The Party is over…

Pope Leo XIII Quashes “Recognize-and-Resist” Position

Just as the various Semi-Traditionalist “Recognize-and-Resist” camps are revving up their engines to collectively oppose the impending “canonization” of the apostate bishop Karol Wojtyla, otherwise known by his pseudonym “Pope John Paul II”, Novus Ordo Watch has bent over backwards to unearth and present two little-known papal documents by Pope Leo XIII that absolutely demolish their comfortable position of “having your Pope and beating him too.”

The two documents we present are two Apostolic Letters written by His Holiness in the 1880s, one addressed to the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris, the other to the Archbishop of Tours. As far as we know, they have never before been translated into English in their entirety and, except for a few select quotes, are not available on the internet in English at all.

Until now, that is.

We are pleased to present to you first-time-ever full English translations of the following two papal documents (click on the titles of each for the text):

Apostolic Letter of His Holiness
Pope Leo XIII to Cardinal Guibert:
(June 17, 1885)

Apostolic Letter of His Holiness
Pope Leo XIII to Archbishop Meignan:
(Dec. 17, 1888)

These two letters of Pope Leo XIII, who had one of the longest pontificates in the history of the Church (1878-1903), beautifully remind us of the true and truly traditional Catholic position on the authority of the Pope and the local bishops and the proper respect and submission the faithful are required to render them. How different this true teaching is from the attitudes instilled in people’s minds ad nauseam by the self-appointed “Recognize-and-Resist” clerics and even lay pundits, who absolutely insist that the “Pope” and “bishops” of the Novus Ordo Sect are genuine Catholic shepherds and yet act as though these “rightful shepherds” were somehow subject to them instead of the other way around!

These pseudo-Traditionalists reject just about everything that comes from these “legitimate authorities”, including teaching on Faith and morals, disciplinary laws, liturgical rites, and even decrees of sainthood. In truth — and all who are familiar with Traditionalism know this — they have essentially separated themselves from the teaching, governance, and liturgy of the Novus Ordo Church and are “doing their own thing” on the side, yet never wavering in their verbal recognition of these men as the rightful Catholic shepherds. This, ladies and gentlemen, they believe to be the only true Catholic position, yet it is the textbook definition of schism!

As Fr. Ignatius Szal pointed out in a theological dissertation published in the 1940’s, one essential ingredient to true and proper schism is that the schismatic, in spite of his disobedience, “must recognize the Roman Pontiff as the true pastor of the Church, and he must profess as an article of faith that obedience is due the Roman Pontiff” (Szal, The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics [CUA Press, 1948], p. 2).

Does this not sound exactly like the “Recognize-and-Resist” position of the SSPX, SSPX-Marian Corps, The AngelusThe RemnantCatholic Family NewsThe Fatima Crusader, etc.? And yet, it is not a Catholic position, and the two Apostolic Letters of Pope Leo XIII we are now presenting underscore this point even further.

Here are some select few highlights of the two papal documents to whet your appetite:

Pope Leo XIII: 

  • “To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teaching, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to the Head and Supreme Pastor.” (Epistola Tua)
  • “…it is to give proof of a submission which is far from sincere to set up some kind of opposition between one Pontiff and another. Those who, faced with two differing directives, reject the present one to hold to the past, are not giving proof of obedience to the authority which has the right and duty to guide them; and in some ways they resemble those who, on receiving a condemnation, would wish to appeal to a future council, or to a Pope who is better informed.” (Epistola Tua)
  • “That obligation, if it is generally incumbent on all, is, you may indeed say, especially pressing upon journalists…. The task pertaining to them … is this: to be subject completely in mind and will, just as all the other faithful are, to their own bishops and to the Roman Pontiff; to follow and make known their teachings; to be fully and willingly subservient to their influence; and to reverence their precepts and assure that they are respected.” (Epistola Tua)
  • “No, it cannot be permitted that laymen who profess to be Catholic should go so far as openly to arrogate to themselves in the columns of a newspaper, the right to denounce, and to find fault, with the greatest license and according to their own good pleasure, with every sort of person, not excepting bishops, and think that with the single exception of matters of faith they are allowed to entertain any opinion which may please them and exercise the right to judge everyone after their own fashion.” (Est Sane Molestum)
  • “…to scrutinize the actions of a bishop, to criticize them, does not belong to individual Catholics, but concerns only those who, in the sacred hierarchy, have a superior power; above all, it concerns the Supreme Pontiff….” (Est Sane Molestum)

Anyone who reads these documents will easily see how the teaching of Pope Leo XIII is simply not compatible with the False Resistance position of the Society of St. Pius X and other pseudo-Traditionalist organizations and individuals. The idea that the Pope — remember, the Resisters emphatically assert that Francis is the Pope — can canonize someone a saint, to be venerated and imitated by the whole Church, and this canonization is then dismissed as false by individual clergy and even laymen, who alone know the “truth” of the matter, is preposterous. And it is most certainly not something that Pope Leo, per the above documents, would ever tolerate. (More on that, though, in late April, when Francis once again proves he cannot be the Pope of the Catholic Church by “infallibly” declaring the Modernists Karol Wojtyla and Angelo Roncalli to be saints.)

It is high time for everyone to realize that there is no “middle ground” in fighting the errors of the New Church. “He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth,” Our Blessed Lord warned (Lk 11:23). Get off the fence! The Vatican II Sect is either the true Catholic Church founded by Christ, or it is not. If it is, you must submit and adhere to it in all things and cling to it like a child clings to his mother. But if it is not, then it is a false church, a diabolical imitation of the Catholic Church, the “operation of error” sent by God in punishment for our sins, “to believe lying” (2 Thess 2:10).

What more does it take to see this?!

“Go out from her, my people; that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and the Lord hath remembered her iniquities” (Apocalypse 18:4-5).

Image sources: (edited) / Wikimedia Commons (cropped)
License: Paid / public domain

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