them/us money and you’ll never have to do that ‘icky’ stuff yourself. Now enjoy a second slice of pie because you’re just so good! And if you miss this week Mass, who am I to…”

    My memory of the poor in Rome was that they were in the more modern, city section across the river. The poor by the Vatican were mostly professional beggars. Even more so, there’s security to get into the square. So why the flashy showers and shavings? Why make the poor come to you? Even if this is actually a well thought out plan, it doesn’t give that impression. It gives the impression of “have another slice of pie” thinking.

    I bring this up because the true demands of charity and virtue seem to rely on the individual even more so in this age of glitzy charity. And any period that has God pointing to our own individual crosses seems to me a pretty good “hermeneutic of continuity.”

  15. Dear B.B. Permit MJ to apologise publicly for calling Walter Cardinal Kasper a heretic.

    That was the height of hubris, sinful, and totally wrong. Such an accusation is way above my competence/authority and it reveals far more about my own haughty sinfulness than anything Cardinal Kasper may have written.

    MJ could channel Saint Francis and say that God’s Policeman (his description of devils) did it but while he is always open to their influence, MJ is solely culpable.

    The Priest who heard my confession told me to stop the condemnations and substitute prayers for him instead which was quite humbling because this know-it-all pretends to be a traditionalist who is supposed to know and live this catholic tradition.

    Thanks, BC

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