In response to a Spanish blogger’s open letter, Vigano also wrote openly. His letter is found at: Life Site News, Heresy, and Schism.
The blogger calls Vigano “the vicar of the Vicar,” a precisely correct term in that Vigano behaves as if he were above the Roman Pontiff. Whenever Pope Francis teaches, Vigano steps in and rejects and corrects that teaching, and substitutes his own teaching, as if he were above the Roman Pontiff. But in response to the term “the vicar of the Vicar”, Vigano feigns embarrassment — at being called what he really is, an antipope.
Vigano claims we must disobey the Roman Pontiff. He compares receiving our Lord in holy Communion to idolatry and to breaking the Seal: “The Christian who is faced with the choice of burning incense to an idol or facing martyrdom does not disobey the authority of the Emperor but obeys the superior authority of God. The priest whom the judge orders to violate the seal of Confession obeys the command of God by disobeying the illegitimate order of the judge. The faithful who refuse to receive Communion in the hand do not disobey their ecclesiastical superior, because that order is a sacrilegious abuse.”
In truth, according to the teaching of the First Vatican Council, the Church is indefectible and is founded on Peter and his successors, who, for the sake of that infallibility, each have the charism of truth and of never-failing faith. And this implies, says Bishop Vincent Gasser, in his Relatio to the Council, the dogmatic approval of the position of Saint Robert Bellarmine, that no Pope can ever teach or commit heresy.
Similarly, the indefectibility of the Church implies that the Roman Pontiff and the Apostolic See can never make a decision on discipline, such as on Communion in the hand, which would be gravely immoral, gravely contrary to the truths of the Faith, gravely harmful to the path of salvation, or gravely contrary to the indefectibility of the Church. Thus, the claim of Vigano that receiving our Lord in Communion in the hand is “a sacrilegious abuse” is a false accusation against the Church and against the recent Popes and Pope-Saints — all of whom permitted this discipline. It is also contrary to the dogma of indefectibility and the dogma of the never-failing faith of the Roman Pontiffs. Thus, the claim of Vigano is heretical and schismatic.
The schism is found in his claim to be able to disobey the Popes and Councils who teach whatever is contrary to his own reason. He thereby puts reason above faith. Teachings that are found to be difficult by the fallen reasoning of sinners calls for an assent of faith, not an obedience to one’s own reasonings.
Vigano goes on to reject the creation of a schismatic Church, one that would rebel against the Church led by the Popes and the Bishops. However, this is not obedience or faith. For he thoroughly rejects the Church that he claims is the only Church, accusing the Popes since Vatican II, the Council itself, and the body of Bishops of going astray — contrary to the dogmas of the indefectibility of the Church and the never-failing faith of the Popes.
“One of these “self-proclaimed liberators from the Roman yoke,” he continues, are actually the “Modernists and their followers.” They attempted at “superimposing upon her [the Church] a spurious entity that claims her name but renounces her Faith.” This new creation is “a sort of monstrum,” which occupies much of the hierarchy of the Church and thus is “able to deceive the Clergy and the faithful.””
The above text clearly shows the rejection of Pope Francis as true Vicar of Christ, along with the claim that the Church led by him is “a spurious entity” which actually renounces the true Faith. He therefore accuses the Roman Pontiffs and the body of Bishops and therefore the Church of apostasy. His accusation on reception of Communion in the hand falls upon all the Popes since Pope Saint John XXIII. And his claim that the Popes and the majority of the Bishops are all deceiving the clergy and faithful is schism and apostasy on his part.
In claiming that the recent Popes and the body of Bishops have all gone astray, Vigano commits apostasy. For there is no other Church. He points to no other entity as the true Church, and yet he utterly rejects the Church led by the successors of Peter, not only Pope Francis but all the Vatican II Popes. Vigano is an apostate, heretic, and schismatic. And the Spanish blogger is right to view him as someone attempting to replace the Vicar of Christ.
In calling the recent Popes and the body of Bishops mercenaries, Vigano rejects Catholicism en bloc. “The fact that these mercenaries are nominally recognized as Catholics does not prevent them from expelling true Catholics from the sacred enclosure, accusing them of schism.” And, yes, Vigano is guilty of schism.
Vigano speaks of “the response to the Conciliar revolution”, indicating that he rejects Vatican II and all the Popes since that time. He reference to “the fanatical dogmatism of the heretics” applies to these Popes. He calls faith in the infallible teachings of the Church “fanatical dogmatism”, and so he implicitly admits that he is rejecting the dogmas of the faith. The refuge of the papal accusers is to claim that they are only rejecting non-infallible teachings. But that is not the truth. They reject infallible teachings as well.
Vigano’s shameful words: “It is true: the Church is undergoing a tremendous crisis, which began before the Council and today has reached a point that appears humanly irreversible. It is true: we have heard words and seen actions, even from the highest Throne, that arouse scandal in the faithful and are in obvious contradiction with the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiffs. It is true: the majority of the faithful and clergy are molded into doctrinal and moral error, while anyone who remains firm in the Faith is accused of being an enemy of the Church and the Pope. If this was not the case, there would be no crisis. But if Providence has seen fit to test us today – to punish for decades of moral and doctrinal deviations – giving us a drunken Noah for a father (Gen 9:20-27), it is nevertheless our duty to cover his nudity with filial piety, without however denying the intoxication of the half-undressed old man. Once he has regained sobriety, he will bless those who have laid the cloak of Truth and Charity over his shame.”
He rejects Vatican II. He rejects the Roman Pontiffs even prior to Vatican II. He accuses the successor of Peter of words and acts contrary to the dogma of Vatican I (the charism of truth and of never-failing faith). There is no “obvious contradiction”. Difficult teachings call for faith, not rebellion. If it were “obvious”, then why does one Pope-Saint after another approve of Vatican II, and the other recent Popes, and the body of Bishops, and “the majority of the faithful and the clergy”?? What is obvious is that the Church continues to be indefectible and to teach truth, and only a small minority are rebelling against Her, out of pride in their own reason.
Vigano judges himself to be “firm in the Faith”, but he admits that this requires him to assume that an Ecumenical Council, Pope-Saints, other Popes even prior to Vatican II, and the majority of the Bishops, other clergy, and the faithful have all gone astray. There is no way to maintain belief in the indefectibility of the Church, if that is your position.
Then Vigano sins gravely by a malicious ridicule of the Roman Pontiff, one that is not necessitated by his claim to be right on doctrine and discipline: calling the Vicar of Christ “a drunken Noah” and claiming that he is naked and shameful. Vigano is the one who has lost his sobriety. If he were really right, if God’s grace was on his side, he would not treat anyone the way that he has repeatedly treated the Roman Pontiff, Pope Francis, with shameful name-calling and malicious ridicule.
Elsewhere, in Vigano’s criticism of Fratelli Tutti, he says that the encyclical represents “the emptiness of a withered heart, of a blind man deprived of supernatural sight.” The encyclicals of the Roman Pontiffs are the work of the Holy Spirit, who does not only prevent grave error, but inspires the Popes to teach the truth from a never failing faith. Such an expression directed at the Pope precisely because of his teaching in the Spirit is blasphemous.
Did Christ teach us to ridicule and malign our “enemies”? And Vigano clearly treats all the recent Popes as his enemies. What teaching of Christ justifies the ridicule and malicious rhetoric that Vigano uses against Francis and other recent Popes? “Once he has regained sobriety, he will bless those who have laid the cloak of Truth and Charity over his shame.” What Charity? Vigano and the other papal accusers have a clear and strong absence of charity towards even the Popes and Bishops who lead the Church, a lack of charity toward even the Church Herself.
Vigano: “The fear of God makes us understand….” What fear of God? Carlo Vigano rejects the dogmatic teaching of the First Vatican Council, rejects Vatican II “en bloc”, rejects Pope Saint John XXIII, Pope Saint Paul VI, Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis as all supposedly permitting the “sacrilegious abuse” of Communion in the hand.
The Lord Jesus Christ touched a leper and then, subsequently, healed him. The Lord could have healed the leper first, and then touched him, as He did heal ten lepers at a distance. But while we are still sinners, Christ touches our souls with grace, and that is much more significant and close than touching our hands. There is no sin or abuse in accepting Communion in the hand. Moreover, it is dogma that the Church can never go astray or lead astray, not even by instituting a discipline which supposedly harms the faithful and their path of salvation. So this claim of sacrilegious abuse for simply touching our Lord with our hands is an absurd and hypocritical accusation. For Vigano is an apostate, heretic, and schismatic, yet he touches Christ in the Eucharist with his hands, and he even confects the Eucharist. And that is much more offensive to Christ than that a sinner would touch Jesus in Communion.
The Church cannot stand if She follows the teaching of Vigano and the other papal accusers. If it were true that the faithful had the obligation to apply their own reason to every decision of the Church on discipline and doctrine, and to assume that the Church might go gravely astray at any turn, and that we also have the obligation to fight against the Church, as against a monster, whenever the Church decides contrary to our own minds, or our own fallen reason, then the Church would fall like a house of cards. But such is not the plan of Christ. Rather, we are called to give the full assent of faith to the teaching that the Church is indefectible and that the Roman Pontiffs are the Rock on which the Church is founded.
Vigano then quotes Peter Kwasniewski, who has notoriously rejected multiple Ecumenical Councils, including Vatican I and II and others. Thus, Vigano shows himself to be a heretic and schismatic, like Kwasniewski.
Carlo Vigano has departed from the true faith, as proven by his rejection of Vatican I and II, and all the recent Popes since that time.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.