In View of John Paul II’s Impending “Canonization”
Decision Time for The Remnant:
Is the Novus Ordo Church the True Church or a Counterfeit Church?
For decades the semi-traditionalists at The Remnant have been reporting on the apostasy of the Vatican II Church: its evil disciplines, its erroneous and heretical teachings, its impious liturgical laws, its scandalous clergy, its wicked practices. In short, they have been making the overall case that the Novus Ordo Church is the exact opposite of a trustworthy guide in matters of eternal salvation, that it is not the Ark of Salvation but the Ark of Damnation.
All throughout this time, however, and up to the present day, they have kept insisting that despite all the evidence, nevertheless the institution in the Vatican is ultimately still the Roman Catholic Church of Our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation, that it is identical in essence with the Church of Pope Pius XII and his predecessors. They have impiously insisted that the men ultimately responsible for this gigantic mass apostasy and destruction of the Catholic sacraments are valid Roman Catholic Popes, to whom every Catholic owes submission, but which submission somehow cannot be rendered under pain of heresy, impiety, and immorality, that is, for all intents and purposes, under pain of eternal damnation. And so they say that while we must “recognize” these modernist “Popes” and their “bishops” as legitimate Roman Catholic pastors, we must nevertheless resist or ignore them in the exercise of their putative offices. (This is sometimes referred to as the “recognize-and-resist” position.)
This schismatic, schizophrenic, theologically indefensible, and totally un-Catholic position is shared by the Society of St. Pius X and many others who call themselves “Traditional Catholics”. In contrast to this, Novus Ordo Watch espouses the view known as Sedevacantism as the only possible Catholic position in response to the Novus Ordo Church, a view which holds that the alleged Popes in the Vatican since the death of Pius XII in 1958 are not true Popes but imposters, and that the organization they head is not in fact the Roman Catholic Church but a Masonic counterfeit institution that aims to imitate the Catholic Church in the externals but actually seeks its destruction by changing Catholic teachings, morals, and practices. With this they have been very successful since the election of Angelo Roncalli as “Pope John XXIII” (1958) and the bogus “Second Vatican Council” (1962-65).
To frequent readers of this web site, all this is nothing new.
But now The Remnant has argued itself into a corner. In May of 2011, The Remnant posted an article written by one of its most famous columnists, New-Jersey-based attorney Christopher A. Ferrara, a rhetorically-gifted neo-traditionalist spin doctor who pushes the “recognize-and-resist” position as much as he despises the sedevacantist stance. This article is called “The Beatification of John Paul II: Another Extension of the Great Façade?” and contains Ferrara’s commentary on the then-recent “beatification” of the false “Pope” John Paul II (1978-2005). Ferrara finds for himself a “way out” of the ridiculous and impious idea that the true Catholic Church could even so much as beatify a man who demonstrated his impiety, loss of Faith, destruction of moral principles, and scandalous actions in public for decades: He asserts that beatifications are not infallible acts of the Church (true enough). And so attorney Ferrara argues:
In considering the beatification of John Paul II we must never lose sight of what the Church teaches about beatifications: that they are permissions, not commands, to venerate, and thus are not infallible acts of the Magisterium. As the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, canonization involves “a precept, and is universal in the sense that it binds the whole Church,” whereas beatification only “permits such worship…”
What is done is done. But in reality, no matter what anyone says, we remain free to pray for John Paul II instead of to him—even in the Diocese of Rome itself. And we remain free as well to pray that the Holy Ghost will never allow the calamity of the last pontificate (or the one before it) to receive, per impossible, the perpetual and infallible imprimatur of a formal canonization. May Our Lady intercede for us, for Holy Church, and for the late Pope John Paul II.
(Ferrara, “The Beatification of John Paul II: Another Extension of the Great Façade?”, The Remnant Online, May 9, 2011)
So, while Ferrara correctly points out that beatifications are not infallible, he, again correctly, goes further and says that it would be impossible for the Catholic Church to canonize John Paul II, because, unlike beatifications, canonizationsare infallible. Now, remember that Ferrara and The Remnant believe that the Novus Ordo Church is the Catholic Church, so, as far as they are concerned, the Novus Ordo Church will not be able to go through with a “canonization” of John Paul II — this is the infallible assurance (so they think) of the Holy Ghost.
Ferrara is known for his tendency to use overblown rhetoric and rash dramatizations of bland facts and events, which is usually based on his own fantastic view of how things should be rather than a dispassionate observance of objective reality (see, for example, our article No Friend of Fatima: Unspinning Ferrara’s Defense of Benedict XVI). When Benedict XVI resigned from his “papal” office on February 10, 2013, Ferrara, of course, had to find the “real” reason for the resignation and ended up linking it to — what else? — the prevention of the looming “canonization” of John Paul II:
…Pope Benedict’s abdication is to take effect a mere seventeen days from today, on February 28, 2013 at precisely 8 p.m. This means that Benedict will avoid the dubious canonization of John Paul II and the simply absurd beatification of Paul VI. The steamroller driving toward those vexatious events, sweeping aside all reasonable objections, has suddenly been stopped dead in its tracks. Did the Pope abdicate, at least in part, to slow down John Paul II’s saint-making machine, which was threatening to canonize the Council of which Benedict himself (in his more candid moments) has been so critical? We may be permitted to think so.
…we can surmise that Benedict faced a dilemma: If he simply refused to exercise the papal primacy to canonize the Council, he would be met with a storm of outrage from conciliarist militants. But if he yielded to pressure and proceeded with those acts, he would have to answer to his own conscience and ultimately to the Judge of us all. Fearing that he would be unable to resist the pressure to perform the ceremonies demanded and already arranged, awaiting only his approving act, he might have concluded that his best course of action was to jump off the steamroller before it could reach its destination. It stands to reason that if Benedict were at all committed to the idea of “Saint John Paul II the Great” and “Blessed Paul VI,” he would have remained in office at least long enough to perform the necessary papal acts. Yet he has left office, in a purely discretionary manner, just as those acts were slated to occur—during the ironically designated “Year of Faith” that is taking place in the midst of the “silent apostasy” that is our inheritance from the previous two pontificates.
Or perhaps, even if this was not the Pope’s conscious intent, the Holy Ghost has intervened by prompting him to abdicate rather than inflicting further damage to the Church by acceding to the Council’s canonization via improvident acts of the Magisterium. As this newspaper noted in a recent news item, it does appear to be a miracle that, just days ago, the seemingly imminent canonization of John Paul II was abruptly postponed until at least 2014 [sic]. Was that postponement Pope Benedict’s doing in anticipation of his abdication? Did he act under the influence of the Holy Ghost? These are reasonable questions in view of the shocking decision by a reigning Roman Pontiff to renounce his office even though he is neither physically nor mentally incapacitated.
(Ferrara, “Something Wicked This Way Comes: Pope Benedict XVI Abdicates”, The Remnant Online, Feb. 11, 2013)
Apparently the only thing more active in this world than a nuclear reactor operating at full throttle is the imagination of Christopher Ferrara. Ferrara is pulling this conjecture out of nowhere but his own lawyerly fancy. (Later in the same article, he speaks of an “apocalyptic aspect” of Ratzinger’s abdication.)
How wonderful it is, then, to see how hollow all these theories have proven themselves to be, because as of July 5, 2013, Mr. Ferrara and The Remnant have a problem: “Pope” Francis has announced he will “canonize” John Paul II within a few months! (See our coverage here.)
Now what? In his Feb. 11, 2013, article, Ferrara reiterates that canonizations are infallible: They are “generally acknowledged by theologians to be an infallible act of the Magisterium because it establishes a cult for the universal Church” (“Something Wicked This Way Comes”). What will our New Jersey lawyer do now? Did it not occur to him that what he argued Benedict had shrewdly prevented by an act of abdication would be picked up again by his immediate successor? All of Ferrara’s dramatizations and speculations aside, the bland reality is this: What Benedict didn’t get to do with regard to John Paul II is now being done by Francis. That’s all. (And it really wouldn’t have taken a whole lot of imagination to come up with that simple prediction.)
The reality is that Ferrara will have to eat his own words: It is impossible for the True Church to canonize as a saint a man as publicly scandalous as John Paul II. It is impossible for the Bride of Christ to give the apostate Karol Wojtyla “the perpetual and infallible imprimatur of a formal canonization.” So, if the Vatican II Church nevertheless does so, there is only one possible conclusion left: The Vatican II Church is not — cannot be — the Roman Catholic Church. This is exactly what sedevacantists have been saying for a long time and what Ferrara & Co. have long been pooh-poohing as “patently absurd.”
So, will Ferrara finally concede? Will The Remnant finally accept the necessary logical conclusion? Or will we see more half-baked, pseudo-theological excuses whose only aim is to keep oneself and others from becoming sedevacantists, from recognizing that the Vatican institution is not the true Catholic Church? Will their unsuspecting readership again be hoodwinked into believing that the Ark of Salvation can also be the Ark of Damnation, and that this once again somehow doesn’t matter? “And what concord hath Christ with Belial?” (2 Cor. 6:15).
Let us not fool ourselves. The force of logical reasoning has never impressed The Remnant. Besides, the recognize-and-resist position is much too convenient to abandon easily: It allows people to practice the traditional Catholic Faith and gives access to a great many Mass locations (or so they think) on the one hand; and it allows one to ignore, dismiss, reject, and resist all the unpleasant teachings, laws, liturgical rites, etc., of the Novus Ordo on the other. (Plus, one can feel great in lecturing sedevacantists about their apparent inability to explain how the papacy and the Church will be restored.) The only problem: The recognize-and-resist position isn’t Catholic and not defensible from Catholic theology — minor detail.
We pray to God that the semi-traditionalists at The Remnant, Catholic Family News, the Society of St. Pius X, and others will finally realize that what cannot be true, is not true. The Novus Ordo Church is a counterfeit of the Catholic Church, the ape of the Church, just like the devil is the ape of God.
Mr. John Lane, a sedevacantist layman from Australia, has succinctly put the importance of recognizing the counterfeit nature of the False Church into perspective:
The entire force of the Conciliar revolt comes from the fact that it has apparently been imposed by the authority of the Church. How many bishops, priests, religious, and laymen, would have swallowed the lies of the heretics if they had not believed themselves bound to do so by the voice of Christ’s Vicar on earth? Questioning the authority of these men renders their revolution of doubtful authenticity.
(John Lane, “Concerning an SSPX Dossier on Sedevacantism” [PDF], p. 65)
Let everyone at long last abandon the False Modernist Church in Rome and its apostate leaders and quit giving them credence. “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).
The Vatican II Church is not the Roman Catholic Church of Pope Pius XII and his predecessors!