Over on YouTube, Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon discuss a hypothetical next conservative Pope, whom they call Pope Pius XIII. (Note that I’ve been predicting a conservative Pope Pius XIII for many years now.) The discussion centers on what they would want such a Pope to do. See the comments under the video, answering the same question.
What Taylor and Timothy misunderstand, and this is an important point, no matter how conservative a Pope may be, if the correct theological answer to a question is the liberal answer, that is what the conservative Pope will teach. Conservative Popes are faithful, and so when the truth is liberal, that is exactly what they teach. So the fantasy of a Pope who is nothing but conservative is just that, a fantasy.
For example, Pope Saint Pius X taught on the implicit baptism of desire. That is a doctrine despised and therefore narrowed severely on the right. But it is the teaching of Christ, and so it will continue to be taught by Popes, liberal or conservative.
I need to do a post, at some point, on “echo chamber” Catholicism, but their video is a good example of that. Echo chamber means you don’t listen to any ideas but ones you agree with. You act as if persons with other ideas don’t exist. You are in an echo chamber, because all you are willing to hear is your own ideas bouncing back to you. That’s Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon. And when they talk about a future Pope who simply embodies all their own ideas on Catholicism, right or wrong, it’s an extreme example of echo chamber Catholicism. “We’re only going to listen to words from the Popes with which we agree.” or “We want a Pope who teaches from our hearts and minds, not from Tradition and Scripture.”
Much of what traditionalists and conservatives want is heretical and schismatic. For they do not want to be taught or corrected. They want a religion of their own hearts and minds, which is exactly what liberal but unfaithful Catholics also want. There are faithful Catholics who are liberal, and who are conservative. But the prevailing views on both sides are riddled with error. Neither wants to be taught and corrected by any Pope.
In addition, they are like the Pharisees, who criticize others harshly, and can’t see their own faults. They assume that their understanding of the Faith is dogma, and they wish to impose it on the Church. This is a very serious problem in conservative Catholicism. They do not want a Church which teaches, corrects, and guides them. They want a democracy where their political party gains power, and then imposes its platform on the whole Church. “If only our candidate would be elected Pope!” They want to be in charge of doctrine, instead of learning from the Magisterium.
They do not want the Messiah, Jesus, to teach and correct them. Their description of the Church is not Christ-centric. It is politicized Catholicism. “Give us the Latin Mass, ad orientem, Communion in the hand. Force all Catholics to be like us. Et cetera!” And they fail to recognize that many conservative Catholic teachers are teaching grave error, even to the extent of heresy and schism.
No Pope, however conservative he may be, is going to reverse or nullify Vatican II. The successive Popes and the Bishops dispersed in the world have continued to teach those same teachings, making them infallible under the ordinary and universal Magisterium. Calling for a rejection of Vatican II is an heretical and schismatic error; it is grave sin and carries the penalty of automatic excommunication.
All Catholics who reject Vatican II, or who hope for a future Pope who will nullify or reverse Vatican II, are guilty of heresy and schism for rejecting the teaching of Jesus Christ, given to them by the Holy Spirit. You are not more faithful for being more conservative.
When you are judged by God, you will not be justified by saying: “I only received Communion on the tongue. I’m not like those tax collectors who receive in the hand!” You’ll be condemned to Hell with the rest of the Pharisees. If Jesus’ Church says the faithful may receive in the hand, then that is the teaching of the Son of God. And rejecting the authority of the Church to make that decision is schismatic.
When you are judged by God, you will not be justified by saying: “I rejected the heterodoxy of Vatican II.” For Jesus will reply to you that those teachings are His teachings through His Church. Then you will be punished in Hell with the rest of the Pharisees.
Catholicism is not politics. You can’t join a political-religious party, and trumpet the party line, and then claim that you are justified. Whatever the Church teaches, from a liberal Pope or a conservative Pope, is the teaching of Christ.
Pope Pius XIII
I’ve been predicting for many years that a Pope Pius XIII would reign over the Church, and he will be very conservative. However, he will not reject Vatican II. Point out to me a papabile Cardinal or Bishop who currently rejects Vatican II. There are none. Not within the true Church. Only schismatics reject Vatican II. Have you never heard of the sedevacantists? No Pope is going to reject, revise, or nullify the Second Vatican Council.
Here is what Pope Pius XIII is most likely to do about Vatican II: excommunicate all those who refuse to accept its teachings. For conservative Popes do not tolerate dissent. And the ultra-conservative rejection of Vatican II is dissent. It is not faithfulness. So when Pope Pius XIII is elected, the conservatives who hate Pope Francis will rejoice. They will be so very happy. Then as his Pontificate unfolds, they will be rebuked and corrected by him. And if they refuse to accept correction, he will excommunicate them.
“No! But we’re conservative and you’re conservative! We are from the same political party! How can you reject us, Pope Pius XIII?”
And then he will reply: “Away from me, you evildoers. I have never known you.”
I am also predicting that Pope Francis will resign from the papacy, though not until he has taught truths on doctrine which are antithetical to the understanding of conservatives. He may ordain women deacons. He may teach that non-Christian believers and non-believers can be saved without converting. The resulting controversy will complete the conservative schism, which is already well under way.
By the way, Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon are both in a state of public formal schism for their rejection of Pope Francis, for their self-exaltation above the Magisterium, for their pride in putting themselves above the Church to judge her teachings — all of which is a refusal of submission to Church authority. “But we’re conservative, and the Pope is liberal!” No, the Pope is not liberal or conservative. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ.
When Pope Francis resigns, those persons who fell into the grave sin of schism and were automatically excommunicated — even though they don’t admit it — are still excommunicated. They are still schismatics. It does not matter that Pope Francis will have resigned and will no longer be Pope, if you reject him still, then you are like the sedevacantists who reject all the Popes since Pope Saint John XXIII and Vatican II. They cannot return to the Faith until they accept those past Popes. And you cannot return until you accept Pope Francis, even after he resigns. You cannot treat Pope Francis like a bad dream that has ended. If you continue to reject his teaching and authority, then you are a schismatic.
And Pope Pius XIII will not take your side. No matter how conservative he may be, he will not reject his predecessor. No Pope does that. Do you know what Pope Sixtus V said about Pope Alexander VI — the same Pope who is on everyone’s list of “worst Popes”? He called him one of the best Popes in Church history. Is Pope Saint Pius X one of the most conservative Popes? The conservative Fr. Leonard Feeney rejected the liberal teaching of Pius X on the implicit baptism of desire. That is how Feeneyism, a heresy, was established. A conservative priest rejected the liberal teaching of a conservative Pope.
For the conservative Popes are not heretics or schismatics. They will teach every liberal teaching of Christ, whether you like it or not. So Pope Pius XIII will not reject Pope Francis or his teachings.
Communion and Mass Discipline
Pope Pius XIII will certainly change the discipline of Pope Francis on Communion for the divorced and remarried. The new discipline will be that anyone who is guilty of objective mortal sin is not to receive Communion, until they repent and confess. He will forbid Communion to anyone committing grave sexual sins. But he will also forbid Communion to schismatics and heretics, such as those who reject Pope Francis and his teachings. So you’ll be in the same situation as the divorced and remarried: no Communion for you or them.
Pope Pius XIII will not reverse the discipline of the Church that permits the priest to face the people, permits Communion in the hand (for Christ touched lepers before they were healed), and permits the vernacular languages. The Church has decided those questions with the authority of Christ. Pius 13th will permit the Latin Mass, but he will not impose it on the whole Church.
The Next Ecumenical Council
The idea of a new Ecumenical Council, which reverses Vatican II, and which imposes traditionalist Catholicism on everyone, is absurd. No Council will reject a prior Ecumenical Council — that would be heresy and schism. It is a dogmatic fact that Vatican II was a valid Council. And the Council’s teachings are not optional or dispensable. The Popes and Bishops continue to teach those same teachings, so they are dogmas under the ordinary and universal Magisterium.
All of my fellow Catholics, who don’t want to be taught by the Pope, who don’t want to be taught by an Ecumenical Council, but who wish to impose their own errors on the Church, you are not faithful to Christ. The Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ, and whoever rejects Her teachings rejects the teachings of Christ.
Marshall and Gordon
Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon are both schismatics. There’s no other way to say it. They reject Pope Francis. They put themselves above the Papal Magisterium to judge every teaching, and to accept only those teachings which match their own ideas. That is not submission to papal authority. That is schism. If you are so filled with pride that you can’t be taught Catholicism by the Pope, you are a formal schismatic.
These two men are operating under the assumption that the majority opinion among conservatives and traditionalists is dogma, and anything to the contrary, even if taught by a Pope or Council, must be error. They are modern-day Pharisees.