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 "Ultima Ratio" vs Fr. Cekada et al. 
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New post "Ultima Ratio" vs Fr. Cekada et al.
This post, written by an intelligent but misguided chap under the name "Ultima Ratio," is taken from Angelqueen, where "sedevacantism" may be attacked, mis-characterised, and even defended - by anybody except someone who knows what it is. It's a pretty funny situation, actually.

___________________________________________________________

Pete Vere wrote:
Yet the third response differed. This rebuttal came Fr. Anthony Cekada who is respected by even many non-sedevacantists for his sharp intellect and his bright sense of humor. The sedevacantist theologian systematically tore into Ferrara, as can be seen in the his opening paragraphs as follows:

“Mr. Ferrara advocates essentially the same position as the Society of St. Pius X, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, and countless others: You claim to ‘recognize’ Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI as true popes. At the same time YOU decide which papal teachings, laws, sacramental rites, or commands are good, and which you’ll reject, resist or publicly denounce.

“Under this system, a pope no longer possesses the supreme authority to ‘bind and loose’ on earth. A New Jersey lawyer, the Superior General of SSPX, the CEO of the Fatima Industry, the editor of Catholic Family News, or, generally, any traditional Catholic whatsoever, does the final review for him.

“The New Mass? A sacrilege, intrinsically evil, or the pope didn’t promulgate it correctly anyway. Ecumenism? No thanks, the pope’s wrong. Consecration of Russia to Immaculate Heart? The pope didn’t do it right. Excommunicated or suspended? Invalid, no matter what the pope and his curia say. Consecrate bishops against the pope’s explicit will? Necessity lets me do it. And so on.

“Who needs to visit the Throne of Peter? You give the final thumbs-up or -down from your easy chair.

“The pope speaks. You decide…

“This system makes a mockery of the Catholic teaching that the pope possesses not only a ‘Primacy of honor’ (framed photos in the vestibules of wildcat traditionalist chapels, say) but also ‘supreme and full power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, both in matters of faith and morals, as well as in those things that pertain to the discipline and rule of the Church spread throughout the world,’ a power that is ‘ordinary and immediate over each and every church, as well as over each and every pastor and member of the faithful, independent of any human authority.’ (Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution De Ecclesia Christi, DZ 1827; Canon 218.)

“Mr. Ferrara wrote a book on the post-Vatican II mess entitled The Great Façade. No wonder. Mr. Ferrara’s system gives you a cardboard pope — ‘for display purposes only.’”

After responding to several arguments proposed by Ferrara, the sedevacantist priest concluded that Ferrara was “a windbag”. As of this writing, Ferrara has yet to publicly respond in writing. Nevertheless, Ferrara subsequently delivered a talk on sedevacantism at a SSPX parish in Cincinnati. Cekada happened to be in the audience and the two verbally sparred during the question-and-answer segment that followed Ferrara’s talk.


Fr. Cekada's argument is weak indeed. This is because popes certainly are limited, if not from below, then from above. The First Vatican Council made it clear that popes don't have divine protection when disclosing new doctrines, but only when transmitting the deposit of faith and faithfully setting it forth. The pope, therefore, is not master of Tradition--he is its servant. He must guard Tradition, not invent it, nor set it forth in ways that are not faithful to the truth he has received. Here is Vatican I on the nature of his infallibility--clearly setting limits on the papacy:

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 the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith and might faithfully set it forth.

What could be clearer than this? Novel doctrines are not protected, but only those truths that come down to the pontiff in Sacred Tradition. He is therefore bound by that Tradition, not the other way around. Here is Cardinal Ratzinger clarifying this point and extending the principle even to the imposition of a liturgy:

In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the Pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The Pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not "manufactured" by the authorities. Even the Pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity.[Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, pp. 165-166.]

Elsewhere in the same text Cardinal Ratzinger states that the Pope's authority "is not unlimited. it is at the service of Sacred Tradition." [Ibid.]

So I fail to see the legitimacy of Fr. Cekada's argument nor why he should have trashed Ferrara. You cite Ferrara's reference to the First Vatican Council regarding the Council inability to bind Catholics to anything new--but it is equally applicable--in fact, more so--regarding any Pontiff. It is the quasi-divine status some Catholics give to popes that makes the traditionalists' view so unacceptable--and yet theirs is the solidly Catholic view affirmed by an important--and relatively recent--dogmatic council.


Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:28 pm
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And this one is from the same thread, referring to a Mr. Vincent Lewis, who passes himself off as a Catholic apologist.

Pete Vere wrote:
Vin had not been following the debate between Ferrara and Cekada when I interviewed him. Nevertheless, he expressed disappointment in an earlier debate that had pitted him against two well-known sedevacantist apologists. “I spent half an hour trying to get them to answer a single question,” Vin stated. “If the pope loses the papacy because of heresy, does he resume the papacy if he makes a good confession?” Vin then asked a similar question about a heretical pope-elect: “Does he suddenly ascend to the papacy upon making a good confession?”

While Vin’s question initially struck me as overly simplistic, its true genius became apparent as we continued our discussion. Only God can read the heart of the penitent. Moreover, the seal of confession is inviolable – even when the penitent is a papal claimant. Thus how does one know that a heretical pope has not been reconciled to the Church through a good confession?

Additionally, the Church has traditionally selected a pope by one of three methods: by ballot, by compromise or by acclamation. While several centuries have passed since the Church selected a Roman Pontiff by one of the latter two methods, they remain legitimate means of papal selection. If a pope loses the papacy because of heresy, or if a pope-elect is prevented from assuming the papacy because of heresy, is he acclaimed pope after making a good confession if the College of Cardinals, the College of Bishops and the vast majority of the faithful continue to recognize him as pope?

“Sedevacantists forget that Catholicism, unlike Protestantism, is a realizable religion,” Vin explained. “Catholicism is a tangible religion. The sacraments are visible symbols of God’s grace. The Eucharist is Christ’s REAL presence. St. Peter and his successors are the visible head of Christ’s Church. Christ would not leave us orphans. If the Pope is no longer the Pope, the majority of Catholics must realize it.”


The "two well-known sedevacantist apologists" Mr. Lewis referred to in discussion with Mr. Vere would be John Daly and me. You can read a reference to that debate on the front page of http://www.strobertbellarmine.net - including this comment: "This debate was also audio-recorded, and the master tapes are in the possession of Mr. Lewis, who has undertaken to provide a copy for Mr. Daly and Mr. Lane."

That statement was published in 2002, around four years ago. The tape never appeared, as we expected it wouldn't, of course. It is amusing to see Mr. Vere thus blow Mr. Lewis's cover here. I doubt Mr. Lewis publicly boasts that he won a debate that in fact he spectacularly lost. I'm sure he only mentions it in private, as a rule. For if he was confident at all he would provide the tapes as he promised.

As for his question, we did answer it but he didn't like the answer, because it disrupted his pre-determined "winning argument." The answer is that the Church is a visible society governed by visible facts, not secret ones, so that St. Robert Bellarmine and almost all other commentators explain that only "manifest" heresy leads to a loss of office (the Code of Canon Law stipulates "public" defection from the Faith). Likewise, only a public abduration would suffice to remove the public obstacle thus placed to communion with the Church. Which of course is provided for in the Code, as one would expect. And of course nobody commenting on this from the other side has bothered to check any of this, which is also not surprising.

I am (mildly) surprised that Mr. Vere buys this nonsensical objection by Mr. Lewis, however. Despite only being trained in the New Code (1983, that is), one would think that he would be aware of the distinction between the internal forum (the confessional) and the external forum (everywhere else, effectively). He is welcome to sign up and comment if he chooses.

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Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:52 pm
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Below is part of a recent exchange at TrueRestoration.com. It was agreed by some very intelligent individuals that this was a valid argument and they did in fact agree with it...with all the information out there on the sedevacantist position it is hard to see why this would not be dismissed as almost entirely inaccurate.

Quote:
Unlike Jeff, I believe that the SSPX position is the most sensible in the current crisis. The Neo-Conservatives and Sedevacantists and really two different sides of the same coin. The employ similar premises, but reach different conclusions because those premises are false.

The Neo-Conservative argument:
1) The pope (in any particular time) is infallible in everything he says and does.
2) The post-conciliar popes have deviated from Catholic Tradition in many respects.
3) Therefore, we must follow the post-conciliar popes.

The Sedevacantist argument:
1) The pope (throughout history) is infallible in everything he says and does.
2) The post-conciliar popes have deviated from Catholic Tradition in many respects.
3) Therefore, the post-conciliar "popes" are not really popes.

On the other hand, the SSPX argument:
1) The pope is only infallible in strictly defined limits.
2) The post-conciliar popes have deviated from Catholic Tradition in many respects.
3) Therefore, we must only follow the post-conciliar popes when their actions are consonant with Catholic Tradition.

There is a true difference between the SSPX position and the other two. You can acknowledge the authority of the pope without making him out to be a god.


Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:53 pm
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Pax Christi !



Wonderful clarity John ! I was also one that endeavored to see the transcript of your debate with Vin Lewis, and I called him with this request and offered to cover his costs. I was surpised he answered the phone :) He did commit to sending a transcript . But nothing ever showed up at my door. I emailed him 3 months later, he stated something he had not stated in our earlier conversation - he stated the tapes were garbled.

I found that odd, since I made my inquiries a full 2 years after your debate, surly if that was the case he would have known immediately on that summer of 2002. Any way, after he announced the tapes were unusable, he then asserted he cleaned the floor with you and Mr. Daly. You know what my reply must have been <grin>

Regarding Peter Vere, from the email exchange I had recently with him, he holds that non-sede feeneyites are in complete Union with Rome. Why I asked? His reply- because they recognized all the popes since Vatican 2, and are recognized by the local bishops in diocese they live, he has no problem with their " view" of Baptism and EENS it is what he called a " valid option" to hold..... Such is the state of Novus Ordo Apologiests.. Everything is ok, just do not become a sede> :)

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Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:47 am
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And another vignette from "Ultima ratio" - this time arguing with a chap named "schoolman" who is a neo-cath.

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:52 pm Post subject:

Ultima ratio wrote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

schoolman wrote:

The distinction you try to make by opposing the visible juridical hierarchy (i.e., Pope and Bishops in union with him) and the "Church" is a pure fiction. This notion was condemned by Pius XII. (Mystici Corporis, #65)

You are confusing the personal sins of members of the heirarchy (that Christ allows to test our virtue) for the visible heirarchy itself that maintains spotless the Sacraments, the doctrine of Faith, and her discipline. (Mystici Corporis, #66)


The fictional invention is yours. You wholly distort the meaning of Mystici Corporis Christi which states just the opposite of what you actually contend. You implied by your question that the hierarchy can't depart from tradition without compromising the indefectibility of the Church. Here is what paragraph #66 of Mytici Corporis states however:

66. And if at times there appears in the Church something that indicates the weakness of our human nature, it should not be attributed to her juridical constitution, but rather to that regrettable inclination to evil found in each individual, which its Divine Founder permits even at times in the most exalted members of His Mystical Body, for the purpose of testing the virtue of the Shepherds no less than of the flocks, and that all may increase the merit of their Christian faith. For, as We said above, Christ did not wish to exclude sinners from His Church; hence if some of her members are suffering from spiritual maladies, that is no reason why we should lessen our love for the Church, but rather a reason why we should increase our devotion to her members. Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary grace through which with inexhaustible fecundity,[130] she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors. But it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall, weak or wounded. In their name she prays to God daily: "Forgive us our trespasses;" and with the brave heart of a mother she applies herself at once to the work of nursing them back to spiritual health. When, therefore, we call the Body of Jesus Christ "mystical," the very meaning of the word conveys a solemn warning. It is a warning that echoes in these words of St. Leo: "Recognize, O Christian, your dignity, and being made a sharer of the divine nature go not back to your former worthlessness along the way of unseemly conduct. Keep in mind of what Head and of what Body you are a member."

What you've done obviously is precisely what the encyclical warns against--you confuse the shepherds who are prone to all the evil weaknesses of human nature with the Church itself. The encylical clearly states that when the shepherds of the flock fail, this does not mean the Mystical Body itself has failed. You are therefore the one who is illogical and confused, not I. Your original contention, remember, implied that Benedict and the Church were one and the same, that to say one departs from Tradition is somehow to compromise the indefectibility of the other. Here is what you stated:

schoolman wrote:
So, according to this theory, Benedict XVI is the head of "neo-modernist Rome" that has departed from the Tradition of the Church.

Now this raises a few basic questions:

1) Can the one true Church really lose her Tradition?


You therefore begin with the issue of whether or not Benedict XVI has departed from the Tradition of the Church and you end with a question about whether the "one true Church" can lose her tradition. That is to say, you start with the pope and end with the Mystical Body of Christ--exactly in the way the encyclical warned against. In other words, you confuse the two in your head--making the Pope the Mystical Body itself, asking whether the latter can ever lose Tradition--as though it were the former. And this, despite Gospel evidence that Peter himself failed Christ not once but three times.

My view was clear as day and in total agreement with the encyclical. The Pope is NOT the Church. If he departs from Tradition, then he should be resisted--in exactly the way the SSPX is doing. That this has happened before in history there can be no doubt--you need only to look to the time of the Arian crisis in the fourth century when the entire hierarchy defected from the faith except for a remnant few, mostly laity. But you did what most neo-Catholics do--you confuse the Pope with the Church, equating the papal office, which is prone to sin and error, with the Mystical Body of Christ, which is indefectible.


It is "Ultima ratio" who is confused, apparently due to a lack of knowledge of the relevant theology. I'll answer his arguments later.

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Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:27 am
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It is actually sad to watch a traditional Catholic, particularly one evidently intelligent and of good will such as "Ultima ratio" is, attempt to overturn all of tradition on one point in order to defend tradition on another. We cannot accept V2 or any of its works and pomps. It is the overthrow of all true religion, nay, even of reason itself. The fruits of it bear this out, and render impotent any argument to the contrary. In this much "Ultima ratio" and all sedeplenist traditional Catholics are in perfect unity with us. However, the futile adherence to Benedict XVI as pope endangers the Faith indirectly, and opens up a path of attack to the Novus Ordo defenders.

Ultima ratio wrote:
schoolman wrote:

The distinction you try to make by opposing the visible juridical hierarchy (i.e., Pope and Bishops in union with him) and the "Church" is a pure fiction. This notion was condemned by Pius XII. (Mystici Corporis, #65)

You are confusing the personal sins of members of the heirarchy (that Christ allows to test our virtue) for the visible heirarchy itself that maintains spotless the Sacraments, the doctrine of Faith, and her discipline. (Mystici Corporis, #66)


"Schoolman" is of course entirely correct, and the proof is to be seen not only in the paragraph quoted below, which plainly teaches what he says, and contradicts "Ultima ratio's" novelty, but also in the theology manuals, from which Pius XII learned his theology in the seminary, and from which Fr. Sebastian Tromp (himself the author of theology manuals) drew his doctrine in preparing the encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi - for it was Fr. Tromp who reputedly actually wrote most of that encyclical.

Ultima ratio wrote:
The fictional invention is yours. You wholly distort the meaning of Mystici Corporis Christi which states just the opposite of what you actually contend. You implied by your question that the hierarchy can't depart from tradition without compromising the indefectibility of the Church. Here is what paragraph #66 of Mytici Corporis states however:

66. And if at times there appears in the Church something that indicates the weakness of our human nature, it should not be attributed to her juridical constitution, but rather to that regrettable inclination to evil found in each individual, which its Divine Founder permits even at times in the most exalted members of His Mystical Body, for the purpose of testing the virtue of the Shepherds no less than of the flocks, and that all may increase the merit of their Christian faith. For, as We said above, Christ did not wish to exclude sinners from His Church; hence if some of her members are suffering from spiritual maladies, that is no reason why we should lessen our love for the Church, but rather a reason why we should increase our devotion to her members. Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary grace through which with inexhaustible fecundity,[130] she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors. But it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall, weak or wounded. In their name she prays to God daily: "Forgive us our trespasses;" and with the brave heart of a mother she applies herself at once to the work of nursing them back to spiritual health. When, therefore, we call the Body of Jesus Christ "mystical," the very meaning of the word conveys a solemn warning. It is a warning that echoes in these words of St. Leo: "Recognize, O Christian, your dignity, and being made a sharer of the divine nature go not back to your former worthlessness along the way of unseemly conduct. Keep in mind of what Head and of what Body you are a member."

What you've done obviously is precisely what the encyclical warns against--you confuse the shepherds who are prone to all the evil weaknesses of human nature with the Church itself. The encyclical clearly states that when the shepherds of the flock fail, this does not mean the Mystical Body itself has failed. You are therefore the one who is illogical and confused, not I.


The fact remains that this passage of Mystici Corporis teaches what the theology manuals teach, which is that popes and bishops may sin, but the hierarchy cannot impose erroneous doctrines or evil disciplines. This is certainly a wonderful illustration of the human capacity for not seeing what is there - "Ultima" seems not to have noticed these two sentences: "Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary grace through which with inexhaustible fecundity, she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors. But it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall, weak or wounded."

Here is one manualist, the well-known Hervé:

"Ecclesia suam in rebus disciplinaribus infallibilitatem nonnunquam diserte aut impticite affirmavit (Act. xv, 28; Denzinger, 626, 856, 1578.). Quinimo doctrinam, ipsa Ecclesiae praxi universali consecratam et confirmatam, semper ut veram habuerunt non solum Patres et theologi, sed Pontifices et Concilia [refs given]."

Translation by JS Daly: The Church has on occasion expressly or implicitly affirmed her own infallibility in disciplinary matters. Indeed it is a doctrine consecrated and confirmed by the universal practice of the Church herself, which not only the Fathers and theologians but also the Popes and Councils have always held to be true.

Ultima ratio wrote:
Your original contention, remember, implied that Benedict and the Church were one and the same, that to say one departs from Tradition is somehow to compromise the indefectibility of the other. Here is what you stated:

schoolman wrote:
So, according to this theory, Benedict XVI is the head of "neo-modernist Rome" that has departed from the Tradition of the Church.

Now this raises a few basic questions:

1) Can the one true Church really lose her Tradition?


You therefore begin with the issue of whether or not Benedict XVI has departed from the Tradition of the Church and you end with a question about whether the "one true Church" can lose her tradition. That is to say, you start with the pope and end with the Mystical Body of Christ--exactly in the way the encyclical warned against. In other words, you confuse the two in your head--making the Pope the Mystical Body itself, asking whether the latter can ever lose Tradition--as though it were the former. And this, despite Gospel evidence that Peter himself failed Christ not once but three times.


The encyclical certainly doesn’t “warn against” beginning with the pope and ending with the Church. Has “Ultima” never heard that “Where Peter is, there is the Church”? Or does he really modify this to, “Where Peter is, there are two Churches, a good old one and a bad new one”?

The Church cannot lose her Tradition, and that means the pope can’t either. Look up the theologians and see how none of them ever admits the possibility that a pope may be a heretic as pope, but only ever as a private person. That is to say that as pope, he may err, but he will never err against the Faith. This is not some arcane point – it is the plain teaching of the theologians.

Another plain teaching, which van Noort presents in the sections I have already published on infallibility, is that St. Peter was not pope when he denied Our Blessed Lord thrice. He was appointed pope after the Resurrection. This is all ABC stuff. But by ignoring the theologians and instead reading Holy Scripture without any guidance, “Ultima” adopts the Protestant and Feeneyite policy which has proved so disastrous for both of those groups, and which is so opposed to sound and humble doctrinal formation.

Ultima ratio wrote:
My view was clear as day and in total agreement with the encyclical. The Pope is NOT the Church. If he departs from Tradition, then he should be resisted--in exactly the way the SSPX is doing.

This is true. But only insofar as it goes.


Ultima ratio wrote:
That this has happened before in history there can be no doubt--you need only to look to the time of the Arian crisis in the fourth century when the entire hierarchy defected from the faith except for a remnant few, mostly laity.

Here he adopts the Anglican error of the non-yet-converted John Henry Newman, and in any case the sentence is nonsensical. If “the entire hierarchy defected from the faith” then there were no exceptions. And it is heretical to allege it anyway. But further, if not all defected, then why are the laity mentioned? Are they members of the hierarchy? What could this mean?

Ultima ratio wrote:
But you did what most neo-Catholics do--you confuse the Pope with the Church, equating the papal office, which is prone to sin and error, with the Mystical Body of Christ, which is indefectible.

And this is also a heresy. The papal office is not “prone to sin and error” and no Catholic should ever utter such words. Popes may be subject to sin and error (but not error against the Faith), and certainly it would be a foolish Catholic who would suggest that the Vicars of Christ, generally the most holy and prudent of men, are “prone” to sin or error.

These are the kinds of errors even good men fall into in attempting to defend the indefensible heretics of V2, who do not defend themselves, do not ask anybody else to defend them, do not so much as thank their orthodox defenders, and certainly don’t agree on any aspect of religion with men like “Ultima ratio,” right down to the Mass they offer, the catechism they employ, the laws they obey, or the prayers they pray. Even their “rosary” is no longer the Rosary.

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Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:35 am
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Some more confusion from our friend Ultima ratio:

Mystici Corporis Christi wrote:
There can, then, be no real opposition or conflict between the invisible mission of the Holy Spirit and the juridical commission of Ruler and Teacher received from Christ, since they mutually complement and perfect each other -- as do the body and soul in man -- and proceed from our one Redeemer who not only said as He breathed on the Apostles "Receive ye the Holy Spirit," [127] but also clearly commanded: "As the Father hath sent me, I also send you"; [128] and again: "He that heareth you heareth me."



Ultima ratio wrote:
Pius XII makes it abundantly clear that the office of the papacy is juridically charged by Christ to fulfill His divine purpose. Insofar as it does so, there can be no opposition between the commission received from Christ to Rule and Teach and the office of the papacy. The problem results from a departure on the part of Rome itself from its own divine mandate to set forth the truths of the faith faithfully. What we've been seeing is a bizarre departure from this juridical commission by Christ into the realm of novel teachings and practices. It is this which is in opposition to Christ's mandate. You need to take the following words of Vatican I to heart:

”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 the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith and might faithfully set it forth.”


I am amazed that Ultima ratio cannot see that this V1 quote he keeps using does not say what he thinks it says. Is it the wording of the quote that is confusing to him? It seems he is reading the phrase “the Holy Spirit was not promised...” as meaning that the Holy Spirit was not promised at all except in circumstances where the Successors of Peter actually guarded and faithfully set forth the deposit of Faith.

If the V1 quote was restated this way would it help???

Vatican I wrote:
”For the Holy Spirit was promised to the Successors of Peter that by His revelation they might not disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith and might faithfully set it forth.”


Is Ultima Ratio just blinded to this or is he just not very bright? Ultima just recently defended Dr. Drolesky. Did he do this just because he has some affection and respect for him or did he really believe that someone may rightly come to the conclusion that these V2 "popes" were not real Popes?

It seems that Ultima and those like him are not thinking at all. Their arguments are based solely on emotion.


Thu Aug 03, 2006 4:19 pm
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Dear Mr. Lane,

I can't figure out what causes this blindness, either. It seems like an evil spell cast, right out of a fairy tale. Or the "diaboloical disorientation" mentioned by Sr. Lucy. One cause is that the site owner bans any one who would point out the obvious, so there can never be any debate. Last night I read a very long thread about how the site owner "outs" a fraudulent deacon, so long and strange that I finally couldn't finish it. But now I wonder if the site is even Catholic, or if it is strictly a business, or worse.

Even for the not-so-bright there are hundreds of really scary photos and proofs of the dramatic increase in the craft of Voodoo after John Paul II visited Africa and prayed with animists. Or the thousands of abuse cases.

I am begging for God's mercy at Holy Hour of Reparation tonight that we don't fall into the confusion and mind-bending. It seems like it could happen to anyone, like a virus.

Holy Guardian Angels, pray for us. Eliz.


Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:59 pm

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I believe that SSPX and its defenders in AQ are good men by and large. I think that many of those who oppose the V II 'papal' teachings and doctrines but still accept them as 'popes' are doing so because they are afraid of the alternative. So they'd rather reject the fearful facts and hold on to a what is presented to them as the 'church' and the 'pope'. They are clutching at straws.

The alternative - sedevacantism - is scary! One would have nothing and nobody to hold on to except one's faith in Christ, Tradition, and Christ Himself who is not as visible as the 'pope'. I must admit that I have fears everytime I begin to dissect the present crisis and my own stand.


Fri Aug 04, 2006 6:29 am
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How true this all is and it is this fear on which Satan preys. It is through fear that men give in to the temptations of the Devil. It is true that there some are so convinced that they cannot be wrong, so blinded by their own ego that they 'will not see, they will not hear', but IMO these are rare. It is the fear of being on one's own, having the courage to stand alone for God, that prevents many from taking the step 'into the unknown' that they should. Yet this is what we are called to do. Our Blessed Lord stood alone before Satan on the mountain top. He lay prostrate and alone in the Garden of Gethsemane. he stood alone and deserted before Pilate. He hung alone and 'forsaken' on the Cross. The Apostles and early Christians died - many of them alone - for their Faith. The martyrs invariably felt they had been deserted. St Thomas More stood alone against the might of England. We are not all called to heroic sacrifice - but we are called to sacrifice and suffering. We cannot reach Heaven without it.

All SV's are afraid to some degree but they cling to the Faith. It is when you let go of the Faith that you are lost. In the storms of the present crisis when we are tossed into the boiling sea the Barque is still there - it is the Faith, it is the Church. The captain has abandoned ship but it is for us to cling to the Barque that we may arrive safely home. In God's good time he will calm the storm and all will be well.

Pia


Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:29 am
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Pia wrote:
How true this all is and it is this fear on which Satan preys. It is through fear that men give in to the temptations of the Devil.


Yes, and through fear of contamination that men cut off communion with fellow Catholics. Unregulated fear can damage Faith, as you rightly point out; it can also damage Charity, as others point out.

The Church has two bonds of unity, and both are essential.

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Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:14 am
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If you are not influenced by fear you are unwise. Fear should be reckoned with. It should be controlled but not ignored. In face of peril, fear is the healthy, wise reaction. 'Courage' wrote Plato, 'is wisdom concerning danger.' It is not bravery but folly, that makes light of real danger. 'I will have no man in my boat who is not afraid' (Moby Dick) It is Catholic to fear and it is Catholic to know our limitations. It is not Catholic to throw caution to the winds in the face of the forces of evil.

We all want peace, we all want unity, but not at any cost and certainly not at the cost of truth. We ought to have a deep longing for justice of which peace and unity are a by-product. We should have a keener desire for honesty and integrity. And in relations with others even more important is honesty with self.

Is he brave or foolish who thinks he is strong enough to resist temptation? How does he know he is?

The martyrs died for the primacy of the Pope, head of Christ's Church, and the only source of unity. They were conscious that they were dying in the cause of unity. If we could fully understand this it would go a long way to understanding the Faith. If we understand it, we shall value our Faith and protect it with our lives. Faith is our most treasured possession. The spirit of persecution is always at work in the world and our time of testing may have come. We have a duty to spread the Faith. God has made us and the world that what we say and the way we say it is much less important than what we are and the way we live.

Pia


Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:23 am
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Good Morning Everyone- Csibf, please forgive me if I came across as disparaging the good Catholics, or the dear SSPX people, or any soul longing for Heaven who visits AQ. The lack of charity among various factions of Catholics could be our undoing, as St. Augustine and St. John Vianney point out clearly. I fail every day at charity and patience, and have no right to criticise. I love my old SSPX chapel with our lionhearted priest who gave me, a terrible sinner a second chance, and who quietly drives demons out of people and gives Last Rites and visits prisons and removes guns from maniacs at his front door, because he lives in a miserable part of the city in very modest circumstances. I can't bear to think of where my family would be without the SSPX and the sterling example of vigorous Catholic manhood the seminarians provided my boys, maybe even a vocation.

Good, old priests such as Father are way too busy working night and day saving souls and doing their prayers to join in the debates about "una cum". If anybody remembers Father Andrew Jeffers (R.I.P.) in his tiny chapel with four parishoners (the day I visited) they'll remember that he slaved for Christ until his heart wore out. He gently said about the various priests and laypersons involved in "factions", "So-and-so just has too much time on his hands." I don't know if I am qualified to say this, but Fr. had the same aroma as a holy relic. Often there are only SSPX priests available to offer Last Rites or to bury an independent priest.

When fear threatens, now I can read online what I'd never have found on my own-the Theology manual. Also, John Lane has explained HOW I should read which is worth its weight in gold. I would never have figured that out on my own, even if someone gave me my own copy.

I guess I've got a case of "sour grapes" about AQ and it serves me right for "having too much time on my hands".


Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:47 pm

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Eliz you said:

Quote:
...please forgive me if I came across as disparaging the good Catholics, or the dear SSPX people, or any soul longing for Heaven who visits AQ.


No, you did not come across as disparaging though several including me, have been passionate about their feelings. AQ. in my opinion . is simply trying to defend the SSPX position come what may and refusing, no, is unable to see, fow whatever reason what the SV's are saying. They seem to badly need a 'visible head' to maintain their faith, or at least their sanity. I think that they think that without a visible head the Church cannot exist, even though it has been stated time and time again that there have been interregnums everytime a Pope dies. as well as in history. Even Ferrara with his excellent book about the follies of V2 did not take the next lgoical step and it beats me why he did or could not.

I also feel that SSPX is repeatedly going with hat in hand to NewRome when they should rather speak loudly against the errors and tell NewRome to return to the Faith, just as Jesus spoke against the leaders of the Church of His time. Perhaps SSPX is not sure of its stand? God knows. Fr Rama's comments are right on point. The traditionalist priests are not wpeaking out loduley enough. Only once and briefly have I heard about the follies of NewRome and that was from a CMRI priest.

And yes, the traditionalists should join together in faith - SVs and nonSVs alike. Who will lead? We need an Athanasius. I was saddened to see Fr. Rama go. He went to his well deserved reward in Heaven. We do have enough Bshops from the various lines to elect a leader. Let us pray!


Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:59 pm
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eliz carroll wrote:
I can't bear to think of where my family would be without the SSPX and the sterling example of vigorous Catholic manhood the seminarians provided my boys, maybe even a vocation.


Dear Eliz,

This is true of so many traditional families. There are two considerations which I think assist us to keep our balance.

1. The men of the SSPX are not sent by God to solve every problem. They are merely part of God's providential supply of the sacraments for the faithful in this trial. But the trial continues, and will continue until God's purpose in it has been fulfilled. Much frustration can be overcome by keeping this in view, because I think we tend to get annoyed at the SSPX for not doing enough to end the crisis, but we get even more annoyed at those who have tried to end it imprudently, such as the Palmar de Troya crowd and so many others of similar ilk. Just as it was never the task of a parish priest to govern the Church, so it is not the task of our priests (SSPX or others) to end the crisis, except by sanctifying themselves and assisting us to sanctify ourselves.

2. Often - very, very often - we hear criticisms of the SSPX (or other groups of priests, for that matter) which when we analyse them turn out to be criticisms of things not especially true of that group, but generally true of all traditional Catholics or even of all men! How many times have you heard somebody intelligent speak with contempt of the traditional priests' ignorance or denseness? I've heard this many times, and indulged in it too, to my shame. Or even perfectly just and reasonable criticism of bad theology or bad advice given by priests? The truth is that before the V2 revolt even occurred, it was probably the case that the same criticisms could be levelled at the parish priests in general. So it is hardly fair to describe it as an SSPX phenomenon!

eliz carroll wrote:
Good, old priests such as Father are way too busy working night and day saving souls and doing their prayers to join in the debates about "una cum".


It's funny you should point that out, because this particular point is analogous to my own complaint about this endless debate on the "una cum." I'll explain why.

When I started this forum it was because I saw that the "sede vacante" solution to the crisis was gaining interest around the world, and I realised that there were not too many places where solid discussion could occur in a spirit of peace and charity. Men like Dr. Drolesky and Gerry Matatics were emerging on our side of the debate, and Bishop Tissier was saying things which were causing a huge stir, but where could somebody ask a question and hope for a text in response? I also wanted to try and undo some of the scandal that the Dimonds and the like were causing, which is probably the greatest single reason people do not seriously consider our position. That is, they think that sedevacantists are filled with bitter zeal and have bad arguments to boot.

The last thing I wanted was a forum where sedevacantists could put on display all our differences! And I feel as though some people have treated this forum as an opportunity to preach their favourite "truth" to a captive audience. Nor do I doubt their sincerity - quite the contrary. But I hope they will understand that their agenda conflicts with mine. Mr. Daly wanted to present texts from the popes and other theological authorities regarding communicatio in sacris; instead he ended up having to debate the so-called "una cum." We are certainly poorer because his intention was thwarted, and now he is particularly busy and hasn't the time to return to it. God willing, he can do so later.

eliz carroll wrote:
I guess I've got a case of "sour grapes" about AQ and it serves me right for "having too much time on my hands".


LOL! Me too, for so many years. We live and learn. God is good, and so merciful.

My prediction, for what it's worth, is that the owner of AQ, John Grasmeier, will end up with a pretty sensible view of the crisis. He has already moved a bit and will move some more. Old "Ultima ratio" has shifted also, and will shift some more. These men are terrified of the sede vacante solution. We need to show them by good arguments and better example that it is sensible, solidly-founded, and leads to no absurdities or evil results. And we need to pray! As Dr. Drolesky says, Pray Rosaries, Pray Rosaries, Pray Rosaries!

Which is, coincidentally, what the SSPX is saying right now. God bless them.

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Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:46 pm
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John,

I think you do a wonderful job of supplying and disemminating information regarding sedvacantist issues. A true work of zeal and charity.

However a discussion forum, of its nature, will result in people expressing their own particular view - as indeed you have done - but this does not mean that they do not recognise yours or anyone elses right to hold a different view. It is sad that there is not one forum where the 'owner'/'administrator' does not end up deciding that becuase others hold to their own view they are dissenters and troublemakers out to get their own view across no matter what.

In 40 years odd I have always hoped that I was open to the arguments of others and that if their arguments were valid and indisputable that I would be prepared to change my view. I have not yet found this to be the case.

I note you say that you had hoped it would be a forum where 'somebody could ask a question and hope for a text response' - bit like Father's Question & Answer spot. May I humbly suggest that the forum should therefore have this stated as its mission statement and that open discussion/argument not be a feature.

No wonder we have so many 'home aloners'.

Pia


Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:52 pm
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PS.

I came to this forum hoping that I would find some answers, other than usual emotional ones of how wonderful all the priests are etc. etc. (Mother Therese did some sterling work too but I would not attend the NO with her because of this). It is not easy being a sedevacantist it is true - but it is even harder if you feel that you cannot, in all conscience, attend an SSPX Mass.

Pia


Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:03 pm
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Dear Pia,

Pia wrote:
However a discussion forum, of its nature, will result in people expressing their own particular view - as indeed you have done - but this does not mean that they do not recognise yours or anyone elses right to hold a different view. It is sad that there is not one forum where the 'owner'/'administrator' does not end up deciding that becuase others hold to their own view they are dissenters and troublemakers out to get their own view across no matter what.


Please understand that I do not think people are trouble-makers on the grounds that they do not agree with me. I am only complaining that the debate about the "una cum" is endless. For example, I put Fr. Baker's actual advice to laymen on the page, and you said that he held a different view. When you posted it, there was no word in it which contradicted or even modified the advice he had given and which I had already presented. But you think that there was some difference. I don't think it is possible to have a further argument, no matter what level of zeal for truth and charity, in those circumstances. Either Fr. Baker held that we may never assist at an "una cum" Mass or he held that in the absence of an alternative we may assist at an "una cum" Mass. One cannot argue with facts. This is not a question of the interpretation of doctrine, but of fact.

Do you see?

Pia wrote:
I note you say that you had hoped it would be a forum where 'somebody could ask a question and hope for a text response' - bit like Father's Question & Answer spot. May I humbly suggest that the forum should therefore have this stated as its mission statement and that open discussion/argument not be a feature.


The texts don't have to come from me. :) I think you misunderstood once more. The idea isn't to shut down discussion, but merely to make it happen in a Catholic manner. Watch what I am trying to do with Phil on the Feeneyite problem. There is no point in discussing sacred doctrine if we don't agree on where it is to be found. There is no point in discussing interpretation if we don't agree on fact. There is no point mentioning a theologian and what he taught if one side is prepared to sit at his feet and the other thinks the theologian should learn from him, rather than vice versa.

Do you see?

Pia wrote:
No wonder we have so many 'home aloners'.


I think we have so many "home aloners" because the crisis has been thoroughly scandalous and therefore many have been scandalised. And when people are scandalised they often do not think clearly.

I do not think you are thinking clearly on these questions. If you feel unable to assist at a Mass in which a heretic is named as pope in the Canon, then that is your conscience. The Church has certainly never promulgated a law which contained such a prohibition, or a doctrinal decree which provides a basis for such a prohibition. And the Church has not issued any judgement about the present circumstances, for obvious reasons. So, whilst nobody is condemning you for taking the stand you feel you must, it is completely clear that you may not impose your view on others, by claiming that Fr. Baker held it or by any other means. Unless, of course, you can demonstrate that the Church really has done something nobody else has managed to show.

So that is the only difference betwen us, as far as I can tell. Isn't that nice? :)

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Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:18 pm
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John,

There is a world of difference between taking Father Baker's words and making them fit 'your' interpretation of the situation. It is a matter of fact that Father Baker never thought it was permissable to attend an 'una cum' Mass if the soul in question knew and understood the sedevacante position. (Bit like the Greek and Latin Rite in some ways) Father Baker told me himself that the only time he would say it was permissable to do so was in danger of death and then only if the priest had been validly ordained in the old rite. He also had grave concerns about Archbishop Lefebvre's own ordination/consecration by Cardinal Lienart as the Archbishop told Father Baker personally that he knew Lienart was a freemason at the time. (And yes I have read the arguments concerning the other two consecration bishops).

As the SSPX do not conditionally ordain priests that join them from the Conciliar Church and as they accept the New rite of consecration and largely the 1983 Code of Canon Law it was, in his view, wise to steer well clear.

People become home aloners not just because they are scandalised but because they can see no alternative but to do as St Paul says and hold fast to the traditions they have been taught - not the ones chosen by the SSPX. They sometimes therefore have no alternative.

It is absolutely clear that whilst I love the erstwhile Catholics who form the new Conciliar Church I absolutely detest their abandonment of the Mass and the Catholic Faith. If I may not impose my view on others (whatever that means) then neither must you - and I believe you do as much if not more so. I have to say that I hold Father Baker in the greatest esteem. He was a people's theologian if ever there was one. I know for a fact that Mr Daly himself owes his change of heart in large part to Father Baker - if only he had really understood what Father Baker tried to tell him. It was a great saddness to Father Baker that he did not. I do not impose either mine or his views on anyone I just tell it how it is - neither I nor Father Baker have the 'power' to impose anything other than the teaching of the Church and that is what we all must do.

In all things we love Christ our Lord and because He is the Light of the World we are intolerant of what to Him is darkness. That is the difference between us. :)

Pia


Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:56 am
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Dear Pia,

If Fr. Baker told you something different from what he published in 1983, then you have the benefit of that information and we don't.

Here is what he wrote. “…It is understandable that there is now some perplexity about attending St Pius X Society Masses. It is of course different from attending the new ‘Mass’. A priest in the Conciliar Church shares the erroneous beliefs and obeys the instructions of John Paul II, leader of a false religion, false because its errors include the tenets of Vatican II. In practice, Lefebvre rejects both the commands and heresies of John Paul II, his acknowledgement of whom can be regarded as a theoretical error of mistaken identity. Lefebvre is not spurning the pope or the Pope’s subjects, he is not heretical, for he accepts all Catholic doctrines, and his Mass and sacraments are undeniably Catholic, despite his lamentable acceptance of the debated ‘John XXIII reforms’. Given the extreme abnormality of a situation in which John Paul II is all but universally accepted as Pope, the faithful who would otherwise be deprived of the life-giving sacraments are in my view entitled to ignore Lefebvre’s professed allegiance and attend the Masses of his priests. Lefebvre is not an agent of John Paul II as a Conciliar ‘priest’ is, and though his misunderstanding concerning the John Paul and the Conciliar Church may annoy, depress or even horrify, it does not debar stranded, stricken Catholics from the ministrations of his priests. I do of course refuse the use of my altar to any priest who puts John Paul’s name in the canon, but this is surely not inconsistent. My altar and oratory are private property, the priest is not in dire need and suffers no deprivation, there are other altars available (there is a John Paul II church next door), and I must do what I can to impress on a priest the error of his ways. Similarly a layman too has, opportunity offering, an obligation to intimate his protest against the insertion of John-Paul’s name, but having done so he is entitled to assist at a Mass which is neither heretical nor to my mind schismatic…."

As for his supposed doubts about the validity of Archbishop Lefebvre's Orders, those doubts were either real or they were mere temptations. If the latter, they are irrelevant. If the former, then his public advice that we may assist at Masses that he considered to be of doubtful validity could only be described as immoral. Since Fr. Baker was saintly, we may safely eliminate such a possibility from consideration.

I can only imagine that your understanding of Fr. Baker was along the lines of your understanding of me, whom you have accused of saying that one may assist at the Mass of a non-Catholic, and when corrected on this fact, you added an accusation of insincerity and said that I knew what you meant!

And I object most strongly to you publishing the accusation that Fr. Baker was greatly saddened that Mr. Daly "had [not] really understood what Father Baker tried to tell him." Was this confidential? If not, why did Fr. Baker not make it known to Mr. Daly, with whom he corresponded? If it was confidential, what is it doing on this forum?

I would ask you to tell us what it was that Mr. Daly failed to comprehend, but there does not appear to be any hope that it would be a helpful addition to this discussion.

I think you write in anger, Pia. Please cool down before you post again.

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Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:26 am
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:cry: John, :cry:

I hope I never write in anger - certainly I did not do so previously. Only in saddness.

I only write now because I feel that I must, if it is necessary, defend Father Baker's good name.

On the first point of Archbishop Lefebvre I am afraid some of your answer makes no sense to me regarding Father Baker. I did not say when Father Baker was told that Lienart was a freemason (it was in fact some years after the article you posted) but as you so rightly say in any event Father Baker was a very holy priest and would not have published such an article if he had any doubts at the time. The part about temptations does not make any sense to me in regard to Father Baker and so I can only say that I do not see your point here.

With regard to Mr Daly - again I am confused as to what you are trying to say. Are you implying that Father Baker breached some confidentiality? Or are you asking me if I was told something in confidence and have breached that confidence. As far as I am aware neither is true. As to why Father Baker did not make it known to Mr Daly in his correspondence I am afraid I do not have an answer to that. It may be that Mr Daly was not corresponding with him at the time or it may be that Father Baker did not see the point in doing so. There could be any number of reasons I suppose. In any event I do not see it as an accusation only a statement regarding Father Baker's views on the SSPX and assistance at their Masses.

Our Blessed Lord spoke in parables that those who would see would see and those who would hear would hear. So, on this question in particular, did Father Baker:

"In the present crisis, unity and authority in the Church are indeed eclipsed again but eclipses last only for a time. Pray fervently for Light and it will be granted. If you already have it, you can never thank God enough." (1982)

If you read 'between the lines' so to speak the answer becomes clear.

In Jesus and Mary

Pia


Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:12 pm
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csibf wrote:
I was saddened to see Fr. Rama go. He went to his well deserved reward in Heaven.


Rama Coomaraswamy would cringe at this statement I imagine...he likely needs our prayers...and we should assume he does need those prayers...so let us say those prayers for the repose of his soul.


Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:33 am
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
csibf wrote:
I was saddened to see Fr. Rama go. He went to his well deserved reward in Heaven.


Rama Coomaraswamy would cringe at this statement I imagine...he likely needs our prayers...and we should assume he does need those prayers...so let us say those prayers for the repose of his soul.


Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among woman, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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Sancte Pie Decime, ora pro nobis.


Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:39 am
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