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Archbishop Lefebvre with Pope Pius XII
A code is a collection of laws, each one being an order of the competent authority: each canon in the 1917 Code of Canon Law was a law of Benedict XV, and each canon in the 1983 Code of Canon Law (commonly called the "New Code") is a law of Pope John Paul II. For Pope John Paul II, the purpose of the 1983 Code of Canon Law is the expression of the Second Vatican Council’s new ecclesiology (i.e., the new understanding that the Church has of her nature and mission) in canonical language, and it must be understood always in the light of conciliar teaching (Sacra Disciplinae Leges, January 25, 1983). We must, therefore, suspect the new legislation of codifying the same errors and so be ready not to accept all its “laws,” but only those which do not evidently compromise Catholic teaching on faith or morals. For the most part, we may regret the loss of clarity, precision and integrity the 1917 Code of Canon Law had, but that is insufficient reason to reject these canons. There a few novelties that must be rejected: Canon 844, §4 allows the administration of penance, anointing of the sick, and even holy communion to non-Catholics who manifest “Catholic faith” in these sacraments.This used to be considered a mortal sin and was gravely forbidden (1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 731, §21) because it implicitly denies the dogma, “Outside the Church, no salvation” Canon 1055, §1 no longer defines marriage by its primary end, the procreation of children, but mentions this only after a secondary end, the good of the spouses. And this latter, as we can see in the light of annulments now given, has become the essence of marriage: the partners give each other their whole selves (and not just “the exclusive and perpetual right over the body of the partner as regards the acts capable in themselves of generating offspring,” 1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 1081, §2) for their self-fulfillment in wedlock (canon 1057, §2). There is considered to be no marriage where one spouse cannot provide the other this help (canon 1095, 20 and 30, canon 1098, etc., cf. canon 1063, 40). Whence today’s annulments’ fiasco: in the United States, for example, there were 338 annulments granted in 1968; there were 59,030 in 1992.
Canon 336 codifies the collegiality of Vatican II. The “college of bishops,” a 20th century invention, is now made a permanent subject, together with the pope, of supreme and full power over the Universal Church. A bishop, moreover, participates in this universal jurisdiction by the mere fact of his consecration (cf. canon 375, §2).* *This becomes all the more disconcerting when one considers the recognition now given by the Vatican to the Orthodox bishops. Cf., Pope Paul VI: It is on the heads of the Churches, of their hierarchy, that the obligation rests to guide the Churches along the way that leads to full communion again. They ought to do this by recognizing and respecting each other as pastors of the flock of Christ entrusted to them... Quoted at Balamand, by the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, Final Statement §18 cf., §14; Ut Unum Sint §§50-63 These are but the most grave deficiencies; other defective points include the following:
mixed marriages (canons 1125, 1127), diminution in censures (excommunication of freemasons, etc.), the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas is no longer strictly enjoined in seminaries (canons 251ff), and general absolutions are more readily available (canons 961-963, etc.).
In passing, it is interesting to note that for Pope John Paul II the 1983 Code of Canon Law had less weight than a conciliar constitution.
some texts as guiding principles in today's crisis
These quotes and texts are used in conjunction with the SSPX FAQs section 1. The Catholic Church is divine Moreover, in order that we may perform satisfactorily the duty of embracing the true faith and of continuously persevering in it, God, through His only-begotten Son, has instituted the Church and provided it with clear signs of His institution, so that it can be recognized by all as the guardian and teacher of the revealed word. (Vatican I, Dz 1793). 2. The Catholic Church is the unique Ark of Salvation The Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within Her, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics, cannot become participants in eternal life but will depart 'into everlasting fire which was prepared for
the devil and his angels' (Mt. 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock... (Council of Florence, Dz 714).
3. The Catholic Church is visible and indefectible Moreover, what the Chief of pastors and the Great Pastor of sheep, the Lord Jesus, established in the blessed Apostle Peter for the perpetual salvation and perennial good of the Church, this by the same Author must endure always in the Church which was founded upon a rock and will endure firm until the end of the ages. (Vatican I, Dz 1824 [cf. Dz 1793 above]). The one Church of Christ is visible to all and will remain, according to the Will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. (Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, §15). 4. The Church is founded upon Peter and his successors forever If anyone then says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church...let him be anathema.... If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world...let him be anathema. (Vatican I, Dz 1825, 1831). But it is opposed to the truth and in evident contradiction with the divine constitution of the Church to hold that, while each bishop is individually bound to obey the authority of the Roman Pontiffs, taken collectively the bishops are not so bound. (Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum). 5. The pope has power only "unto edification and not unto destruction" (II Cor 13:10) of Christ's Church For, the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth. (Vatican I, Dz 1836). And for these sacraments instituted by Christ the Lord, in the course of the ages the Church has not and could not substitute other sacraments, since, as the Council of Trent teaches, the seven sacraments of the New Law have all been instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord and the Church has no power over the “substance of the sacraments,” that is, over those things which, with the sources of divine revelation as witnesses, Christ the Lord Himself decreed to be preserved in a sacramental sign... (Pius XII, Sacramentum Ordinis, Dz 2301). It is well known unto all men...with what great care and pastoral vigilance our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs have discharged the office entrusted by Christ Our Lord to them in the person of the most blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, have unremittingly discharged the duty of feeding the lambs and the sheep, and have diligently nourished the Lord’s entire flock with the words of faith, imbued it with
salutary doctrine, and guarded it from poisoned pastures. And those our predecessors, who were the assertors and champions of the august Catholic religion, of truth and justice, being as they were chiefly solicitous for the salvation of souls, held nothing to be of so great importance as the duty of exposing and condemning, in their most wise Letters and Constitutions, all heresies and errors which are hostile to moral honesty and to the eternal salvation of mankind... (Pius IX, Quanta Cura §1). 6. Church teaching cannot change Revelation, constituting the object of Catholic faith, was not completed with the apostles (Condemned by St. Pius X, Lamentabili, Dz 2021). Further, by divine and Catholic faith, all those things must be believed which are contained in the written word of God and in Tradition, and which are proposed by the Church, either in a solemn pronouncement or in her ordinary and universal teaching power, to be believed as divinely revealed.... Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding... definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable (Vatican I, Dz 1792; 1800; 1839). 7. Protestants and other non-Catholics do not have the Faith Now it is manifest that he who adheres to the teaching of the Church, as to an infallible rule, assents to whatever the Church teaches; otherwise, if, of the things taught by the Church, he holds what he chooses to hold, and rejects what he chooses to reject, he no longer adheres to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will... Therefore it is clear that such a heretic with regard to one article has no faith in the other articles, but only a kind of opinion in accordance with his own will (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II II, Q.5, A.3). 8. Human law is ordained to divine law Likewise the liberty of those who are in authority does not consist in the power to lay unreasonable and capricious commands upon their subjects... but the binding force of human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law (Leo XIII, Libertas §10). 9. Bad laws are not laws If, then, by any one in authority, something be sanctioned out of conformity with the principles of right reason, and consequently hurtful to the commonwealth, such an enactment can have no binding force of law, as being no rule of justice, but certain to lead men away from that good which is the very end of civil society.... But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to God (Leo XIII, Libertas §10, 13).
10. In certain circumstances ecclesiastical laws do not oblige a) When doubful: “When there is a doubt of law, laws do not bind even if they be nullifying and disqualifying ones...” (1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 15; 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 14). b) When retroactive: “A law comes into existence when it is promulgated.” (1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 8, §1 [cf., canon 17, §2]; 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 7, [cf. canon 16, §2]). c) When they cannot be observed (physically or morally): “No positive law obliges where there is grave inconvenience” is a principle of moral theology (cf. 1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 2205, §2; 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 1323, 40). There certainly is such a grave inconvenience when observance would be detrimental to souls, for “the salvation of souls must always be the supreme law of the Church” (1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 1752).
CANON LAW CONFUSION
New Code Must Be Changed! (In over 50 ways!) Canon : # 1. 6 § 1 ° The old code of 1917 is entirely abrogated. No more distinctions as in the old code canon 6. Only with this canon in 1983 is abolished the excommunication ipso facto St Pius X imposed on all who contradict any of his teachings against Modernism in "Lamentabili" & "Pascendi" of 1907 (cf. Denz 2114). 11 Now only Catholics are considered bound to Church law. The old code includes all baptised reasonable adults, while allowing exceptions (12, 87, 1099, 1070). In the same way Papal writings would use the word Christian as a synonym for Catholic. This is an ecumenical canon, denying implicitly the full authority of Christ's One True Church. Diocesan bishops can now dispense anyone from universal
87 § 1
disciplinary laws made by the supreme ecclesiastical authority. This canon favours collegiality, allowing every modernist bishop to undermine the laws of the Church. 4. 129 § 2 Lay people, even women, can co-operate in the exercise of Church government. They always did help the clergy as advisers etc, in an unofficial capacity. This code gives lay folk a right to full paid wages as church leaders, thus weakening the structure given by Christ, and resulting in "nuns" overruling parishes. 204 § 1 All lay people are told to exercise priestly teaching and ruling offices in the Church; with no mention of the essential difference of their role to that of the ordained clergy. Indeed the chapter on "Christ's Faithful" now comes before that of clerics (#232 ff). §2 The Church is defined as a society, dropping the adjective "perfect". It retains the word "subsists" to broaden ecumenical horizons, implicitly renouncing exclusive claim to being Christ's one true Church. All groups in the Church (lay, clerical, religious) have "genuine equality of dignity and action" as if the state of virginity and the role of priests were equal to the married or lay state. This was condemned forcefully by numerous Popes, including Pius XII in 1949. Lay people are now given places in the hierarchy which belong
228 § 1
230 § 1
Lay ministries replace minor orders - harmful to vocations &
further dissolves the distinction between clergy and laity
Women can now read in Church, contrary to Holy Scripture (I Cor
14:34); even act as commentator or cantor, thus disrupting sacred services, and distracting men who try to concentrate on God.
§3 Women can give Holy Communion and baptism, contrary to all tradition. 9. 231 § 2 Lay man and women have a right to permanent special ministries with the right to payment for assisting at clerical functions. This is also harmful to vocations, and to respect for sacraments.
10. 239 § 3 Seminary students now share in the rector's responsibility, especially in discipline. How very democratic, after all, we are all EQUAL.
Philosophy courses at seminaries must take into account historical investigations which are not perennially valid. This canon results in a smorgasbord approach to study, where truth and error are equally presented without any suitable explanation of why deviations from Thomism are wrong. Collegiality canon says the Pope and bishops are one. It is used to restrict the Pope's power of acting aside from the approval of the "college" of bishops, introducing a kind of democracy into the Church hierarchy. Supports above canon implying authority is no longer personal. Cardinals are asked to resign at seventy-five years of age, to weed out all the traditional ones. What other motivation could there be since retirement is unheard of before Vatican II except for sickness or gross incompetence. Episcopal conferences are now a permanent institution, further dissolving the power of the individual and his responsibility. These conferences often infringe the rights of a bishop to control his own diocese.
13. 336 14. 354
16. 665 § 2 No more punishment for apostates from religious life. Formerly they were excommunicated. 17. 752 Now is required an assent of faith to the college of bishops as well as the Pope, exercising their own authentic magisterium. This canon reinforces the error of two supreme powers in the Church, and tends to subjectivise (or relativise) tradition - their not the authentic magisterium. Hence we get the false concept of "Living Tradition" which conflicts, or evolves by substantial mutation with past papal teaching (Ecclesia Dei).
18. 755 § 1 The Church is said to be bound to promote the ecumenical movement, which the Catholic Church has already condemned (Mortalium Animos...) 19. 759 Lay women can now "exercise the ministry of the word" contrary to scripture and tradition. 20. 766 They may also preach in Church, further conducing to disorder and disturbance of faith. 21. 787 § 1 Missionaries must now establish "sincere dialogue" with unbelievers, which tends to put them on the same level. 22. 825 § 2 "Catholic members of Christ's faithful" implies non-Catholics are also members of Christ! Heretics may now join with Catholics in publishing the sacred scripture.
23. 827 § 3
Now the bishops approbation is not necessary for religious or moral writings with the exception of school text books. Censorship was and should be enforced.
24. 835 § 4
Lay folk have a share in the sanctifying office of the Church. This canon should emphasize the essentially passive role, only limited active role of such an office.
Sounds very protestant : "Common priesthood" and "sacred ministries" shows no essential difference between clergy and laity. Bishop's conferences can allow liturgical adaptations. This was more encouraged by Rome in January 1994, including Liturgical rhythmic dancing.
26. 838 § 3
27. 844 § 2 For "genuine spiritual advantages" Catholics may now receive absolution, Holy Communion and Extreme Unction from heretical or schismatic churches. §3 Catholics priests may now give these sacraments to non-Catholics of the Eastern Churches §4 Also they may be given to any kind of Protestant who asks for them, if they show Catholic faith as to the particular sacrament, yet remaining heretics. With this canon, one wonders how the scandal of indifferentism can be avoided. Now any kind of plant oil, even peanut oil, may be used for the sacraments, when only olive oil was previously considered suitable for validity. Deacon is now considered an ordinary minister of Holy
28. 847 § 1
29. 910 § 1 §2
Communion, contrary to tradition. Lay women can be appointed "minister" of Holy Communion.
30. 917 Now one can receive Holy Communion more than once a day, reinforcing the "meal mentality". 31. 933 Now Mass can be offered in a Protestant or a Jewish temple.
32. 943 Any lay women can now be minister of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. 33. 1009 § 1 Abolished are the minor orders and subdiaconate. The seven orders are of apostolic antiquity (Trent session XXIII ch 2 Denz.
958) and should not be despised. 34. 1031 § 2 Permanent diaconate established for married men. This detracts from the dignity due to such high functions, exposes faithful to less suitably prepared ministers, and withdraws potential priestly vocations. 35. 1055 § 1 The purposes of marriage are distorted by presenting the secondary end as primary. The "wellbeing of the spouses" can mean their personal comfort over the duty of raising children. This canon is used by those who support contraception, and allow easy annulment, or “Catholic Divorce”. 36. 1095 § Never before have purely internal criteria sufficed for invalidating a marriage. The "causes of a psychological nature" are not defined.
37. 1125 § 1 A Catholic partner in a mixed marriage now makes no written promise, but only a verbal promise to try raising the children Catholic. §2 The non-Catholic partner need not promise anything, thus the faith of the children and the peace and stability of the family is endangered.
38. 1127 § 1 Non-Catholic Eastern Rites now suffice for a valid Catholic wedding. §2 Any public rite can be valid, if the local bishop dispenses the canonical form. This canon was used to justify marriage of a Catholic to a Jew before the Rabbi. No longer is the prescribed form required for
39. 1167 § 2
validity of Sacramentals. 40. 1168 Lay people can now administer Sacramentals. Why
bother being a priest? 41. 1176 § 3 Cremation now generally allowed. This lessens reverence to
the temple of the Holy Ghost. 42. 1183 burials. 43. 1194 No more can a superior or parent annul vows made by subjects. This is an implicit denial of the dominative power in God's order. False equality
Non-baptised and non-Catholics can be given Catholic
implied. 44. 1246 § 2 Bishops can now suppress holy days of obligation, or transfer them to Sunday, thus aiding the secularisation of society. 45. 1247 No more specifies what kind of work is forbidden on Sundays, viz: servile, judicial, monetary. 46. 1248 Violation of all tradition, by allowing Mass of obligation to be attended on the evening before. This canon encourages non-observance of Sunday as a religious day; no wonder family life is ruined by shops open seven days a week, and God is not worshipped as He should be. 47. 1251 Abstinence and fasting can be reduced to two days in the year, against all tradition and necessity for common prescribed penance. 48. 1374 No more excommunication for a Catholic who joins the Masons who plot against the Church. Indeed penalties are now reduced drastically from 101 specific offences down to 36. The 1917 code had 37 ways to incur automatic excommunication, the new code has only 7. This is an abdication of authority. 49. 1382 Exaggerates the gravity of consecrating a bishop without a pontifical mandate. Pius XII made it a serious offence for particular urgent reasons in the matter of communist China (1917 code suspension only). 50. 1397 No more distinction between cleric and lay persons in penalties for offences against personal rights. 51. 1421 § 2 Lay women could now be appointed judge in a Church hearing.
52. 1682 § 2 The appeal tribunal can immediately ratify a marriage nullity decision in the first instance. This makes it easier for destroying true marriages by mistake. *Other serious omissions : No more penalties for : bigamy, giving sacraments to public sinners, failure to denounce one who solicits to sin, (thus encouraging child abuse), despising rubrics, not wearing clerical dress, etc, etc... Thus we see the fruits of Vatican II in the new law, deviating Catholics from the path to Heaven and scandalizing those who would join her. Let us pray that the Pope will courageously make all the necessary changes, both to the doctrine, and to the worship, and to the law - soon!
Words of the late great Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre: … http://sspx.org/en/lefevbvres-long-island-conference Nov 5 1983 But we are still running up against the same problems. In the latest letter which I received from Rome, the Pope continues to regret that I am unwilling to accept all the acts of the Council, that I am unwilling to accept the liturgical reforms in the Holy Church. But there is no way round these. And in fact, there is even an additional obstacle, which is the new Code of Canon Law, which has been made in the same spirit I've just been speaking to you about, the spirit of the Council, a bad spirit. Hence, obviously, I run into great difficulties. But since they are willing to sit down and discuss, who knows? Almighty God is allpowerful — and so, I say to myself, if the Good Lord wishes to make them understand, wishes one day to give them a particular enlightenment, perhaps one day we shall manage to make them accept a correction of the Council, to come back to Tradition in the liturgy and to come back to Tradition in the Church. Well, I am well aware that it is very difficult, because I have now been going for six or seven years to Rome in order to achieve this purpose and we are still at the same point we started. Hence, when they say I am seeking a compromise with Rome, there is no question for me of compromising over anything whatsoever with Rome — I am simply asking for the return to Tradition, which is the only way for the Church to truly recover her perfection and her sanctity, as before. Ongoing struggle with Rome There is the situation such as it is at present, and I must admit that, for the moment, I see no great hope. The only little success which might be on the way is this famous decree still in suspense, still being put off, a decree to enable all priests to say the old Mass, to leave them freedom and no longer to persecute them. Now, this decree was due to appear, but for three years they have been talking about it and for three years it has still not been published. For, you must realize that, at present, the situation at Rome is very difficult. Modernism is still all-powerful at Rome. The Modernist and progressive Cardinals are in the majority; thus, even if there are one or two cardinals who are more or less traditionalists and who have at least a desire to come back to Tradition, well, they are immediately stopped by five or six cardinals who have all power and who put pressure on the Holy Father to stop any return to Tradition. It is they who are preventing this decree from appearing. They say to the Pope, "If you make this decree appear, if you liberate the old Mass, the traditional Mass, then everything that we have done since the Council is over and done with." There is a true struggle going on in Rome between the few traditionalist Cardinals — Cardinal Oddi, Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal Pallazini, on one side, and all the progressive cardinals on the other: Cardinal Casaroli, Cardinal Pironio, Cardinal Baggio; and all those who are in the Congregations of Worship: Cardinal Casoria with Mgr. Virgilio Noe; and then in the Congregation of Faith, Mgr. Hamer, a Dominican, all these are Modernists and each time that they go to see the Pope they say, "Above all, no turning back, no return to Tradition, out of the question!" Now the Pope is not strong-willed. He seems a strong man, but he is not a strong man, he is weak. I saw that myself in the audience I had with him. He was ready to sign a paper giving me freedom, saying that I and the Priestly Society could celebrate the Tridentine Mass, "Oh, that's not important, you prefer that Mass, oh, if you like, that is not important. It's a disciplinary question." And then, he summoned Cardinal Seper to say that he would be the intermediary between the Pope and myself, and when he told Cardinal Seper, " After all, there aren't really many difficulties in the case of Mgr. Lefebvre. We could grant him the right to celebrate the Tridentine Mass with the Society." "Oh, no!" cried out Cardinal
Seper, "Oh, no, Holy Father! They are making this Mass into a battle flag! We cannot accept!" And then the Holy Father was like a naughty child caught in the act, he seemed to be afraid, and he said, "All right, all right. Listen, you talk with Monseigneur, I have a great deal of work. Cardinal Baggio is waiting for me. He has a great deal of work ." And then the Holy Father left. That is not behaving like a true Pope! A Pope who knows what he is doing should have said to Cardinal Seper, "Listen, I am the head, I know what I am doing, and if I wish to sign such a document for Mgr. Lefebvre, I am quite free to do so! " Here is why I have always thought that I had to go to Rome, that I had to write, that I had to visit these cardinals in order that they should not say that we are doing nothing or that we no longer recognize them or that we wish to have no contact with them. They cannot say that I have not done everything in my power to try to stay in contact with them. Rome must continue to consider Tradition However, I think what counts much more are the facts, than the words or writings, even for Rome. What are the facts which count for us? The seminaries! To make priests! To make traditional priests, priests according to Tradition, to make good and holy priests in our seminaries. That is the work we must carry on with and the work which counts in Rome. Why does Rome still go on receiving me? Why do they still consider me with a certain respect? Because they know that I have seminaries, that I have now ordained nearly 200 priests since 1970 and that I have 250 seminarians in my seminaries. They know that very well and that's what counts at Rome. They no longer have any seminaries. Their seminaries are empty or they are Modernist seminaries. Now they know that at Econe, at Ridgefield, at Zaitzkofen, and at Buenos Aires, we are forming true priests. They know that very well and they admire our young priests. So, that is what makes even more of an impression on them than my words, writings or meetings. They are well aware that this year I ordained thirty priests. So that's what I think it is. And they are perfectly well aware that our priests are spread throughout the world. They know of the existence of our traditional groups throughout the world, and a little everywhere in the world. We are striving to extend. They know we have many priories in Europe, in all the European countries. They know, moreover, that there are other traditional priests, that we are not alone, that we support other traditional priests in their work. So all of that scares them a little. They are forced to reckon with us. And that is how I think we will succeed one day in convincing Rome that they must return to Tradition. They will say, we can no longer ignore these seminaries, these priests, not only the priests of the Society, but all traditionalist priests as well. We can no longer ignore them. That is the task before us, and I have never changed!
Archbishop Lefebvre with St Padre Pio
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