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 Email correspondence with John Salza 
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New post Email correspondence with John Salza
For reasons best known to himself, Mr. John Salza has chosen to publish carefully selected portions of a recent email exchange between himself and me. I think the reader deserves to see the full exchange. This correspondence arose from a complaint that Mr. Salza made about this post, in which I referred to him as a Conciliarist:

1st email (sent by me only to John Salza):


From: John Lane
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 12:54 AM
To: 'John Salza'
Subject: Re: Conciliarism etc.

Dear John,

It isn't clear to me whether you are still claiming to be insulted, or what about.

I hold that your position is Conciliarist. That makes you a Conciliarist. I did not call you a "heretic" (contrary to what you originally wrote) and I am telling you I didn't mean to call you a heretic. Since you got the Billot text in your book, explaining the distinctions between formal and material heresy, and Catholics who are innocently mistaken about a point of dogma, from me, I think you would grant that I understand the differences, and use my language precisely.

But if you were in any doubt, you'd have noticed that the very next post in that thread started with, "A further thought about this ‘judging’ business. It's probably slightly unfair to say that Salza is a Conciliarist. That would imply that he grasps what he's actually saying, and I think it's sufficiently clear that he has not thought through what he is saying and does not understand the concepts he is cheerfully throwing about." So it is clear to all who read it that I am not even maintaining that you understand that your own doctrine is Conciliarist, so that perhaps you are not even a Conciliarist in your own mind, but only confused about what you are saying. So, no assertion that you are aware that your doctrine is incompatible with the teaching of the Church, and no certain assertion that you understand what you are saying, so that we are two steps away from heresy. First, you'd need to realise what you are arguing, and then you'd realise that it is not Catholic, and then, actually no doubt you would change your views.

If there are still grounds for offence, please state them clearly. I cannot deal with unclear complaints.

Please don’t be offended that I don’t think the following: That you have learned Latin, then philosophy, then gone to several libraries of seminaries, and taken out and read carefully, prayerfully, the contents of a few dogmatic theology manuals, and then asked tentatively and diffidently many questions of the best and most educated minds you could find on the subject of ecclesiology (e.g. Fr. Gleize), and then formed some provisional and tentative opinions, and finally, compared them with the attitudes and opinions of those who have reacted to this crisis and commented upon it, such as Archbishop Lefebvre, Romano Amerio, and others of like stature...

No, neither have I, so don’t merely reply that I am a hypocrite and very arrogant. I heard you before, so you don’t need to repeat yourself. Ask yourself instead, have you done these things? Or did you, instead, leap almost fresh from the Novus Ordo, or Freemasonry, into the fray, unprepared, and start calling people schismatics?

So, I regret that you have had to suffer, for your 700-page assault on my name, and that of other men who are honest and good-willed, which you published for the world, a few unpleasant ripostes.

On to the substance of your claim.

You appear to be asserting that Bellarmine had in mind a formal process for judging the heretic, pending which the putative heretic remains pope.

Your position is that a heretic pope is pope until he is warned juridically, and then if he fails to amend, he is automatically deposed. Please correct me if I am mistaken, because I do not want to do to you what you insist on doing to me, which is that you repeatedly claim that you know best what my position really is, and that I am lying when I deny it.

Let's see if your position is really that of Bellarmine, as you claim. There are two main points of doctrine to be determined, and there are dogmatic principles to be maintained in determining those questions, according to Bellarmine.

The first question is whether a “heretic pope” has to be tolerated and left to the judgement of God, or whether the Church can do something about the problem. Bouix's answer is that there's nothing to be done except to pray. Bellarmine's answer is that the constant tradition of the Church is that a “heretic pope” can be judged.

The second question is to whether a manifest heretic remains pope until judged. Here we are confronted with a divergence between different definitions of the compound noun, “heretic pope.” What does Bellarmine mean by it?

In answering this Bellarmine (and Cajetan, and everybody except Conciliarists and Gallicans) highlights that the saw, "The First See is judged by no-one" must be maintained, for it is a principle of divine revelation (and since 1870, a dogma – see Billot). Cajetan essentially starts with the definition of “heretic pope” as equivalent to “pope” and he says that the heretic pope isn't being judged, but only the link between the man and the office is being severed by the Church's judgement. John of St. Thomas tries to make this position compatible with the dogma that nobody can judge the pope, but does not appear to have been successful, as his explanation is not commonly repeated even by later Dominicans. Garrigou, for example, refers to Cajetan, not to John of St. Thomas. Let me know if you can find a few Dominican theologians who quote John of St. Thomas instead of Cajetan. (The fact that the Dominicans and the Jesuits formed different and divergent schools is yet another thing that you got from me, by the way. I didn’t find it in a book, I noticed it by comparing different books, so I know it’s original, and that you learned it from me. This is an example, many times observed, of your learning from us. If we’re so dishonest, you should really be nervous.) Bellarmine's solution is to point to the unity of profession of the Church, so that manifest heretics are not members, period, along with the divine law that ALL are obliged to fly from heretics, and then he poses the rhetorical question, how can we avoid our own head? So, he repeatedly refutes the notion that the pope can be judged, and repeatedly asserts that a manifest heretic leaves the Church by his own act, prior to ANY action by the authority of the Church whatsoever - a trial, a judgment, or a declaration of a crime. Billot and Wernz-Vidal understand him this way, and so does everybody else that I have seen. Team Siscoe and Salza are the sole exception.

So Bellarmine’s definition of “heretic pope” is “not a pope.” Plug that into the texts and your confusion will clear away.

Ballerini, as you'd know if you read more of him (I know you can’t, so get him translated), is absolutely not defending the notion that anybody can warn the pope juridically, but explicitly says that any such warning would be an act of fraternal correction, which is charity, NOT justice. You omitted to quote this in your book (you cut your quote short just at the very point necessary to exclude it), and I suspect this is because you don't grasp what he is saying, so you don't see its importance: "One sees then that in the case of a heresy, to which the Pontiff adhered privately, there would be an immediate and efficacious remedy, without the convocation of a General Council: for in this hypothesis whatever would be done against him before the declaration of his contumacy and heresy, in order to call him to reason, would constitute an obligation of charity, not of jurisdiction..."

So the suggested "process" is informal, not juridical, and is in the order of epistemology, not government. It is about forming a secure judgment of reason, not about governing the Church. For the question, according to Bellarmine, is one of "knowing a fact".

Your own source Smith tells us that he is relying upon Craisson for his doctrine. Craisson in the place given by Smith, says this:

<< Question 6. Whether a Pope who falls into heresy ipso iure forfeits the Pontificate. I answer, with R. de M. (in his Institutiones Juris Canonici, t.1, p.265): “There are two opinions, says, Azor. (…) one of which holds that he is indeed deprived of the Pontificate by divine law but is to be declared afterwards by sentence of the Church to have fallen from the Pontifical dignity – this opinion is held by Paludanus, etc. (…) A heretic is outside the Church and therefore cannot be considered to be a member of the Church, so how can someone be head of the Church who is not a member of the Church? It seems that this can also be deduced from the chapters Quod autem; Acacius; and Audivimus, caus.24, q.1, etc.”.

“The second opinion denies in general that a pope who becomes a heretic is removed by divine law from his authority, holding rather that he is to be removed. This is the opinion of Cajetan, etc. (…). For the other bishops are not considered to be ipso jure deprived…as soon as they become heretics. Until (…) at least their crime has been declared, meanwhile (…) their acts are valid… The Pope would have to be deprived by a General Council if he were to fall into heresy.” See also what is said below (§6123) >> translation by JS Daly.

So, two opinions, and the first of these is that of Bellarmine, and is summarised as, "he is indeed deprived of the Pontificate by divine law but is to be declared afterwards by sentence of the Church to have fallen from the Pontifical dignity..."

Afterwards. He is to be declared afterwards to have fallen previously from the pontifical dignity. What precedes this fall? Only a warning of fraternal charity, not a juridical process. You, on the other hand, say that a juridical process must precede the fall from membership in the Church, and the loss of office, with a corresponding declaration, or finding by an authority. You contrast this with your invented concept, “private judgement.” (In order to make your concept of private judgement appealing, you are forced to abuse the texts of the Summa, and take those dealing with usurped judgement as though they applied to all non-authoritative observation of fact. Look at McHugh and Callan for clear, undeniable, evidence that there is lawful “private judgment” quite distinct from Protestant private judgement. You’d know this if you knew your moral theology.)

Now, John, let's say I am mistaken about all of this. Let's suppose that you are right and I am wrong. Is it even plausible that my answer is unlawful? No, my answer is supported by strong arguments and any Catholic can hold it in good faith. This was the view of Archbishop Lefebvre also, who not only retained excellent relations with sedevacantists like Bill Morgan and Fr. Raffali, but who publicly speculated he might adopt their view himself.

If this much is true, as it obviously is, then you have no right to be abusing me and others like me in public print, or even in private. Your own bombast and aggression is unlawful. It offends against justice and charity, not merely against charity. Other sins follow naturally and inevitably from these, including the incredible situation in which you accuse me of self-deceit and of lying to others when I defend myself from your injustice. (I am surprised that your priest advisers are not making this point very strongly to you, or if they are, that you are not amending your stand.)

By the way, I never hold a grudge - ask anybody who knows me - so this will all evaporate the moment you stop attacking me and Roman theology. But while you maintain your attack - and, incredibly, you propose to repeat it in print soon - I will continue to point out its injustice and falsehood.

Robert is demanding that I be stripped of my access to the mass and sacraments, merely for failing to fall at your feet and agree with your theory. Well, here I am, a beggar, without power or influence, at the mercy of the clergy. You and Robert, as you continually claim, have the full weight of the SSPX behind you, the approval of "many priests and theologians and Bishop Fellay" for your aggression and your theories. With such enormous influence, I suggest you ponder the correlative responsibility.

If, on the other hand, my replies make you feel insecure, then that should make you question quite whether your claims are as well founded as you assert. Perhaps the vehemence of your assertions is proportionate to the doubt you have about the strength your position.

I haven’t cc’d the usual list, on the theory that perhaps you need a little privacy for such an email. I don’t mind if you forward it to all of them.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John Lane.
__________________________________________________

Replies from Mr. Salza.

Mr Salza sent two replies. The first he sent only to me. The second he copied to various SSPX members, essentially those involved in the production of the book, True or False Pope?

In this first email, Mr. Salza has left the text of my email to him intact, and interspersed his comments.

From: John Salza
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2017 12:12 AM
To: John Lane
Subject: reply 1

JS: John, I am going to address the first part of your email (regarding me and my abilities) in this email, so we can dispose of your issue of whether I am qualified to express my opinion and write a book on these matters. I am going to address your theology in detail in my next email.

Dear John,

It isn't clear to me whether you are still claiming to be insulted, or what about.

I hold that your position is Conciliarist. That makes you a Conciliarist. I did not call you a "heretic" (contrary to what you originally wrote) and I am telling you I didn't mean to call you a heretic. Since you got the Billot text in your book, explaining the distinctions between formal and material heresy, and Catholics who are innocently mistaken about a point of dogma, from me, I think you would grant that I understand the differences, and use my language precisely.

JS: John, you called me a Conciliarist, not that my position is Conciliarist. Do you not see what you wrote? If you said that my position were Conciliarist, that would be addressing the material element. But because you called me, the person, a Conciliarist, one no doubt interprets it to mean a heretic. The fact that you claim I am “ignorant” (see below) but still used the noun “Conciliarist” to describe me lends further support to my interpretation. A Catholic can hold a materially heretical position but not be a heretic. That’s why we don’t call Catholics material heretics or Protestants or Conciliarists. You don’t call such a person a heretic, only that his position is materially heretical. Start using correctly the terminology that you say you understand.

JL: But if you were in any doubt, you'd have noticed that the very next post in that thread started with, "A further thought about this ‘judging’business. It's probably slightly unfair to say that Salza is a Conciliarist. That would imply that he grasps what he's actually saying, and I think it's sufficiently clear that he has not thought through what he is saying and does not understand the concepts he is cheerfully throwing about." So it is clear to all who read it that I am not even maintaining that you understand that your own doctrine is Conciliarist, so that perhaps you are not even a Conciliarist in your own mind, but only confused about what you are saying. So, no assertion that you are aware that your doctrine is incompatible with the teaching of the Church, and no certain assertion that you understand what you are saying, so that we are two steps away from heresy. First, you'd need to realise what you are arguing, and then you'd realise that it is not Catholic, and then, actually no doubt you would change your views.

If there are still grounds for offence, please state them clearly. I cannot deal with unclear complaints.

JS: Again, your claim that I am a Conciliarist but am ignorant of my Conciliarist position is both false and inconsistent with how the terminology is used theologically. And if I am a Conciliarist, than Bellarmine was a Conciliarist too, as you will see in my next correspondence.

JL: Please don’t be offended that I don’t think the following: That you have learned Latin, then philosophy, then gone to several libraries of seminaries, and taken out and read carefully, prayerfully, the contents of a few dogmatic theology manuals, and then asked tentatively and diffidently many questions of the best and most educated minds you could find on the subject of ecclesiology (e.g. Fr. Gleize), and then formed some provisional and tentative opinions, and finally, compared them with the attitudes and opinions of those who have reacted to this crisis and commented upon it, such as Archbishop Lefebvre, Romano Amerio, and others of like stature...

JS: John, you consistently attempt to downplay your opponents’ capabilities and education. Why is that? Why the ad hominem? You appear very insecure. You don’t know anything about me, but assume much. Let me tell you just a little bit about myself, which I believe makes me capable of addressing these matters (it is not my habit to defend my qualifications, but will do so since you have made it an issue, and constantly belittle my knowledge and abilities).

I have a doctoral degree in jurisprudence with honors from an outstanding law school; I have been professionally trained to research, write, examine evidence and engage in disputations, which I have done as a practicing attorney for over 20 years. Regarding Latin, I have some proficiency, but I am not fluent and neither are you (Robert and I have a translator who works for us); I am, however, completely fluent in Italian, which happens to be the original language of some of our resources. Regarding going to seminary libraries, you will be surprised to know that I literally had the physical key to the Sacred Heart School of Theology’s library (Hales Corners, Wisconsin) for many years, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I spent years studying the theology. In fact, when the Modernists took over the library, they let me take home the pre-Vatican II text books! And I also studied canon law there. If you really want to make this a debate about our theological backgrounds, I would posit that yours is inferior to mine, based on your own admissions. You spent no such time in seminary libraries as you have admitted below. And how do you know we didn’t confer with Fr. Gleize and other experts on our ecclesiology? Are you referring to the same Fr. Gleize who rejects your notion of the “Conciliar church”? And how do you know we didn’t consult with other theologians who forgot more theology than you and I know? More presumption on your part. I studied Sedevacantism in depth for over ten years (and theology much longer) before I decided to write the book with Robert. Am I qualified to express my opinion on these matters? I think so.

JL: No, neither have I, so don’t merely reply that I am a hypocrite and very arrogant. I heard you before, so you don’t need to repeat yourself. Ask yourself instead, have you done these things? Or did you, instead, leap almost fresh from the Novus Ordo, or Freemasonry, into the fray, unprepared, and start calling people schismatics?

JS: Perhaps you now regret asking such a ridiculous question. I am as qualified a layman as you to engage and explicate this material. You said you didn’t spend years in a seminary library and you certainly don’t have any credentials in secular or ecclesiastical jurisprudence, or any advanced academic degrees that I know of. Also, I was a traditional Catholic for 15 years before I co-authored TOFP. Are you now satisfied? I hope so. I think it is time to stop questioning abilities.

JL: So, I regret that you have had to suffer, for your 700-page assault on my name, and that of other men who are honest and good-willed, which you published for the world, a few unpleasant ripostes.

JS: John, there is nothing clever about your responses to our positions. As you will see in my next email, they only reveal that you understand neither our positions nor the teachings of the theologians. I do hope that it bears fruit for you, that you have the humility to see your errors and amend. I will reply to the second part of your email after completing my duties of state.
___________________________________________________________

My reply to Mr. Salza:

From: John Lane
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2017 8:32 AM
To: 'John Salza'
Subject: RE: reply 1

Dear John,

Thanks for this.

Do you not see the intense irony in your suggestion that we focus on ideas, not persons? Did you forget how thoroughly ad hominem your book is? Have you thought of setting an example?

Do you not see the absolute contradiction between your threats against me – put into glowing letters by Robert’s disgusting demand that I be kicked out of our mass centre – and your pop psych suggestion that I am “insecure”? What is a threat meant to do but produce insecurity? If I were to guess, I’d say that you don’t really think I feel insecure, but rather what irritates you and Robert is that I seem so impervious to your threats.

As for your abilities, I take what I see and judge according to that. Two examples (of many):

1. Anyone who freely accuses others of sin (then adds to it Protestant-style demands for repentance!!!) has no idea about the very basics. John, it is not lawful to think evil of another without undeniable proof. Until we have that proof, we must make every effort to eliminate from our minds any judgement that another has sinned. Don’t believe me, ask Fr. Le Roux or some other serious man who studies the spiritual life. It is unlawful to do what you so freely do. But then you add another layer of injustice – you take your conclusions about others public. Fifteen years a trad and you never found out how to behave? Read my stuff and note this vast chasm of difference with what you two do – my rhetoric can be harsh, I can show no respect to an opponent, I will dig into every point and expose his folly, but I do not say he sins.

2. You wrote that I “declare” that the hierarchy is extinct. This is not defensible, and you should have just said, good point, sorry, we’ll remove it. If I sued you, you’d be laughed out of court on that count. Actually, if you found yourself in court on that, you’d suddenly sober up and retract it, I suspect. So, what am I to think of a lawyer who treats words with such contempt? Respect is earned.

One final thing, don’t bluff. I will always call you out, then the last case is worse than the first. You didn’t consult Fr. Gleize on the major planks of ecclesiology in your book, and your question asking how I would know that is obviously a dodge, wrapped in bluff. You want to be respected, fair enough, earn it by not bulldusting. Fr. Gleize would go purple if he saw your Honorius, Liberius, and John XXII stories, for example. As for your understanding of Bellarmine, well... Why don’t you send just that much to him and see how you go? Just the stuff explaining what Bellarmine really thought.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John.
______________________________________________

Of course, Fr. Gleize has since published his demolition of the "Legend of John XXII" which has recently been put about by various men that Fr. Gleize describes as "the least qualified non-specialists." http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/que ... esy-part-2

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New post Re: Email correspondence with John Salza
Mr. Salza's second reply, copied this time to a group of SSPX members (who had not seen what he was replying to):

From: John Salza [mailto:thesalzas@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2017 12:22 PM
To: John Lane
Cc: Robert Siscoe; [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: Re: Conciliarism etc.


John, please read my responses carefully and prayerfully. I also respectfully and humbly request that those good and holy priests who you have chosen to involve in the correspondence to please do the same. Robert and I have reason to believe that you, John Lane, are currently engaged in a smear campaign to discredit us in the eyes of the His Excellency, the Most Reverend Bernard Fellay, and to influence him to withdraw support for our work (similar to what you attempted late last year). God only knows the false accusations and misrepresentations that you have made to His Excellency and his advisors. And only He knows how many souls you have poisoned within the SSPX, having been an SSPX parishioner while a public and notorious Sedevacantist for all these years. Because you are operating your current campaign behind the scenes, I cannot respond directly to those actions.

But what I can do, and what I have done below, is demonstrate that you have falsely accused Robert and me of holding theological positions we do not hold (which is incomprehensible if you actually read the book), and also that you have completely misunderstood Bellarmine’s teaching on a heretical Pope, and every other theologian who has addressed the same, due to your false paradigms, all proven below. You have also falsely accused us of omitting a quotation from our book that we actually included in the book – another incredible accusation from someone who read the book. God knows whether this is ignorance or malice. But we find it difficult to believe that you could have erred the way you have, if you actually read our book, and given that you claim to have studied these issues for 25 years.

My hope with this email is two-fold: First, that you have the grace and humility to see and correct your errors (and stop spreading your lies within the SSPX). Second, that the targets of your smear campaign will recognize it for what it is. You are a Sedevacantist (nesting in an SSPX chapel) who wants to discredit at all costs the one book that has exposed your errors for all to see. Unfortunately, it appears that you are willing to employ any tactic to do so, even if it means back-channeling a deceitful campaign about us and our book, because you cannot refute it on its merits. But we have come to expect this type of behavior from public Sedevacantist apologists like you.

Now on to your latest arguments.

J. Lane: You appear to be asserting that Bellarmine had in mind a formal process for judging the heretic, pending which the putative heretic remains pope.

Your position is that a heretic pope is pope until he is warned juridically, and then if he fails to amend, he is automatically deposed.

J. Salza: Wrong. The Pope cannot be warned juridically. The Pope can only be warned as an act of fraternal correction, in charity. This is precisely what we say in our book. Read it.

J. Lane: Please correct me if I am mistaken, because I do not want to do to you what you insist on doing to me, which is that you repeatedly claim that you know best what my position really is, and that I am lying when I deny it.

J. Salza: I have corrected you above. It’s telling, however, how you didn’t wait for my reply to your invitation to clarify my position. You simply went on to assume you presented it accurately, even though you also asked to be corrected. So I assume that is because you really didn’t desire to be corrected. As you will see, you have erected a straw man, and frankly it’s difficult to believe that you could be this ignorant about our position, which we clearly lay out in our book.

J. Lane: Let's see if your position is really that of Bellarmine, as you claim. There are two main points of doctrine to be determined, and there are dogmatic principles to be maintained in determining those questions, according to Bellarmine.

J. Salza: Yes, let’s do that. And what we will discover in doing so is that you don’t understand Bellarmine, nor do you understand the positions of Suarez, Cajetan or John of St. Thomas either. And further, you do not even understand our position. You claim that we believe a juridical process that coerces the Pope precedes the Pope’s loss of office. This is not true, and goes to show how off base you really are, and that the foundation of your rebuttal is completely specious.

J. Lane: The first question is whether a “heretic pope” has to be tolerated and left to the judgement of God, or whether the Church can do something about the problem.

J. Salza: You have to define what you mean by “heretic Pope.” If you had formal legal training, you would be much more precise in your argumentation. You hint that you are going to define it below, but you don’t. Nevertheless, let’s work through this.

J. Lane: Bouix's answer is that there's nothing to be done except to pray. Bellarmine's answer is that the constant tradition of the Church is that a “heretic pope” can be judged.

J. Salza: Correct, if you mean that the “heretical Pope” is judged while Pope, as we will see below.

J. Lane: The second question is to whether a manifest heretic remains pope until judged. Here we are confronted with a divergence between different definitions of the compound noun, “heretic pope.” What does Bellarmine mean by it?

In answering this Bellarmine (and Cajetan, and everybody except Conciliarists and Gallicans) highlights that the saw (sic), "The First See is judged by no-one" must be maintained, for it is a principle of divine revelation (and since 1870, a dogma – see Billot). Cajetan essentially starts with the definition of “heretic pope” as equivalent to “pope” and he says that the heretic pope isn't being judged, but only the link between the man and the office is being severed by the Church's judgement.

J. Salza: Wrong. This shows how unread you really are on these issues. Cajetan and Bellarmine both say a heretical Pope can be judged (as an exception to the rule), and they both cite the canon Si Papa as an authority for their position. Read our explanation of Cajetan’s position in our book, which was further amplified and clarified by John of St. Thomas, if you want to learn his actual position.

And Bellarmine explicitly says the “inferior” (the Church) judges the “superior” (the Pope), which proves that Bellarmine meant that the Church judges him while he is still Pope. It is obvious why you won’t engage Bellarmine’s teaching. You believe that the Church judges the “heretic Pope” only AFTER he has fallen from office. But in that case, the Pope would not be “superior” to his “inferiors.” It follows that your interpretation, which doesn’t even engage Bellarmine’s teaching, is incorrect. That’s why you avoid Bellarmine’s teaching. And that’s why Sedevacantists have avoided publishing Bellarmine’s refutation of the Third Opinion. It’s no wonder why. I will help you understand what Bellarmine actually meant, so you no longer have to avoid the quotation.

The only thing you got right here is that Cajetan says the “heretic Pope” is the “Pope,” not a false Pope, which is the same thing that Bellarmine says when he says the inferior judges the superior. Contrary to your own views, Bellarmine and Cajetan are in complete agreement in holding that the Church can render a judgment concerning a heretical Pope. John of St. Thomas clarifies that is an “indirect judgment” of the Pope, since the Church has no authority over a Pope.

J. Lane: John of St. Thomas tries to make this position compatible with the dogma that nobody can judge the pope, but does not appear to have been successful, as his explanation is not commonly repeated even by later Dominicans. Garrigou, for example, refers to Cajetan, not to John of St. Thomas. Let me know if you can find a few Dominican theologians who quote John of St. Thomas instead of Cajetan.

J. Salza: Wrong. JST was defending Cajetan’s position! Cajetan and John of St. Thomas held the same position, just like Cardinal Journet said. One of the key errors of Sedevacantists like you is that they don’t understand Cajetan’s position, and thus they don’t understand Bellarmine’s objections to Cajetan’s position (which JST completely refutes in his treatise).

J. Lane: (The fact that the Dominicans and the Jesuits formed different and divergent schools is yet another thing that you got from me, by the way. I didn’t find it in a book, I noticed it by comparing different books, so I know it’s original, and that you learned it from me. This is an example, many times observed, of your learning from us. If we’re so dishonest, you should really be nervous.)

J. Salza: Wrong. What presumption! I never knew you claimed to have discerned a distinction between the Jesuits and the Dominicans. How could I possibly know that when you have erroneously pitted Suarez against Bellarmine, claiming they held different opinions, when in fact they held the same position!? And you do the same with Cajetan and JST, even in this email! You could not have possibly made such a distinction because you don’t understand Bellarmine and Suarez’s position, and you don’t understand Cajetan and JST’s position. So if you did come up with some distinction as you claim, it is certainly wrong, and certainly differs from our distinction, which is the correct one, and one we have not seen any modern writer make.

Robert and I came up with the Dominican and Jesuit distinctions on our own. We never learned that distinction from anyone else. To my knowledge, I was the first person to publicly point out that the “differences” between Bellarmine and Suarez were only apparent but not actual (in my article on Archbishop Lefebvre and Sedevacantism published some years ago). After reading the theology manuals, I concluded that Silveira, Fr. Boulet, Wernz and Vidal did not classify Suarez’s position correctly. We certainly didn’t get that from you, since you also err in the classification of Suarez’s position, following these authorities! So we didn’t get any “distinctions” from you. When we were writing our book, I suggested the terminology “Dominican Opinion” (for Cajetan and JST), and the “Jesuit Opinion” (for Suarez and Bellarmine) – a distinction that we never had seen made before, certainly not by Sedevacantists like you who wrongly argue that Bellarmine and Suarez differed.

J. Lane: Bellarmine's solution is to point to the unity of profession of the Church, so that manifest heretics are not members, period, along with the divine law that ALL are obliged to fly from heretics, and then he poses the rhetorical question, how can we avoid our own head? So, he repeatedly refutes the notion that the pope can be judged,…

J. Salza: Show us where Bellarmine says a Pope cannot be judged when accused of heresy (as an exception to the general rule). Quote Bellarmine directly. I have already provided you quotes from Bellarmine saying the exact opposite, that the Pope can be judged in the case of heresy, the one case where the superior is judged by his inferiors. It’s no wonder why you are avoiding that quotation. And, as you will see, when Bellarmine points to the “unity of profession” of the Church, he is referring to all those who hold the Church (and the reigning Pope) as the infallible rule of faith vis-à-vis those who publicly defect from the Church as the infallible rule. That is why those Catholics who hold materially heretical doctrines but still acknowledge the Church as the rule of faith do not formally rupture the unity of faith or profession of the Church. And that is why the conciliar Popes are not manifest heretics, according to Bellarmine’s own definition, as I further prove below.

J. Lane: …and repeatedly asserts that a manifest heretic leaves the Church by his own act, prior to ANY action by the authority of the Church whatsoever - a trial, a judgment, or a declaration of a crime. Billot and Wernz-Vidal understand him this way, and so does everybody else that I have seen. Team Siscoe and Salza are the sole exception.

J. Salza: Not quite. Allow me to help you with the theology and history. As we explain in detail in our book, one who leaves the Church by his own act refers to one who publicly defects from the Church, meaning they no longer hold the Church as the infallible rule of faith. As I said above, it does not mean one who simply holds materially heretical doctrines but professes to be Catholic (that is, one who professes to hold the Church as the infallible rule). None of the conciliar Popes have left the Church by renouncing her as the infallible rule. This is why Bellarmine uses the exceptional case of Novatian as an example. Novatian didn’t simply hold materially heretical doctrines; he actually publicly defected from the Church by refusing to recognize Pope Cornelius as the true Pope (just as you have done with the conciliar Popes), and Novatian even declared himself to be Pope. Thus, when Bellarmine refers to a “manifest heretic,” he is referring to one who openly leaves the Church, not simply one who holds materially heretical doctrines and is privately judged a heretic by the Catholic in the pew.

Bellarmine’s use of the extraordinary case of Novatian makes this crystal clear. And his reference to John Driedo’s teaching also makes it clear. In De Ecclesiasticis Scripturis et Dogmaticos, Driedo (in the quotation Bellarmine refers to) speaks of those who “are either cut off by the Church’s judgment, or depart of their own accord” (vel sua sponte exeant) (p. 517). So you have made two errors in your interpretation of Bellarmine’s meaning of “manifest heretic,” by failing to understand the two ways one qualifies as a manifest heretic (according to Bellarmine and Driedo, upon whom Bellarmine relies). Your first error is your failure to understand that a manifest heretic does include those who “are cut off by the Church’s judgment.” Your second error is your failure to understand that “those who depart of their own accord” (the second way one becomes a manifest heretic according to Bellarmine and Driedo) are those who depart from the Church as the infallible rule of Faith. According to Bellarmine’s own criteria, then, the conciliar Popes are not “manifest heretics.”

J. Lane: So Bellarmine’s definition of “heretic pope” is “not a pope.” Plug that into the texts and your confusion will clear away.

J. Salza: Wrong. You are the confused one, not me. Bellarmine says just the opposite, and you are unable to refute it. A Pope (as superior) can be judged by the Church (as inferior) in the case of heresy. Here is what Bellarmine wrote:

“The Third opinion is on another extreme, that the Pope is not and cannot be deposed either by secret or manifest heresy. Turrecremata in the aforementioned citation relates and refutes this opinion, and rightly so, for it is exceedingly improbable. Firstly, because that a heretical Pope can be judged is expressly held in the Canon, Si Papa, dist. 40, and with Innocent. And what is more, in the Fourth Council of Constantinople, Act 7, the acts of the Roman Council under Hadrian are recited, and in those it was contained that Pope Honorius appeared to be legally anathematized, because he had been convicted of heresy, the only reason where it is lawful for inferiors to judge superiors. (…) Hadrian, with the Roman Council, and the whole Eighth Synod sensed that in the case of heresy, a Roman Pontiff [not a former Roman Pontiff] can be judged. Add, that it would be the most miserable condition of the Church, if she should be compelled to recognize a wolf, manifestly prowling, for a shepherd.”

The Church makes this judgment by establishing the Pope’s pertinacity through charitable warnings (not a juridical process), and then declares the fact that the pertinacity has been established (as Pope Innocent III says, the Pope judges himself; as JST says, the Church “indirectly” judges the Pope). Plug that formula into the texts you are reading and your confusion will clear away. As also demonstrated, when Bellarmine says “manifest heretic,” he is referring either to one who has been determined by the Church to be a heretic, or one who renounces the Church and the reigning Pope as the infallible rule of Faith, as Novatian did in his day, and as you do with the conciliar Popes in our day.

J. Lane: Ballerini, as you'd know if you read more of him (I know you can’t, so get him translated), …

J. Salza: You first claim to know very little about me, but then claim to know my reading comprehension of Latin and how much I have actually read of Ballerini. This is another example of how you attempt to belittle your opponents and how you even contradict yourself in your efforts to do so. You wouldn't fare well in my courtroom. The fact of the matter is that we have the entire section of Ballerini translated, including that which Da Silveira left out of his book.

J. Lane: …is absolutely not defending the notion that anybody can warn the pope juridically, but explicitly says that any such warning would be an act of fraternal correction, which is charity, NOT justice. You omitted to quote this in your book (you cut your quote short just at the very point necessary to exclude it), and I suspect this is because you don't grasp what he is saying, so you don't see its importance: "One sees then that in the case of a heresy, to which the Pontiff adhered privately, there would be an immediate and efficacious remedy, without the convocation of a General Council: for in this hypothesis whatever would be done against him before the declaration of his contumacy and heresy, in order to call him to reason, would constitute an obligation of charity, not of jurisdiction..."

J. Salza: John, be prepared for more embarrassment. Robert and I cannot fathom how you can make such false statements. We did in fact include this very quote from Ballerini, which shows that you are having serious issues with reading, not to mention comprehending, the material in our book. Or you are simply making rash judgments because this is such an emotional issue for you, as it is with all Sedevacantists. Here is the quotation from page 262 of our book that you falsely claim we didn’t include:

“[W]hat they (Sedevacantists) fail to understand is that a warning can be either an act of judgment (which is proper to a superior), or a work of mercy and therefore an act of charity. As an act of charity, an inferior can certainly warn, or fraternally correct, a superior, “provided,” as St. Thomas noted, “there be something in the person that requires correction.” Fr. Ballerini, who was cited at length above with respect to warning a heretical Pope, made this very point. He said “whatever would be done against him [a heretical Pope] before the declaration of his contumacy and heresy, in order to call him to reason, would constitute an obligation of charity, not of jurisdiction.”[1] (emphasis added)

J. Salza: So, John, you are wrong once again. We included the very quote that you falsely accused us of not including, and we repeatedly emphasize that these warnings are acts of charity and not jurisdiction. See TOFP pages 240-241, 262-263.

Why do you need to falsify our position by making false accusations and straw men arguments? Is this ignorance? Recklessness? Malice? God knows. But this is why it’s best that we no longer correspond unless you quote from our book directly.

J. Lane: So the suggested "process" is informal, not juridical, and is in the order of epistemology, not government. It is about forming a secure judgment of reason, not about governing the Church. For the question, according to Bellarmine, is one of "knowing a fact".

J. Salza: I have corrected you above. And while Bellarmine is referring to “knowing a fact,” the real question is who establishes “the fact”? Sedevacantist laymen like you with no authority, or the Church? Bellarmine answers, by referring to Driedo’s teaching: The “manifest heretic” is one who has been expelled by the Church’s judgment, or one who has departed from the Church by renouncing her as the rule of Faith – neither of which the Conciliar Popes have done. And note also that even in the case of public defection, the 1917 Code requires a warning from the Church (and the new Code also requires a declaration of the “fact”).

J. Lane: Your own source Smith tells us that he is relying upon Craisson for his doctrine. Craisson in the place given by Smith, says this:

<< Question 6. Whether a Pope who falls into heresy ipso iure forfeits the Pontificate. I answer, with R. de M. (in his Institutiones Juris Canonici, t.1, p.265): “There are two opinions, says, Azor. (…) one of which holds that he is indeed deprived of the Pontificate by divine law but is to be declared afterwards by sentence of the Church to have fallen from the Pontifical dignity – this opinion is held by Paludanus, etc. (…) A heretic is outside the Church and therefore cannot be considered to be a member of the Church, so how can someone be head of the Church who is not a member of the Church? It seems that this can also be deduced from the chapters Quod autem; Acacius; and Audivimus, caus.24, q.1, etc.”.

J. Salza: So, John, let me understand this. Rather than address St. Robert Bellarmine’s teaching directly, that in the case of heresy, a Pope can be judged by his inferiors, you rather use Craisson? He is now your new authority? Fine. We are used to Sedevacantists taking a snippet here and a fragment there from anyone who they think supports their case (someone just posted this material on the http://www.suscipedomine.com blog a couple months ago). But we have the actual book.

Nothing in Craisson’s teaching is incompatible with what we present in our book. In fact, everything harmonizes together (but you wouldn’t see that because you don’t actually know our position or understand the positions of Bellarmine, Suarez, Cajetan or John of St. Thomas). Craisson’s statement that “he is deprived of the Pontificate by divine law but is to be declared afterwards by a sentence of the Church to have fallen” does not preclude the Church from establishing the Pope’s pertinacity, which it does through the charitable warnings, just as Ballerini himself taught, in the section that you failed to cite. Establishing that fact (or getting the Pope to amend) is the very purpose of the warnings. That the Church is responsible for this process is irrefutable and is the unanimous opinion of all the theologians. Whether the Church declares the Pope is guilty of the crime of heresy before or after finding him guilty of heresy, and whether she also declares the See to be vacant (a separate declaration), are theological opinions that we do not definitively commit to in our book (although we believe that the Church would have to declare the crime, before declaring the See vacant). We are also not as direct and explicit as Bellarmine, who says a Pope is judged by his inferiors for heresy. We were much more nuanced in our book. We erred on the side of caution. None of this helps your case, because you deny the unanimous opinion that the CHURCH, not vigilante Sedevacantists, establishes “the fact” of pertinacity through the process of charitable warnings, which it would then declare to the faithful.

And this poses further problems for you, because Suarez says the common opinion is that the Church does declare the crime of heresy, and then the Pope falls AFTER (not before) the declaration (the declaration inducing the dispositive cause of the loss of office according to the Jesuit Opinion). And John of St. Thomas, who wrote an entire treatise on this subject matter, says that Suarez and Bellarmine held the SAME position. And, further, Suarez’s (and Bellarmine’s) teaching can be perfectly harmonized with that of Craisson, because Craisson is almost certainly referring to the second declaration the Church could make, that is, by declaring that the See is vacant – and which would come AFTER the first declaration of the crime of heresy, which was the dispositive cause for the vacancy. We address all of this in our book, John, and you have not read it or comprehended it.

Craisson’s statement that the Pope is “deprived of the pontificate by divine law” is true because it is Christ, not the Church, who severs the bond between the man (the matter) and the papacy (the form). But Christ will not sever the bond in secret. According to the Jesuit Opinion, the Church’s declaration of the crime of heresy (which marks the point of no return for the Pope to amend) serves as the dispositive cause of the loss of office, with Christ being the Efficient Cause (and this is consistent with Craisson, who is referring to the second declaration of vacancy). You have failed to grasp these distinctions. It’s all in our book. And to our knowledge, no modern scholar has addressed the distinction between dispositive and efficient cause as regards the loss of the papal office before we wrote the book. That is another thing that you will now learn from us.

J. Lane: “The second opinion denies in general that a pope who becomes a heretic is removed by divine law from his authority, holding rather that he is to be removed. This is the opinion of Cajetan, etc. (…). For the other bishops are not considered to be ipso jure deprived…as soon as they become heretics. Until (…) at least their crime has been declared, meanwhile (…) their acts are valid… The Pope would have to be deprived by a General Council if he were to fall into heresy.” See also what is said below (§6123) >> translation by JS Daly.

J. Salza: This is what we have termed the “Dominican Opinion” which, like the Jesuit Opinion, requires the Church to establish the fact of the Pope’s pertinacity. The difference is, in the Dominican Opinion, after establishing the Pope’s pertinacity, the Church takes the additional step of declaring to the faithful that the Pope is vitandus, which would constitute a juridical act as regards the faithful (the Church has the authority to command the faithful), but not the Pope. This is the position of Cajetan and JST that you have not understood. Thus, in this opinion, the dispositive cause of the loss of office is the vitandus declaration to the faithful, but Christ is still the Efficient Cause of the loss of office; of the severing of the bond between the man and the papacy. JST goes into a beautiful metaphysical explanation of how the vitandus declaration induces a disposition into the matter (the man) which renders him impotent to continue as Pope (because he is now avoided by the faithful). And no juridical process over the Pope ever takes place. As JST says, the Church “indirectly” judges the Pope because, as Pope Innocent III says, “the Pope judges himself.”

In BOTH opinions, the Church establishes the “fact” that the Pope is a manifest heretic through the charitable warnings which, again, is not a juridical process over the Pope. And the formal establishment of pertinacity through the charitable warnings (and the subsequent declaration of the crime according to both the Jesuit and Dominican Opinions) necessarily precedes Christ’s removal of the Pope, for Christ will not remove the Pope without the actions of the Church (and JST says these warnings must come from the Cardinals, which is presumably what we are going to see in the case of Pope Francis). Again, you have failed to understand our position and the meaning of the two opinions that you claim to understand and even teach us! You haven’t taught us a thing, John, other than we thought you knew much more than you actually do.

J. Lane: So, two opinions, and the first of these is that of Bellarmine, and is summarised as, "he is indeed deprived of the Pontificate by divine law but is to be declared afterwards by sentence of the Church to have fallen from the Pontifical dignity..."

Afterwards. He is to be declared afterwards to have fallen previously from the pontifical dignity.

J. Salza: Already addressed above. Craisson is referring to the declaration of vacancy which comes after the Church’s establishment of the fact of pertinacity and declaration of the crime, according to the Jesuit Opinion. See page 358 of TOFP (point #3) for one of the times that we address this point.

J. Lane: What precedes this fall? Only a warning of fraternal charity, not a juridical process.

J. Salza: First, none of the recent Popes have been issued an ecclesiastical warning as a matter of charity. Second, while it is true that the Church does not exercise an act of jurisdiction over the Pope prior to his fall from the office, according to the common opinion from the days of Bellarmine, a declaratory sentence of the crime also precedes the loss of office. As Suarez explicitly states, the Church declares the crime and then the heretical Pope is ipso facto and immediately deposed by Christ. He says this is the common opinion, and John of St. Thomas states that this common opinion was held by both Suarez and Bellarmine. He wrote:

“It cannot be held that the pope, by the very fact of being a heretic, would cease to be pope antecedently [prior] to a declaration of the Church. It is true that some seem to hold this position; but we will discuss this in the next article. What is truly a matter of debate, is whether the pope, after he is declared by the Church to be a heretic, is deposed ipso facto by Christ the Lord [Jesuit Opinion], or if the Church ought to depose him [Dominican Opinion]. In any case, as long as the Church has not issued a juridical declaration, he must always be considered the pope, as we will make more clear in the next article. ... Bellarmine and Suarez are of the opinion that, by the very fact that the Pope is a manifest heretic and declared to be incorrigible, he is deposed [ipso facto] by Christ our Lord [Jesuit Opinion] without any intermediary, and not by any authority of the Church.”

John, if you choose to depart from this common opinion [that the declaration of the Church precedes the loss of office], and embrace what JST said “cannot be held,” that’s your choice, but please don’t pretend that your opinion represents the teaching of the Church or her classical theologians.

J. Lane: You, on the other hand, say that a juridical process must precede the fall from membership in the Church, and the loss of office, with a corresponding declaration, or finding by an authority.

J. Salza: Again, wrong. You either haven’t read our book, or don’t understand what you have read. We have never said a juridical process over the Pope precedes his fall from office. But we do maintain with Bellarmine that a Pope can be judged in the case of heresy, and this judgment is rendered after the two warnings and his failure to amend. The declaration of the fact is an “indirect” judgment of the Pope (in the words of JST), for the Pope has “judged himself” (in the words of Pope Innocent). John, will you now be sure to correct both yourself and those with whom you have “conversed” about our alleged theological opinions?

J. Lane: You contrast this with your invented concept, “private judgement.” (In order to make your concept of private judgement appealing, you are forced to abuse the texts of the Summa, and take those dealing with usurped judgement as though they applied to all non-authoritative observation of fact. Look at McHugh and Callan for clear, undeniable, evidence that there is lawful “private judgment” quite distinct from Protestant private judgement. You’d know this if you knew your moral theology.)

J. Salza: More unsubstantiated attacks on my knowledge and abilities, which are completely off base. Of course the laity are allowed to render private judgments, since doing so is a normal function of the intellect. But they are not allowed to judge and then publicly declare that a prelate (much less a Pope), who is recognized as a member of the Church in good standing, has lost his office due to manifest heresy. This is not only a private judgment, but a public declaration. That is a perfect example of a “judgment by usurpation” that is forbidden.

J. Lane: Now, John, let's say I am mistaken about all of this. Let's suppose that you are right and I am wrong. Is it even plausible that my answer is unlawful? No, my answer is supported by strong arguments and any Catholic can hold it in good faith. This was the view of Archbishop Lefebvre also, who not only retained excellent relations with sedevacantists like Bill Morgan and Fr. Raffali, but who publicly speculated he might adopt their view himself.

J. Salza: John, no reputable theologian has taught that a layman in the pew can declare that a Pope, who is recognized as such by the Church, has lost his office due to “manifest heresy.” On the contrary, Herve explicitly teaches the following: “Given that, as a private person, the Pontiff could indeed become a public, notorious, and obstinate heretic … only a Council [the Church] would have the right to declare his see vacant.” And it is also not lawful to declare that a Pope who has been peacefully and universally accepted by the Church (which is the case for the conciliar Popes) is an antipope. The theologians who have addressed this issue say such a judgment is a grave sin against the Faith, and John of St. Thomas says it is heretical. So yes, your position is unlawful. And stop abusing Archbishop Lefebvre. He was not a Sedevacantist, which is why he said: “I have always warned the faithful vis-à -vis the sedevacantists” (Archbishop Lefebvre). We hope your pastor, whom you have perhaps deceived, finally does the same.

J Lane: If this much is true, as it obviously is, then you have no right to be abusing me and others like me in public print, or even in private.

J. Salza: As I demonstrated above, this much is absolutely not true, and thus your conclusion does not follow. You have falsely accused us of holding positions we don’t hold, and have failed to understand the theology, as demonstrated above.

J. Lane: Your own bombast and aggression is unlawful. It offends against justice and charity, not merely against charity. Other sins follow naturally and inevitably from these, including the incredible situation in which you accuse me of self-deceit and of lying to others when I defend myself from your injustice. (I am surprised that your priest advisers are not making this point very strongly to you, or if they are, that you are not amending your stand.)

J. Salza: John, it is you who has offended against justice and charity, by engaging in your clandestine campaign to tarnish our reputations and discredit our book, all the while you don’t know our positions or comprehend the theological positions that we present in that very book. You attacked us, and we have responded only to defend ourselves and our work against your false accusations and erroneous theology, which we have a right and a duty to do (and will continue to do so, as long as you persist in your efforts against us). These efforts are despicable and disgraceful. It says a lot about the person of John Lane, who spreads his poison even in SSPX chapels. But it is a good sign for us and the book. The devil is doing everything in his power to discredit us and our work. No doubt he wants to prevent the release of the Second Edition, which will contain an additional 150 pages of never-before translated material (translated by SSPX translators), and a new endorsement from a very significant individual.

J. Lane: By the way, I never hold a grudge - ask anybody who knows me - so this will all evaporate the moment you stop attacking me and Roman theology. But while you maintain your attack - and, incredibly, you propose to repeat it in print soon - I will continue to point out its injustice and falsehood.

J. Salza: John, it is you who has attacked us and our book, a book that you evidently have not read or don’t comprehend, seeing that you have falsely accused us of omitting quotations and holding theological positions we do not hold. Now the burden of justice is on you to correct any misstatements you have made to others about our book. Please start with His Excellency, Bishop Fellay.

J. Lane: Robert is demanding that I be stripped of my access to the mass and sacraments, merely for failing to fall at your feet and agree with your theory.

J. Salza: This is another falsehood (you deal in many). Robert never “demanded” that you be stripped of your access to the Mass and sacraments. Robert simply suggested that barring you from the sacraments may just be the act of charity and justice that you need to lift the scales from your eyes. He demand nothing. This is how the Church deals with public sinners.

To conclude, regarding your offer to keep this a private correspondence – Robert and I are willing to keep it as private, or make it as public, as you wish. For now, since you yourself have engaged Frs. [N.] and [N.] (whose correction you have refused), and Fr. [N.], and have even copied [N.] in your evident effort to influence him to withdraw support from our book, I must include them on this correspondence, and will go beyond that, if necessary, in order to mitigate the damaged you are attempting to cause us.

I plan no further correspondence unless you quote from our book directly.

In Christ crucified,
John Salza
____________________________________________________________

To this email I gave two replies.

Reply #1:

From: John Lane
Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2017 10:12 PM
To: 'John Salza'
Cc: Robert Siscoe; [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: RE: Conciliarism etc.

Dear John,

I will answer the substance of your email later. I think it might be helpful if I reassure you that I have not been running some clandestine campaign. My defence efforts have been directed, perfectly openly, before you and Robert, in the presence of the men who cooperated in your book.

I don’t know that you’d rather I publish a refutation of your attacks on Roman Theology, and on my character, honesty, integrity, and the rest.

The last two emails (including the one you reply to below) were sent only to you, for the reason I gave, in the parts of the email that you snipped off. Here they are, since we’re cc’ing everybody.

_____________________________________________

Robert is demanding that I be stripped of my access to the mass and sacraments, merely for failing to fall at your feet and agree with your theory. Well, here I am, a beggar, without power or influence, at the mercy of the clergy. You and Robert, as you continually claim, have the full weight of the SSPX behind you, the approval of "many priests and theologians and Bishop Fellay" for your aggression and your theories. With such enormous influence, I suggest you ponder the correlative responsibility.

If, on the other hand, my replies make you feel insecure, then that should make you question quite whether your claims are as well founded as you assert. Perhaps the vehemence of your assertions is proportionate to the doubt you have about the strength your position.

I haven’t cc’d the usual list, on the theory that perhaps you need a little privacy for such an email. I don’t mind if you forward it to all of them.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John Lane.
_____________________________________________


Since you are happy to engage in the presence of the clergy, we can go back to doing that, although I would be surprised if they don’t find it tedious.

You’re right, Robert didn’t demand that I be kicked out of our SSPX chapel, he merely implied that Archbishop Lefebvre would have done so. You yourself made the following concordant comments: “I question how a public Sedevacantist like yourself can receive the sacraments where you do. And I am not the only one. It is a great scandal.”

And now, in this email, you insinuate that Fr. [N.] is a sede? Is that serious? LOL!

While I’m doing housekeeping, I’ll deal with another unanswered issue.

On Dollinger, this is the passage we are discussing, from “True or False Pope”:

<< According to Church historian and theologian Döllinger (writing under the pen name “Janus”), this comment was made while Pope Adrian was a Professor of Theology in Louvain prior to his election to the pontificate. Döllinger notes that the statement was well-known at the time since it was included in his principal work (see “The Pope and the Council,” by “Janus,” i.e., Johannes Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger), second edition (Rivingtons; London; Oxford; and Bambridge, 1869), p. 376. We should note that Döllinger denied the dogma of papal infallibility before and after it was defined. So while his historical research and facts may be of use, one should remain cautious with respect to the soundness of his judgement. >>

The Catholic historian, Fr. Reuben Parsons, quotes with approval Bishop Ketteler of Mayence, who had been a student of Dollinger, referring to the work (“The Pope and the Council”) praised in True or False Pope? Ketteler describes the work as “ that libel which appeared under the name of Janus, and which is directed against the Church... The book of Janus is not only directed against the infallibility of the Pope, but even against his primacy, against that great and divine institution in the Church to which we owe so manifestly, by means of her unity, the victories of the Church over all her adversaries in all ages. Janus is, moreover, a tissue of numberless falsifications of the facts of history, to which perhaps nothing but the Provincial Letters of Pascal can be compared for violation of truth.” (Studies in Church History, Vol. V, pp. 587,588.) Parsons received a brief of praise and approbation personally from Leo XIII for the work from which this quote is taken – his Studies in Church History. I use this source deliberately because it is available to all (on Archive.org), and representative of Catholic thought.

Clearly the judgment of Dollinger is not the only problem. He was a falsifier of history, according to his former student and friend, Bishop Ketteler. More importantly, the very book cited by “True or False Pope” and recommended as a reliable source of facts, is here ripped to shreds as a libel and a book of historical falsifications. I’m sorry to belabour the point, but I feel that given the previous replies, I must.

Those who would like a better insight into the character of Dollinger and his unsoundness long before the Vatican Council, should read this: https://archive.org/stream/studiesinchu ... 2/mode/2up Parsons in that article shows that Dollinger was Protestant in his convictions regarding history ten years before 1870.

More later.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John Lane.
______________________________________________________________

Note: Apparently Mr. Salza is unfamiliar with the noun "saw" which is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as follows:

A proverb or maxim.
‘it is worth bearing in mind another old saw: ‘oppositions do not win elections; governments lose them’’


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New post Re: Email correspondence with John Salza
Second reply to Mr. Salza:

From: John Lane
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2017 7:13 PM
To: 'John Salza'
Cc: Robert Siscoe; [Five SSPX Members]
Subject: RE: Conciliarism etc.

Dear John,

As I think I may have pointed out in a previous email, in the Middle Ages, in a scholastic setting, you’d not even be permitted to begin your refutation of an opponent’s thesis before satisfying him, by stating his position, that you understood it properly. You have not done me this courtesy, but I am trying to do it for you.

I wrote a private email to you laying out what I believed to be your position, and asked you to correct me if I am mistaken. Then I gave my understanding of your position. I don’t know how you imagined that I would show you that I really did understand your views if I didn’t state them in my own words, but let’s look at your response.

__________________________________________
J. Salza: I have corrected you above. It’s telling, however, how you didn’t wait for my reply to your invitation to clarify my position. You simply went on to assume you presented it accurately, even though you also asked to be corrected. So I assume that is because you really didn’t desire to be corrected. As you will see, you have erected a straw man, and frankly it’s difficult to believe that you could be this ignorant about our position, which we clearly lay out in our book.

And:

J. Salza: John, be prepared for more embarrassment. Robert and I cannot fathom how you can make such false statements. We did in fact include this very quote from Ballerini, which shows that you are having serious issues with reading, not to mention comprehending, the material in our book. Or you are simply making rash judgments because this is such an emotional issue for you, as it is with all Sedevacantists.
_________________________________________

Those comments were all unnecessary, especially in reply to a private email sent directly to you.

I’m trying hard to understand your views, but they seem to me to be hopelessly contradictory and if I put one construction on them, I cannot see how you can criticize my personal view that the See is vacant at all! Yet you condemn me repeatedly for holding an opinion which your principles (on one construction) seem clearly to authorize. On another construction, your principles seem to me to be Conciliarist. Then, if that were your stand, I would understand you condemning my view (although you’d still not be entitled to judge my conscience, condemn me as a schismatic, and pour bile on me throughout your book.)

You appear to be maintaining that it is lawful for an inferior to issue only a warning of fraternal charity, and no more. At the same time, you insist that the Church can judge a true and undoubted pope. I can cite the various passages of TOFP, of course, but I don’t think it’s necessary, for the reason that I will be exceedingly surprised if you dispute that you hold these two views.

Maybe we can shortcut this if I say that I hold Billot’s doctrine, and paste in here some relevant passages. I’ve added bolding for emphasis. Billot, like Ballerini, is a student of Bellarmine. My question, do you accept Billot’s doctrine? If not, why not?

<< Now, so far as it is certain that a person who has once taken on the papacy can cease from the pontificate itself by free abdication, it is equally to be held as certain that it cannot in any way be done by a deposition, by which the Pontiff would be deprived by the Church, or by any existing college in the Church, on its authority. The general reason is that the superior is not deposed by the inferior. But the Pope is above all and everybody in the Church taken both distributively and collectively, and not only in the regular course of things, but also in regard to any event or situation at all, as already appears from what has been said about the ecclesiastical monarchy, and will be treated ex professo hereafter, in the section dealing with the force and nature of the primacy. Therefore the opinion of the Gallicans in this regard is to be considered as falling under the same judgment as their opinion on the superiority of a Council over the Pope, which, since the definitions of the Vatican Council, has now ended up as heretical.

<< Nor can you say that deposition can still be conceived not as a direct removal of the pontifical power, (given that this is immediately from God, and holds every other power in the Church under itself), but as a simple change in the subject, by which the legitimacy of the person of the Pontiff which was brought in by the election would be taken away. It is clearly seen that this is objectionable on various heads. First, because the Pontiff would always be in the position of being exposed to the judgment of his inferiors, which involves an evident contradiction. Second, the change in the person just mentioned is not opposed as correlative to the election, but is in a different order, that is, in the order of an act of jurisdiction and power, and therefore it does not follow that if the person of the Pontiff can be designated by men, therefore he can be legitimately be deprived by them. Third, neither the Church nor any college in the Church has any act concerning the person of the Pontiff apart from the act of election; therefore once the election has canonically taken place, there is nothing left to do until the occasion for a new election arises, and the occasion for a new election arises only consequently to the vacating of the See. Therefore, the impossibility of deposition is proved in every way. >>

<< For it is not he who is an occult unbeliever, but he who openly professes his unbelief in those things which are proposed to the Christian faithful to be held by Catholic faith, who breaks the bond by which he belonged to the structure of ecclesiastical society, and in consequence immediately loses the constitutive factor of membership, along with all the titles which essentially presuppose this factor. Allowing, therefore, the hypothesis of a Pope who becomes a notorious heretic, it must be conceded without any hesitation that he would lose the pontifical power ipso facto, given that he would be transferred out of the body of the Church, having become an unbeliever, as is well said by the authors whom Cajetan, undeservedly, as is seen, argues against. >>

<< The authorities which are cited in opposition prove nothing. They bring forward, first, the authority of Innocent III, Serm. 2 on the consecration of the Supreme Pontiff, where he says of himself: “Faith is so necessary for me that, while I have God alone as judge of other sins, I could be judged by the Church only on account of a sin committed in the matter of faith.” But Innocent does not set up the case as simply a possibility; but in order to exalt the necessity of faith, he says that that necessity is so great that whether it is possible or impossible that the Pontiff should be found deviant in faith, he would already be subject to the judgment of the Church by the reasoning which was explained above. And this is a manner of speaking similar to that used by the Apostle, when he wishes to show the immutability of the truth of the Gospel, saying: Though we, or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel different from that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. For Innocent had said prior to this: “Unless I have been established solidly in faith, how could I strengthen others in faith? This is known particularly to pertain to my office, by Our Lord proclaiming: I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not, and thou some time turning, confirm thy brethren. He prayed and beseeched, because he was heard in all things for His reverence. And therefore the faith of the Apostolic See has never failed in any disturbance, but has always remained whole and unstained, in order that the privilege of Peter should continue unshaken to the end.” Therefore this authority is rather against our adversaries, unless they are to say that Innocent intends by those words that something could at any time be lacking which Our Lord prayed for Peter, as being necessary for the office in which He was instituting him.

<< They also bring forward the authority of Adrian II in his third allocution read in the 8th Council, Act. 7: “We read that the Roman Pontiff judged concerning the heads of all the churches: but we do not read that anyone judged concerning him. For although an anathema was pronounced on Honorius by the Eastern churches after his death, it is to be understood that he was accused of heresy, on account of which alone it is licit for the lesser to resist the motions of those greater than themselves, or freely to reject their depraved opinions. Although even then it was not lawful for anyone either of the patriarchs or of the rest of the bishops to pronounce sentence on him, unless the authority of the consent of that same first See of the Pontiff had previously been given.” But how is this to the point? It is evident that Honorius by no means fell into heresy, but only favored it negatively, not using the supreme authority to extirpate the growing error, and in this sense it is said he was accused of heresy. Hence, in the same 8th Council, Act. 1, the formula sent by the same Adrian had been signed, in which is read, with no added restriction: “Because the Catholic religion has always been preserved in the Apostolic See, and holy doctrine celebrated.” But if the meaning of Adrian is not that Honorius fell into heresy, those who use this authority to prove that the Roman Pontiff can become a heretic are in error.

<< Finally, the text from canon law, Dist. 40, can 6 Si papa is brought forward: “No mortal man presumes there to accuse the faults of this man (the Pope), because he who is to judge all men must be judged by no one, unless he be apprehended deviating from the faith.” But in the first place it is to be observed that these words are taken from the Decretal of Gratian, to which belongs no authority besides the intrinsic authority of the documents which are found collected in it. Besides, no one certainly will deny that those documents are of unequal validity, being partly authentic and partly apocryphal. Finally, it is more than likely that the cited canon, which has been inserted under the name of Boniface the martyr, is to be listed among the apocryphal ones. For the rest, Bellarmine still answers: “Those canons do not mean that the Pontiff can err (heretically) as a private person, but only that the Pontiff cannot be judged. Nevertheless, because it is not entirely certain whether or not the Pontiff can be a heretic, they add, for greater safety, the condition, ‘unless he becomes a heretic.’” [FOOTNOTE: Bellarmine, bk. 4 de Rom. Pont. c. 7.] >>

<< At length we come to another argument. To be sure, whoever dwells outside the Church is ipso facto rendered unfit for all ordinary jurisdiction, say, episcopal jurisdiction [Billot’s note here: Note the deliberate phrasing: of all ordinary jurisdiction; for with regard to extraordinary and merely delegated jurisdiction in a case of necessity, it is not the same idea, as will be readily clear upon consideration.]. The reason is that a person who has ordinary jurisdiction or truly episcopal jurisdiction possesses the dignity of being the head, and no one can be the head of even a particular church if he is not a member of the Church. Indeed, what head ever existed that was not a member? For even though not every member is a head, nevertheless every head is a member. Hence, if occult heresy were to put a man outside the Church, whenever a doubt about the legitimacy and authority of pastors could arise, there would not be moral certitude about their internal faith. But God forbid that the establishment of Christ should endure such a monstrous anomaly whereby the sinews of discipline would be loosened. Nor are we using merely probable arguments in this matter, because we are distinctly and emphatically taught that a bishop by reason of heresy does not lose his own power of binding and loosing, except when he preaches heresy and openly professes it. In this regard, among other documents, there is extant the letter of Pope Celestine to the clergy and people of Constantinople in the case of Nestorius, where the Pontiff first urges Catholics to fight bravely for the faith, bear hardships patiently, and not fear exile. “No Christian,” he says, “should bewail a temporal exile imposed upon him, because no one is an exile to God. Let us fear exile from the realm of the living, that is, the realm that we wish to be our homeland. That is our perpetual and eternal abode. Indeed ours is no ephemeral place, but those things are truly ours, which a most certain hope promises.” Then declaring invalid the sentence whereby Nestorius had cast down some people either from their dignities or from the communion of the faithful, he continues: “Nevertheless, lest the sentence of one who had already called down upon himself a divine judicial sentence be considered as valid even for a time, the authority of our See has decreed that, from the moment that Nestorius and those like him began to proclaim such [heresy], We do not regard as exiled or excommunicated any of the bishops or clerics or Christians by any profession who were cast down from their position or from communion by him and his followers. Rather, all of them both were, and are now continuing, in communion with Us, because a person who erred by preaching such things could not cast down or remove anyone.” Therefore you see that a bishop who is a heretic in secret is still vested with the power of binding and loosing, since he loses episcopal jurisdiction and the power of excommunication only from the time at which he begins to preach heresy openly. The conclusion, then, is readily seen. For if he who is not in the Church cannot possess authority over the Church, and an occult heretic can have authority — better still, at some time possesses it in reality and even, in fact, at one time or another actually possesses it — it clearly follows that a[n] occult heretic has not yet been cut off from the body of the Church. >>

<< But truly one must consider that, in the present, it is not positively a question of heresy insofar as it is a sin against the virtue of faith in the internal forum of God and conscience, but purely and simply of heresy that has the power to cut a man off from the visible body of the Church, and is directly opposed to the external profession of the Catholic religion. >>

You cannot argue that Billot (or indeed the pope he quotes, following Bellarmine) has in mind only a heretic who admits that his doctrine is opposed to the teaching of the Church (i.e. one who explicitly declares that he rejects the proximate Rule of Faith, the magisterium), for then Billot’s doctrine and the words he chooses to use would make no sense. It is beside the point to say that sometimes it is unclear if a man is really a heretic or only a mistaken Catholic, for all admit that obvious reality. The question at issue here is whether there exist any men who openly leave the Church while still claiming to remain members. All of this must be read in the light of the fact that the first of the bonds of external unity of the Church is the profession of faith, and this unity is a unity of teaching by all of the ordinaries, under the supervision of the Roman Pontiff, and a consequent unity of actual profession, by all of the Church’s members. All of the theologians lay this out so there can be no excuse for omitting it as you do in your book, or for emptying it of content by claiming that a body in which the hierarchy teaches error or obscures the faith, and a “membership” which is materially completely disunited because of this wicked activity of the hierarchy, can be said in any sense to be visibly united in faith. Actually, I think that thesis is manifestly heretical.

All of the above is from Billot’s de ecclesia. References can be provided, of course.

Unlike the attempt you have made in your book, the Society wisely has always refrained from setting out a complete theory of the crisis, precisely because if one attempts to do so, it is impossible to maintain the truths in the theology manuals. This is why the Society is “moderate sedeplenist” and not “dogmatic sedeplenist” as you and Robert are. If one merely says, “I recognize Francis as pope, and it’s above my pay grade to decide otherwise, and the Church will one day judge,” then there’s no imperative to explain all of the mysteries that remain. But the moment that one attempts to outlaw moderate sedevacantist (i.e. my opinion that the See is vacant, and it’s only my opinion), then you are obliged to solve a whole lot of problems that you are not equipped to solve.

Yours in the Immaculate,
John Lane.
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Mr. Salza did not reply to this email.


Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:02 am
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