Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Quibus Eutyches, qui presbyterii nomine honorabilis videbatur, multum imprudens et nimis imperitus ostenditur, ut etiam de ipso dictum sit a propheta: Noluit intelligere, ut bene ageret; iniquitatem meditatus est in cubili suo. (St Leo, Tomus ad Flavianum, 449).

It has come to my attention that some people think I am a schismatic, or even a heretic. I'd be interested to know what kind of ''heretic'' - clearly not the liberal modernist kind (my views are apparently too extreme for that), so what? The general consensus seems to be ''I can't work you out - therefore you must be a heretic'', am I right? Or are my views about the Papacy perhaps misunderstood? If so, which views? Do I think that Popes have the authority to tamper with the liturgical traditions of the Roman Church at their whims? No. Do I believe that Popes have authority to talk nonsense about the Assumption in isolation (and even antipathy towards) from Liturgy? No. Do I think that the Signum Magnum propers are worthy of a thousand anathemas? Yes. Do I believe that Pius XII was a heretic? Denonstrably yes, and much worse.

Perhaps we have enough to be going along with here, but it will be interesting to see what response (if any) I get to this post. It is an honest question, and there are no ''barbs'' attached, so comments are welcome.

Two very different popes here. John XXIII is my favourite 20th century pope, if only because of the humility of his background, and person. Although I have to say what interests me most about this photo is Mgr Dante, Papal Master of Ceremonies from 1947 until I can't remember when (1965 I think) - didn't he see a great many changes!


  1. FWIW I have never read anything on your blog that would constitute either schism or heresy as I understand such to be defined by the Roman Church. On the other hand I have certainly read quite a few opinions that strike me as imprudent and problematic for a professed Catholic. What will you do when they canonize your bete noire? (You know it's coming... right?)

    In ICXC

  2. John, thanks for your comment.

    As for the bane of my life, I only hope that his canonization is held off, or even obstructed completely, by the secular controversy surrounding how much or how little he did for the Jews during the Second World War. I have to say that I lean more to his personal heroism on their behalf (he personally hid 3,000 Jews in the Apostolic Palace) than frothing at the mouth about his abominable silence and neutrality. What he did to the Sacred Liturgy in the '50s, though, is another matter.

    I marvel sometimes that Pius X was canonized, considering what he did to the Roman Breviary, although that happened 34 years before I was born and knew anything about the implications of liturgical reform by popes.

    But He alone judges hearts I suppose...

  3. The standard way the Roman Church deals with a 'problem' pope is to canonise them, that way, in theory at least, they become above criticism.

    If people accuse you of heresy Patricius then what about popes who kiss the Koran?

  4. I dunno, you sound pretty Orthodox (with a big O) to me.

  5. Bravo to all the above (Jon, Rubricarius and han). Keep on bloging!

  6. Sir, I experience much of the same criticism as you do and often get, "So, why don't you just become Orthodox?" Do you get that often? If so, would you ever consider blogging about it?

  7. Can you consider a Pope heretical and still be a Roman Catholic in good standing? In Orthodoxy any person who rejects conciliar decrees is considered a schismatic or heretic or both.

    If you think a Pope can be heretical then you must reject the Catholic interpretation of, "Thou art Peter..." If the Church is built on the successors of Peter then it fell away when Pius XII apostasized.

    “ We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable.
    So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema. (see Denziger §1839).

    — Vatican Council, Sess. IV , Const. de Ecclesiâ Christi, Chapter iv

  8. Mr. Lichens,

    I don't want to put words into Patricius' mouth, but if I had to guess why he doesn't just become Orthodox, I would guess that it is his love for the Latin tradition. If his complaints about the modern popes is that they have overstepped their authority by making themselves the rulers of the Roman Church rather than her chief stewards, there is nothing we can offer him. All we could do is make him exchange his own tradition for a foreign one.

  9. Oh look - John XXIII who promulgated the 1962 Missal...

    Yes he's a good egg too.

  10. Hestor,

    Please show how John XXIII 'promulgated' the 1962 MR. It doesn't appear in the AAS as far as I know and was 'promulgated' by a private decree of the SRC.

  11. Rubricarius - surely the SRC could not approve of anything without express permission of the Pope at that time, just like they could not have approved of the drastic Holy Week deforms of 1956?

  12. Hestor,

    The Holy Week reforms were approved by the Cardinals of the Court of Rome in conjunction with old Pius XII. The 1962MR was not, techically, ever an 'official' version of the Roman Mass rite unlike the 1920MR, 1965 Ritus or the Missal of Paul VI.

    Likewise the Holy Week deforms appear in AAS, unlike the 1962MR.