Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Br. Alexis Bugnolo weighs in with some comments of his own

Under Monday, Oct. 14:

There seems to be a number of queries but not many direct answers.

Before St. Agatho wrote the Oath of Coronation, it is obvious that it was
not obligatory. Why did the Popes take it for the next 1600 years? Good
question: I'd like to see a study on that. But why did John Paul II not
take it (I frankly haven't see any solid reference that he didn't; and I
have heard that Paul VI didn't either, so if anyone has a good reference on
this point I for one would be interested to see it).

Nicea II, in its 4th Anathema, condemned those who reject or dispise any
written or unwritten ecclesiastical tradition (tradition with the small t).
If a pope after 1600 years refuses to take the Oath, then clearly, since
it is an ecclesiastical tradition, he is condemned personally by Nicea II.

If you read the Oath, you can see that it upholds the very principle
contained in the 4th anathema of Nicea II. So I for one would consider any
person refusing to take it as suspect of heresy. And I do not see how one
could avoid this conclusion; but if anyone can, I would like to hear the

As for the Oath against Modernism, I guess one could argue that since it
was recently established it is not an ecclesiastical tradition. However
since it is obvious to everyone that Moderism is alive and well; it is only
the worst kind of human resepct, and presumption, to abolish it--both of
which are mortal sins.

Lumen Gentium 25 is not something than any catholic must accept by an
assent of faith; only with religious submission BTW. Anyhow what it
teaches is identical to the prior magisterium, so what's the point of the

The phrase is not "religious assent of mind and will" but rather "obsequium
religiosum" which is "religious submission" The will cannot assent, it
only can consent -- see the dictionary-- it is the intellect that assents.
I believe it would be more correct to say "religious submission of mind and
will". But this requires only presumption of correctness. It does not
require insistence of correctness even when reasonably shown to be otherwise.

The quote from Vatican I is the Catholic Faith and all must accept it with
the assent of divine and catholic faith. But it says nothing about
accepting novel doctrines; infact the same decree elsewhere says the Pope
has no authority to alter the faith; and hence such statements are excluded
from this quote's obligation.

Regarding the opinions that Popes can fall into error or become heretics:
these opinions have been about since the middle ages. It is inconceivable
that Rober Bellarmine could be cannonized if he advocated a heretical
opinion, since his writings were examined by the Holy Office prior to his
canonization and found to be free from error -- yes they did that before
Vatican II -- so to say that this opinion that the pope as a man, can fall
into error (St. Alphonsus also held this opinion) is not licit is false;
but to say that one can be a good catholic and not accept it -- I would say
such an individual will have a hard time explaining the hypotheticals
advanced by Bellarmine and still keeping his faith and obedience, to the
Roman Pontiff. This distinction of no error or heresy in formal judgements
of the Pope and the possibility of error or heresy in private judgements,
is what guarantees the spotlessness of the Papal Magisterium. If you
reject this distinction, you will eventually end up a protestant, for you
will have to either deny Christ or the Pope as HisVicar, while one who does
accept this distinction retains the Faith even when there are errant
popes--and so to sum up I would say that practically speaking one as a
catholic must accept this distinction so as to remain catholic and soundly
refute the arguments of those who reject Papal authority.

Who ever said that the Catholic Encylopedia of 1913 was a rule of Faith:
infact it attempts to distort the teaching of St. Augustine on original sin.

Sincerely in Christ,

Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Holy Father has released his apostolic letter on the Rosary

I suppose this will create some consternation among traditional Catholics, but I don't have a problem with it. Catholics will still be able to pray the rosary the traditional way if that suits them better.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Good news from the Vatican

I'm glad to see the Holy See stand up to these guys. If anyone should apologize, it should be the Russian Orthodox for collaborating with the KGB in suppressing the churches of Eastern Rite Catholics in the former Soviet bloc.

Monday, October 14, 2002

The oath taken by every pope at his accession since at least St. Agatho until John Paul II who did not take it

"I vow to change nothing of the received Tradition, and nothing thereof I have found before me guarded by my God-pleasing predecessors, to encroach upon, to alter, or to permit any innovation therein;

To the contrary: with glowing affection as her truly faithful student and successor, to safeguard reverently the passed-on good, with my whole strength and utmost effort;

To cleanse all that is in contradiction to the canonical order, should such appear; to guard the Holy Canons and Decrees of our Popes as if they were the divine ordinance of Heaven, because I am conscious of Thee, whose place I take through the Grace of God, whose Vicarship I possess with Thy support, being subject to severest accounting before Thy Divine Tribunal over all that I shall confess;

I swear to God Almighty and the Savior Jesus Christ that I will keep whatever has been revealed through Christ and His Successors and whatever the first councils and my predecessors have defined and declared.

I will keep without sacrifice to itself the discipline and the rite of the Church. I will put outside the Church whoever dares to go against this oath, may it be somebody else or I.

If I should undertake to act in anything of contrary sense, or should permit that it will be executed, Thou willst not be merciful to me on the dreadful Day of Divine Justice.

Accordingly, without exclusion, We subject to severest excommunication anyone -- be it Ourselves or be it another -- who would dare to undertake anything new in contradiction to this constituted evangelic Tradition and the purity of the orthodox Faith and the Christian religion, or would seek to change anything by his opposing efforts, or would agree with those who undertake such a blasphemous venture."

So much for any notion of a "living magisterium" that could be in opposition to previous teaching.

This comment from Scott deserves its own space

regarding the comment above about following the pope if he has consistently and solemly expressed his will to encourage ecumenism,,,, this point doesn't quite cut it,, i mean, just because this pope has been consistently pro-ecumenism doesn't mean that this should be obeyed,,contrast this with pius XI who was consistently anti-ecumenism,, so where does this get you? The issue is,, if obedience is tied to just what the current pope does and teaches, then the church is a tyranny,,, because its basis is simply the will of the one in power. But the church is not a tyranny, the pope is just as much bound as the layman, they are both bound to defend and teach and pass on the deposit of faith. If one reads the definition of the petrine office from VV1 one will see that the pope has a very simply defined function, to protect the faith and to order the church (ie people of God) towards heaven. he is not obliged to worry about practical peace, he is not obliged to ensure we all get along, and he is NOT obliged to travel all over the world to attend pop-star youth events....