Pope Pius II: “Concerning the first part, a person who is aware of his own weaknesses does not get proud or elated when being praised. We know and recognize Our own weaknesses. We believe that the Good God has elevated Us to the the throne and holy splendor of Saint Peter’s vicariate only to let His own power shine forth through Our weaknesses and His virtue radiate through Our imperfections. For He chose fishers and common men, indeed the weak of this world, in order to confound the strong so that we should ascribe the splendor of the many miracles and the great force of the Faith — embracing the whole world and growing roots everywhere — to God Himself alone and not to the merits of any man.”
The weaknesses, faults, and personal sins of the Roman Pontiff cannot harm the indefectibility of the Church, nor nullify or obstruct the charism of truth and never-failing faith given to Peter and every single one of his valid successors. For the power of God overcomes the weaknesses of each Roman Pontiff, so that the Rock on which the Church is founded, that is, every Roman Pontiff, can never fail. Thus, the authority and indefectibility of the See of Peter is guaranteed by God. This also implies that whoever accuses the Church, the Apostolic See, or the Roman Pontiff in his exercise of the Keys of Saint Peter, instead accuses the most holy Trinity and makes Christ out to be a liar (Mt 16:18; Lk 22:32).
“Though you nobly praised the See of Saint Peter, which We occupy, though We are not his equal in merit, nobody has ever praised it with enough spirit and zeal. For the Roman and Apostolic See was not created and established by princes, or king, or emperors, or mighty peoples, or by decrees of fathers or councils, and it was not set above all the other churches by conciliar decision. No, it was Christ Himself, true man and true God, reigning in the Trinity, who desired that all the churches spread over the whole world should form one Church, one bridal chamber, and that Saint Peter should be its Head. This See is the one perfect and chosen See of its mother and source, [the Church]. This is the Apostolic See, instituted by the Word which also created Heaven and Earth, and not by frail mortal men. This is the See foretold by the prophets. This is the See which God has set over peoples and kingdoms. This is the See which He strengthened with the testimony of the apostles, the blood of the martyrs, and adoption by the imperial power. Whoever opposes the ordinances of this See opposes the power of God.”
Notice what Pope Pius II says, that no one has ever praised the Apostolic See sufficiently. This contradicts the claims of those who say that the Church has been infiltrated by various evil groups, or that the Roman Pontiff and the Apostolic College has succumbed to periods of time when She — the spotless Bride of Christ — was supposedly deserving of the accusatory term “pornocracy”. Every teaching on the topic of the indefectibility of the Church, the Apostolic See, and the papal charisms, teachings from Popes, Councils, Saints, Fathers, and Doctors of the Church (as reviewed in detail throughout this book), proves such a wicked accusation to be schismatic, heretical, injurious to the faithful, and a rejection of “the power of God” as well as a hatred for the plan of Christ in His Church and His Shepherds. The papal accusers, who so often also accuse Ecumenical Councils and the body of Bishops as well, are thoroughly rebuked by these teachings of Pope Pius II, especially that those who oppose the decisions of the Apostolic See oppose the power of Christ.
“Let nobody distort the meaning of Our words, and let nobody believe that We censure Our dear son in Christ, Charles, Illustrious King of the French. For as you have heard, today the Most Christian King has with all ceremony declared his obedience to the Apostolic See. No, We are speaking of those who teach and believe differently from him who is the Head of the whole Church, and to whom the Lord says that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church. Let no one deceive himself; let no one perfidiously corrupt the truth of Faith. The Church is one, which is spread abroad far and wide into a multitude by an increase of fruitfulness….”
Those “who teach and believe differently from him who is the Head of the whole Church,” Peter and his successors, are censured due to their disobedience to the Apostolic See. For Christ Himself established this See and its Head; then it is also Christ who guarantees that the Pope and His See can never corrupt the truth of the Faith. Those who recognize that Pope Francis (or any other Pope) is the valid Roman Pontiff, but also resist his exercise of the Keys of Peter — just as they say today “Recognize and Resist” — are condemned by the ancient and constant teaching of the Faith, also expressed in this oration by Pope Pius II.
“Thus the shining Church of God sends it rays of light through all the world. But the light which is spread everywhere is One. There is but One Head, and One source, and One Mother Church, which is without blemish, which knows the One home, and which chastely guards the holiness of the One chamber. Anyone who does not remain united with the Roman See, encompassing the Universal Church in virtue, is an impious stranger, an enemy who cannot have God as his father. Finally, this is the See which has received the power to bind and to loose. If anyone spurns its censures, corrections, and commands, he will be considered a pagan and a publican.”
The Church established by Christ, enlivened by the Holy Spirit, is “without blemish”. Those Catholics who do not remain united to the Roman See or the Roman Pontiff are impious strangers; they have chosen to be enemies of the Church. These Catholics have harmed their relationship to God the Father, and put themselves formally outside of the Catholic Church. Those who substitute their own judgment for the decisions of the Apostolic See on doctrine or discipline will be considered to be like the pagans (whose with false beliefs) and like the publicans (who lived very secular lives, while claiming to be religious).
“We read that Moses stood on a rock in order to contemplate God’s face. On this rock almighty God has built his Church. Those who do not recognize that Church cannot look at the presence of God. The Church is the only one through whom God welcomes a sacrifice. She is the only one who can intercede confidently for those who go astray. She is the only one who can guard those within her with the strong bond of love. This is the ark and the ship: those who enter it will not drown in the flood, but will sail over the waters to the high place. But those who are locked out from the ark of this See will go under and perish in the flood.”
This teaching (on recognizing the Church) does not imply that non-Catholics, non-Christians, or non-believers cannot be saved. Those who have invincible ignorance about the one holy catholic and apostolic Church may be saved by Christ, such as through an implicit baptism of desire, as I have discussed in my book: Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone. This oration by Pius II is aimed at unfaithful Catholics, and is not a treatise on salvation more generally.
“We now come to the third part, which concerns the obedience declared on behalf of the Most Christian King. We and Our venerable brothers, the cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, accept his obedience as it is presented in its entirety. The king knows from his own nature and from his ancestors that the merit of obedience must be guarded justly. Indeed, the law promulgated by God says that obedience is better than sacrifice. And as the king considers the prosperity of those of his ancestors who remained steadfast in their obedience to the Holy See, he knows that in this way he is also guarding his own honour, glory and salvation: indeed, those kings who failed in their commitment to obedience lost much glory.”
Even Catholic Christian kings owe their obedience to the Holy See in matters of doctrine and discipline. In other matters, the Church has the authority and right to judge what is good or evil, and to advise the secular authorities. If even kings must obey the Roman Pontiff and his See, then it is wicked for so many lay persons and priests today to rebel against the Roman Pontiff, Pope Francis — often also declaring grave accusations against other Popes and Councils. They speak as if they were not only above Christian kings, but above all the Popes, Bishops, and Councils, above even the whole Church founded by Christ. Such extreme pride, such a full rejection of the plan and authority of Christ, will not go unpunished by God almighty.
From: Pope Pius II, “Multa hic hodie,” 21 November 1459, Mantu, Italy. Full Citation: Michael Cotta-Schønberg. Oration “Multa hic hodie” of Pope Pius II (21 November 1459, Man-tua). Edited and translated by Michael von Cotta-Schönberg. 7th version. (Orations of Enea SilvioPiccolomini / Pope Pius II; 49). 2019. hal-01184531
Ronald L Conte Jr
otimos coentarios ron! This text by Pope Pius II totally defeats the “recognize and resist” and proves the Indefectibility of the Roman Pontiff.
Dear mr. Conte
I hope You wouldn’t mind if I ask You for an advice on an issue I am facing. Would it be (mortally) immoral to vote for a (catholic) presidential candidate who supports Ukraine and thinks we should supply her weapons. I live in a parlamentary republic. President here has very little actual power and I am not sure if can substantially influence the actual military support (but I don’t think he can).
Thank You for all of Your time. May God bless You.
Such a vote would not be gravely (mortally) immoral. When voting for a person, rather than a law or constitutional amendment, multiple issues usually weigh into the decision and its morality. Supporting Ukraine and sending weapons for its defense is not immoral, in and of itself. Whether and to what extent any particular nation should do so is a matter of prudential judgment.
Thank You, You have greatly helped me.