"Traditional" Heresies

Fr. Giles O.F.M.

"Traditional" heresies are those that are not new but have resurfaced especially today in the "Traditionalist" movement. These heresies, as so many others, generally start with disobedience. As it seems almost impossible to identify them all, I will give a general outline of different positions which are held, along with the names of the more "renowned" who hold to each position. As is often the case with heretics, it becomes increasingly difficult to place them into just one category. For to deny one teaching of the Catholic Church is to deny them all. And as of old the new heretics become schismatics and the schismatics become heretics. They appear as nothing more than two sides of the same coin. The first group to be mentioned are those who hold to the position of:

No Authority in the Church. The "Traditionalists" have often correctly seen and condemned the errors of the Modernists, but many fall into another trap of the devil. They see (correctly) that since the implementation of the false council of "Vatican II" the majority of the hierarchy has been corrupted and now are no longer Catholic, and therefore conclude at least in practice that they do not need the hierarchy and can guide themselves.

This thinking is very much along the same lines as many Protestants _ they can deal directly with God themselves and do not need the clergy. They therefore deny one of the four marks of the true Church - Apostolicity. Many of these individuals preach, print, and publish their own brands of fantasy religion - all without authorization from any bishop. Examples: The Matt brothers' "The Wanderer" and "The Remnant", a publication from Louisville KY called "Veritas", etc.

The Good Pope, bad Bishops and Priests. The next in line are those who say that most of the bishops and priests have fallen into error, but the pope is a good pope, and that he does not know what is going on, or is incapable of doing anything about it.

They claim that they are united with this man, but not united with those whom this man places or keeps in positions of authority. These would like to believe that the Church is Papal and not Apostolic.

The Church is not a monarchy, but is Apostolic and has bishops who are successors to the apostles with the right and obligation to rule their respective flocks in the name of God. The Church clearly teaches that the Bishop receives this power directly from the Holy Ghost at the time of his consecration.

If this man is a pope and has united with himself these "bishops" around the world, then we must obey these "bishops" because they are united with the "pope". If you deny these "bishops" then you must logically deny the "pope" who is the principle of unity for all these "bishops". Example: Almost all of those "conservatives" who remain in the Novus Ordo (New Order Church); or those "Traditionalists" who so eagerly jump from the frying pan into the fire, such as Una Voce.

Heretical Pope. There are those who will clearly see the problems with the thinking above but fall into another error. They will say that this man is the pope but, that he is a bad pope. They will openly claim that the pope is a heretic, but they still call him the pope. They would have a heretic, (an excommunicated person) who is outside the Church, to be the visible head and principle of unity for the Church of which he is not even a member!

The most common example of this strange thinking is the Lefebvrites and their so called "Society of St. Pius X", and their splinter groups. Mention also should be made of George De Nantes.

Some have even developed a fantastic "logic" which uses philosophical sounding terms to try to convince themselves and others that we have a "material" pope, but not a "formal" one. A first year philosophy student should be able to see that all matter must have a form. Matter cannot exist without a form. Therefore, logically a "material" (and non formal) pope is no pope at all. Among those who hold to this "material, non-formal Pope" are: des Lauriers, Robert McKenna, and others.

Sede Vacantists & [No authority left in the Church]. There are those who say that we do not have a pope - Sede Vacante (the See is Vacant) and therefore there is no authority left in the Church.

These basically hold a strange combination of the above paragraphs. They say the man presenting himself as the pope is a heretic and therefore is not a pope and all those "bishops" united to him are likewise outside the Church because they are in union with a heretic, and very often are clearly heretics themselves.

These individuals will recognize other bishops who have been validly consecrated as being the leaders of the Church, yet they say these leaders have no authority or jurisdiction because they did not receive a mandate from a pope or are not in union with a pope. They maintain that these few bishops may suggest or give advice but in no way can they teach or lead, because they have no jurisdiction and therefore no authority.

These poor misguided souls fail to see that if the bishop has no jurisdiction he cannot preach, hear confessions, marry, or confirm anyone. And therefore practically speaking he is no bishop at all. Among these can be counted many of the sect started by Schuckardt from Spokane, Washington known as The Congregation of Mary Queen of The Universe, Robert McKenna, and others.

The Mass is all that matters. This group will accept anything as long as they have their "Latin Mass". It is as if they have started a "Latin is Lovely Club".

These people do not care at all about the Laws of the Church or her doctrines, they are unconcerned about Apostolicity, jurisdiction, or authority, as long as they have their ceremonies. It makes no difference to them whether they go to the Novus Ordo (Modernist new order Church of Vatican II) "Indult Mass," an apostate, or heretical one, as long as it is done in Latin. This group has made it possible for many "independent" clergy to spring up.

Independent priests, chapels, etc. These deny the mark of unity of the Church and they also deny the Apostolicity of the Church. They present themselves as Catholics, but obey no one.

These are in essence schismatics, who must ultimately deny that the bishops of the Church have any authority over them and therefore are likewise heretics. Among these are: Rev James Wathen, Louisville KY, Pulvermacher, and others.

Self-made popes. There are several individuals who have correctly come to the conclusion that we are in a state of Sede Vacante (Vacant See - No Pope), and have sought by hook or crook to make themselves the next pope.

Perhaps the most recent is Father Pulvermacher, who got himself elected by laymen. He then made some "Cardinals" and "bishops". Then he had a "bishop" he himself made turn around and make himself (Pulvermacher) a "bishop". (It's circular logic. Don't try to understand it - you'll go crazy.) He clearly denies apostolic succession or re-creates his own.

There are also some who claim to be mystically elected like one who calls himself "Pope Gregory XIII" in Canada. There is a layman (David Baudin) who had his friends and family elect him pope. There is a large sect in Spain that ordained and consecrated many men and young boys who later elected him pope. And many others.

These poor souls and those who follow them came to the correct conclusion - there is no pope, but they allowed their pride and vanity to blind them to simple doctrine found in almost any Catechism. They tried so desperately to make a pope that they were in many cases blind to the fact that the pope must be a bishop and have valid and licit succession.

Pseudo clergy and religious. There are many who in this time of crisis present themselves as clergy when in fact their orders are invalid, or at best highly suspect.

The Church clearly teaches that if there is the slightest reasonable doubt about the validity of the ordination it must be repeated. These individuals are nothing more than laymen pretending to be priests, just like the Protestant Anglican Church's "clergy". The Church has clearly stated that Anglican orders are invalid; their "priests" and "bishops" are not what they pretend to be. We have this same thing in the Novus Ordo today and, sadly enough among many of the "traditionalists" also. The best known examples of this are: Lefebvre, and all those who trace their ordination to him, and Mr. Nicholas Gruner a.k.a. "Rev. Nicholas Gruner"

Likewise there are many who are trying to create their own religious communities or are trying to re-establish a religious order which has died out because of the Novus Ordo. These arrogant individuals are trying to usurp the authority of a Pope and/or bishops. To establish a new community requires the approval of a bishop for his diocese, or the approval of the pope for the world. Thus any "religious" community they attempt to establish is null and void, invalid and illicit. The same holds true for many individuals who without any valid and legitimate visible connection to a previously existing approved order, pretend to re-create that order themselves.

These are many:

The Society of St. Pius X

The Society of St. Pius V (Founder: Mr. Clarence Kelly a.k.a. "Bishop" Clarence Kelly)

The Monks of Sion (Rev. Nugent, Oregon)

The Benedictine Monks in Alabama

The Benedictine Monks of Berlin, NY (Founder: Joseph Natoli) Now located in Filmore,NY under a "Bro." Michael Dimond, OSB

The Congregation of Mary Queen of The Universe (Founder: Francis Schuckardt, Spokane, WA)

The Servants of Jesus and Mary (Constable NY, Founder, Mr. Nicholas Gruner a.k.a. "Rev. Nicholas Gruner")

Order of St. John (Rev James Wathen, Louisville KY)

Feeneyites (Boston Heresy). These deny the Church's teaching of Baptism of blood and of desire. They take to an illogical extreme the Church's teaching of no salvation outside the Church. They hold that God cannot use extra-ordinary means for the salvation of a soul. Their position is the diametrical opposite of the modernist ecumenical heresy that everyone is going to heaven. The Catholic Church clearly holds to a middle ground (virtue is in the middle); both extremes are condemned. Among those that hold to this extreme view are: Rev James Wathen, Bro. Michael Dimond, OSB, etc.

All those who wish to be Roman Catholics must watch with great care and avoid any religious association with these here mentioned or any like them who hold to these or similar "Traditonal" heresies. To support these individuals or sects is to participate in their errors, and at the very least makes one guilty of giving scandal. A person's very presence at the services of these heretics is in essence an acceptance or condoning of their errors.

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