The Pope and the body of Bishops are not Enemies of Christ

The Pope and the body of Bishops are not Enemies of Christ, and, according to the dogmas of the Church, they can never be enemies of Christ due to the charisms given to the successors of Peter and of the other Apostles.

Over at OnePeterFive, a new article by the editor in chief, Timothy Flanders, calls the Pope and most Bishops: “the enemies of Christ,” and “the enemies of Holy Church”, and “wicked men”. The article is titled The Only Way We Will Lose This War Is If We Stop Fighting. Flanders thereby admits that he and his ilk have chosen to go to war against the successors to the Apostles, the Pope and most Bishops.

The article accuses the Pope and most Bishops of spiritual abuse, of promoting heresy, of undermining dogma, and of “evil sacrileges and liturgical abuses.” The article accuses the Pope and most Bishops of “allowing all manner of heresy and wickedness” and of refusing to use “the charitable anathema” on wolves. Then reception of holy Communion in the hand is termed by Flanders as “the abuse of Communion in the hand”. And most Bishops are called hirelings who run from wolves and who allow heretics to destroy the faith of little children.

The article then states that the truly faithful should be “willing to disobey unjust laws (from the hierarchy or the government)”. Using the term “the hierarchy” to refer to the successors of Peter and the successors of the other Apostles shows a lack of faith in the dogmas of indefectibility, never-failing faith, and the continual assistance of the Holy Spirit to the Pope and body of Bishops. Treating the successors to the Apostles as a mere hierarchy, as if they had authority without grace from God, is schismatic and heretical. It treats the divine authority of the Church as no different from a secular government. Moreover, laws are not necessarily unjust merely because a small group of priests or laity object to those laws.

Flanders: “Many of these priests and faithful were traditionalists who ‘offer the Divine Victim to God’ according to the rite of our forefathers, the ancient Roman Rite contained in the Missal of 1962.”

The above quote is self-contradictory. The Mass of 1962 is called “the ancient Roman Rite” and “the rite of our forefathers” when it began within the current generation or so. Then we know that this Latin version of the Mass has been changed many times over the course of Church history. So it is clearly not one ancient rite always used by the Church. Jesus said Mass at the Last Supper in Hebrew and Aramaic, most probably. He certainly did not say Mass in Latin, nor was the form of that Mass like the Latin Mass, except in the most fundamental elements also found in the Novus Ordo Mass. Neither did the Lord or His Church ever teach that the Mass and the other Sacraments can only be in Latin, or that they must cease to be changed and adapted, from time to time. The very mention of the term “1962” is an admission that the Church has the authority to change the Mass. Why then should the faithful accept the notion that suddenly the Pope has lost his authority to change the Mass, and that the Mass of 1962 must be frozen in time?

Edited to add: Here is a link to a ridiculous article at Rorate Caeli, maligning the 1962 liturgical calendar, and arguing for the pre-1955 calendar to replace it. The authority of the Church is utterly rejected in such writings, replacing that divine authority with the prevailing opinions in a subculture. The 1962 Mass is exalted and praised to the highest heaven, and later it is rejected and denigrated, in favor of an older form. How long before they wish to return to a form of the Mass from the 1500s or earlier?

Then the Mass in the vernacular contains the same offering of the Divine Victim to God, along with all the other essential elements of any Mass, of even the Last Supper Mass. And the mention of the “Roman Rite” above is an admission that the Church in the East has never had the Latin Mass, except at time to join with the West in the same Mass with a Pope or Bishop. If the Latin form of the Mass were essential, why is it absent from the East? It is not essential. The supporters of the Latin Mass are attached to exterior points of form which are useful and beautiful, but non-essential. Choosing those exterior elements of form over obedience to Christ and to His Church is schism.

And if you consider the Pope and most Bishops to be your enemies, you are a schismatic and a heretic. For years, certain traditionalist and conservative Catholics rebelled against the Roman Pontiff Pope Francis, accusing him falsely of heresy, idolatry, apostasy, and all manner of grave errors, with various documents that they spread online and signed. They maligned the Roman Pontiff in many ways, again and again, year after year. Then Pope Francis restricted the Latin Mass, and they could speak of little else. They pretend as if they are opposing him for that reason, but they have been opposing him for many years before Traditionis Custodes.

There are faithful supporters of the Latin Mass, who do not see Pope Francis as an enemy, who accept the teachings of Vatican I and II, who do not reject most Bishops. But most leaders of traditionalism and many conservative leaders as well have turned against the Roman Pontiff. To call the Pope and most Bishops your enemies, with whom you claim you are at war, is an open admission of severe schism. Even the Protestants and Orthodox Christians do not speak in that manner.

Lateran V: “It arises from the necessity of salvation that all the faithful of Christ are to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

Lateran V: “the person who abandons the teaching of the Roman pontiff cannot be within the Church….”

Flanders: “Yet more than this: we have the truth on our side.” The problem with this claim is that it is only “truth” as judged by persons in open schism, who have rejected multiple Ecumenical Councils, multiple recent Popes, and who have accused the Church of multiple long periods of corruption, in contradiction to well-established dogma on the indefectibility of the Church and the never-failing faith of the Roman Pontiff. Such a use of the term “truth” is not Catholic truth, but is merely the opinions of fallen sinners who have rejected openly the Roman Pontiff and most Bishops.

Catholic truth is always on the side of the Roman Pontiff, who is protected from grave errors in all his decisions of doctrine and discipline. Whoever makes himself to be an enemy of the Pope and most Bishops, makes himself an enemy of the Church and of Christ. And God is never on the side of those who attack the holy Church.

One final point is important. Communion in the hand has been approved by all the successive Roman Pontiffs from Pope Saint Paul VI to Pope Francis. Therefore, this discipline cannot be a grave error. For the Church is indefectible and the Roman Pontiffs cannot err gravely, nor lead the faithful astray from the path of salvation.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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3 Responses to The Pope and the body of Bishops are not Enemies of Christ

  1. Todd says:

    Keep up the good work Ron.

  2. Ron, I second Todd’s message. Have a wonderful New Year full of love, peace and blessings. God bless you, your family, and loved ones always.

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