No “recognize-and-resist” for Pius IX…

Ultramontanism vs. Gallicanism:
Pope Pius IX against the Semi-Trads

The longest-reigning Pope in history: Pius IX (1846-1878)

As the First Vatican Council (1869-70) was getting underway, the celebrated abbot of the Benedictine Monastery of St. Solesmes in France, Dom Prosper Guéranger, published his book The Papal Monarchy. He wrote it in direct reply to the Gallican errors of Bishop Henri Maret, who had written a book using the pseudonym “Bishop de Sura”.

Gueranger’s vindication of what was then called “Ultramontanism” (the orthodox Catholic position on papal authority) and his refutation of Gallicanism (the alternative view definitively condemned at the council) were so brilliant that the Pope himself — Pius IX at the time — wrote him a letter of approbation and appreciation.

Pope Pius IX’s missive to Dom Prosper bears the title Dolendum Profecto and is dated Mar. 12, 1870. That is weeks before the council, then in session, issued the first of its two dogmatic constitutions.

The following quote is the beginning paragraph of the papal missive. We present it here because the words of the Holy Father are so relevant to our own times:

It is certainly a regrettable thing, Dearly beloved Son, that it is possible to meet even among Catholics men who, while they glory in the name [of Catholic], show themselves thoroughly imbued with corrupt principles and adhere to them with such stubbornness that they are no longer able to submit their minds with docility to the judgment of the Holy See when that judgment is opposed to them, even when common opinion and the recommendation of the episcopate have corroborated it. They go even further, and making progress and the happiness of society depend on these principles, they strive to bring the Church round to their way of thinking. Considering that they alone are wise, they do not blush to give the name of “Ultramontane Party” to the entire Catholic family which thinks otherwise.

(Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Dolendum Profecto; in Papal Teachings: The Church, n. 332)

Does this not sound familiar?

The recognize-and-resist traditionalists (aka semi-traditionalists) are today’s quasi-Gallicans. Although claiming for themselves the name of Catholic, they stubburnly adhere to false principles about the Papacy because their a priori goal is to avoid both the errors of the Vatican II religion and yet also Sedevacantism.

Shouting at the top of their lungs that Francis is most definitely the Pope of the Catholic Church and thus the Vicar of Christ, they nevertheless do not accept his (or his five predecessors’) judgments with docility except when they happen to agree with them. Like the Gallicans criticized by Pope Pius IX, they work to convert the church to their position (“return to Tradition”), instead of eagerly embracing the teachings, laws, and decisions of the Holy See. At the same time, they are pleased to berate sedevacantists as “Ultramontanists”, a term that is in itself an honorable and glorious one, but to which they attach a negative connotation.

We have said before that for styling themselves traditionalists, they really don’t seem to know or care that much about the actual traditional doctrine:

(The above video was made in 2016. Louie Verrecchio has since rejected Gallican errors.)

The internet has recently seen yet another attempt by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski to vindicate the recognize-and-resist position and reject “Ultramontanism.” While we are in the process of working out a detailed response, we would like to remind our readers of our collection of articles and blog posts refuting the false traditionalism of the non-sedevacantists. The following list is by no means complete, but it does contain many of the most important pieces we’ve published:

For a more copious directory of our articles vindicating Sedevacantism and refuting errors opposed to it, please see our resource page on Sedevacantism.

Lastly, for those who are interested: An English translation of Dom Gueranger’s The Papal Monarchy is available for purchase directly from the publisher and also from Amazon. It will be unnecessary for Novus Ordo Watch to specially recommend the work, considering that the Pope himself has already endorsed it.

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