Fake Relics and Father Francis LeBlanc

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See link below to see pictures of counterfeit relics.

The following article concerns counterfeit relics, and some of the history of Father Francis LeBlanc who operates Our Lady of the Sun International Shrine in El Mirage, Arizona  WITHOUT the permission of the Bishop of Phoenix. (El Mirage, Arizona, is a suburb of the Mesa / Phoenix Area.)  This post is not intended to cast slurs on Father LeBlanc, who may have always acted in good conscience. It simply presents some of his history. While Father LeBlanc does operate his Shrine without the permission of the Bishop of Phoenix, that Bishop - (at the time of this writing) - WILL NOT permit the Tridentine Indult Mass to be said anywhere within his diocese, even though the Tridentine Rite Mass, (called the 'Indult) has been expressly permitted by Rome.

LeBlanc, who has always been a staunch Tridentine, began his career as a disaffected Tridentine priest, long BEFORE the Vatican itself permitted the Tridentine Indult Mass to be licitly performed. Fr. LeBlanc has been at odds with the Bishop of Phoenix since he took up residence there over 20 years ago. He does pray for the Bishop in every mass, even though he has not been granted faculties which permit him to licitly perform the Tridentine Rite Mass within that diocese. He just does it anyway. Sadly, LeBlanc may be partially to blame for the Bishop's hostility towards pious Catholics who might enjoy being able to occasionally attend to a Tridentine Rite Liturgy. Bishops should have faith that the majority of modern day Catholics are committed and devoted to the New Rite of the Mass. They will not flock to Tridentine liturgies, just because they are permitted to attend. Truly pious Catholics are committed to sanctifying the Church as it is today. They long to move forward.

Many diocese's throughout the United States, and the world, do permit the most holy Tridentine Rite Liturgy - for those who may wish to attend this ancient, and revered liturgy. Therefore, the Bishop of Phoenix is considered by many Catholics to be a cause of dissension himself. He forbids the Vatican approved Tridentine Rite Indult Mass to be said within his diocese, though he allows many liturgical abuses, such as permitting laymen speak during the homily, (which is specifically part of the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass), and other things, which have been explicitly forbidden by Rome.

It has been widely alleged that Father LeBlanc has been associated with the distribution of relics of highly dubious origin. His organization has produced leaflets offering a wide variety of the relics of many Saints available for "sale by donation." This author believes that Father LeBlanc may have been deceived by his own sources. His primary source for these relics was supposedly been a group of Augustinian Nuns in Rome, who have themselves been associated with trafficking in counterfeit relics, or Agnus Dei's, of highly dubious origin. They purportedly have provided relics of such Saint's as "St. Joachim, the Father of Mary", St. Anne, all of the apostles, the True Cross - etc. It is this authors educated opinion, that most all of these extremely rare relics in newer Theca's, or newly sewn Agnus Dei's, are blatant counterfeits. (See below)

Many of these dubious relics originally came with forged authenticating documents, which were actually altered Xerox photocopies of documents issued by the office of Nicolas Ferrante, Postulator General of the Redemptorists. Postulator Ferrante's office had been in charge of the canonization of St. John Newman. Because the Center for the Cause of the Canonization of St. John Newman was based in Philadelphia PA, documents issued by Postulator Nicholas Ferrante authenticating the relics of St. John Newman were easy to come by in the mid 1970's. Those documents were then altered, usually by the removal of one of the lines in the document, allowing for two spaces - in which the various names of apostles, great saints, or other sacred objects, were written in by hand in Latin. Today, counterfeit papers may be made on ink jet, or laser printers. Customarily, documents of authenticity were printed on fine paper, using a printing press. Such old documents may be very fine in quality.

As Nicolas Ferrante was Postulator of the Redemptorists, the seal of a genuine Ferrante relic has the cross of the Redemptorist seal on it. Here is a scan of a genuine seal of an authentic Redemptorist relic, which is what Father Ferrante actually used:

Relics that use the double hanging shield of the office of the Vicarate of Rome, were not used by Father Ferrante, though many fake relics do use a counterfeit stamp of the Vicarate of Rome - even though they may be accompanied by photocopied documents bearing an embossed seal of another order, such as Father Ferrante's Redemptorist's, which can be seen below:

"I got in touch years ago with the current Postulator General of the Redemptorists, Father Marrazzo, and he [verbally] assured me, and then wrote to me, that the relics I sent for his inspection could not come from Father Ferrante. Among other reasons, Father Ferrante never used the photocopy-based document..." Ferrante did not actually sign each document himself, so a lithograph reproduction of his signature does not indicate forgery. However, true Ferrante Documents may bear the name of the manufacturer of the paper of the document on the lower left hand side of the document, which may read: a.r.c.e.a. - roma - v. pigna, 18. Most certainly, black and white photocopies are false documents. This author fails to understand why so many counterfeit Ferrante documents fail to include the full signature of Father Ferrante. His full signature was certainly easy enough to obtain.


More History of Father LeBlanc, Outrageous Conspiracies, and the Bayside Hoax:


by Thomas W. Case

Part 1

Fidelity Magazine, February 1993

Copied from: http://home.earthlink.net/~grossklas/trc1.htm

Thomas W. Case is an expert on cults and a frequent contributor to Fidelity.

It was question and answer time at the Tridentine Rite Conference's September 1992 conference in Chicago. The Rev. Robert Stemper, formerly a Jesuit and now of dubious faculties, was acting as master of ceremonies, bustling around the dias in his soutane, taking questions from the audience, which it must be admitted were slow in coming, spouting off various Latin phrases and generally praising the other panelists as those in the know, those who could put some reasonable order to the chaos which had engulfed the Church. With him on the dais were Father Nicholas Gruner, publisher of the Fatima Crusade also of dubious faculties, Father Paul Trinchard, who writes for The Wanderer. Michael Davies, apologist for the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated in 1988 after the illicit consecration of four bishops, and a certain Professor White, who was the least known and in many ways most interesting, an academic baby-boomer innocent who converted from Marxism to Christianity of some sort, but was prevented from telling his story by the officious Father Stemper, who had the unfortunate habit of encouraging people to talk and then shutting them up just when their stories got interesting.

The TRC meeting was an attempt, one of many these days, to explain the chaos which has engulfed the Catholic Church during the past 25 years. People have become so desperate, so disoriented that they are willing to pay money to hear people like Father Gruner explain it all for them. And Father Gruner, to give him credit, does his best. Maybe it was all those Bo Gritz for President bumper stickers in the parking lot, but you know you are in strange company when Father Gruner is cast in the role of the moderate.

"Just because the pope makes a mistake," he tells a young priest in a shiny black suit, doesn't mean he isn't the Pope."

The crowd. it seems, doesn't know whether it agrees or not. One big issue at the TRC conference is sede vacantism, the doctrine which states that since a real Pope would never have let all these bad things happen to us, therefore the current Pope, and for that matter his three immediate predecessors, are, and were, not real Popes. The more things go wrong, the more the vacant seat explanation has appeal to people who are at a loss to explain things otherwise. Veronica Lueken, the seer at Bayside and a master at capitalizing on the fears and longings of the disaffected, even announced that Pope Paul VI had been kidnapped. One woman who was there that night and has come to have second thoughts about Veronica's visions described how the thrill of recognition swept through her busload of pilgrims as the explanation set in. Here. at last, was an explanation that made sense. The euphoria of sudden understanding spread through the crowd like a shot of morphine through the nervous system of a patient with terminal cancer. But that was then and this is now. The euphoria of the first shot of spiritual dope, taken right after the ravages of the Vatican council became apparent, is never duplicated by subsequent shots. And now 27 years down the road from the councils end the dosage keeps getting increased and the effect keeps diminishing.

Gruner is no stranger to the calming effect of the all-encompassing explanation. For years he, waged a campaign against the Vatican claiming that the consecration of Russia called for by Our Lady of Fatima had not taken place in 1984. Thousands of letters were mailed to the Vatican demanding that the consecration be redone according to Gruner's specifications. Eduard Cardinal Gagnon's phone number was published in the Fatima Crusader, with the admonition to call and enlist him in this cause. The result was that the Cardinal was awakened so many times in the middle of the night by the weeping of hysterical women that he had to have his number changed. Gruner then alleged on the cover of his magazine that Gagnon agreed with him that the consecration hadn't taken place, a fact which Gagnon promptly and publicly denied, calling Gruner, among other things "a liar." And then, worst of all from Father Gruner's perspective, came the events of 1989 and 1991, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the failed Communist coup in Moscow and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Now Father Gruner is forced to find other villains, or other explanations for the malaise we feel. Even though he still somewhat grudgingly refers to the "so-called fall of communism" in his talks, the fact remains that, one of the main conspiratorial causes has disappeared. Instead of rejoicing, there is simply more consternation. How do we explain the chaos in the Church now?

The questions on the part of an increasingly bewildered laity keep coming and the number of groups which steps forward to answer them in the current authority vacuum in the Church increases apace. The TRC conference was a dramatic substantiation of the claim that nature abhors a vacuum. There will never, so a corollary of this law goes, be more bewildered people than there are groups who are willing to charge a fee to answer their questions. As Gruner drones on at the microphone, a lady wanders over to me and shows me, for some reason, a question she has written down on a small piece of paper. "What is the connection," she wonders, "between the NovusOrdo Missae [the mass promulgated after Vatican II] and the Novus Ordo Seclorum found on the dollar bill?

Good question that. The answer which pops into my head almost immediately is that both are the result of Masonic conspiracy. That should be obvious from the common use of "Novus Ordo," which means "new order" in Latin. I do not give her this answer primarily because I don't believe it myself but consider it an ominous sign that I am caught up so readily in the spirit of the gathering. At a certain point people who should know better, people trained by the Jesuits long ago for example, start giving answers more for the effect they have on people than for the truth value of what they communicate. This is known as pandering and it is never easy to detect when there are so many crazy theories around but it is never far from the surface at gatherings like this.

Father Stemper evidently has a short attention span. After about five minutes into Gruner's talk he stands up and looks a bit impatient, as if ready to get on to bigger and better things, but Father Gruner drones on and on. Evidently Stemper feels uncomfortable interrupting a priest in a way that he did not in interrupting what I felt at least was the more interesting story of Professor White. But eventually Father Gruner runs out of things to say and Father Stemper gets the next question:

"According to the prophecies of Malachi this is the last Pope. How does this agree with the three days of the darkness and the chastisement predicted at Fatima?"

For once, Father Stemper is at a loss. I really don't know he says. But then as if to direct the conversation back to familiar ground he criticizes "communist disinformation and infiltration of the media" evidently unaware of Father Gruner's reference to the so-called fall of communism. This is why you come to conferences like this he continued evidently unaware that he had not answered the question. To get your marbles together and get them in a straight line.

Father Stemper may or may not have all of his marbles together but he is at least partially right here. The reason people come to the TRC convention is that they have been traumatized by the aftermath of the Council and live in a world which seemingly no one can explain in any cogent much less compelling fashion. The TRC is just one small contingent of a vast army of bewildered Catholics who have decided to vote with their feet. Marching beside them are the various phony apparition addicts, the supporters of fundamentalist televangelists and hordes of those who are just as alienated by reckless change but whose allegiance shifts with the moment.

The TRC is the brainchild of Father Francis LeBlanc of Phoenix and Father John Quinn of Chicago though LeBlanc is said to be the dominant character of this pair. At the TRC's last convention in September 1991 in New Jersey, Fr. Paul Wickens was elected president and Fr. Robert Stemper vice-president. Fr. LeBlanc is not an officer at this time having for his own reasons withdrawn (at least publicly) from the organization. Regardless of the TRC's current leadership the LeBlanc\Quinn connection that gave birth to the TRC a few years deserves some scrutiny. The bizarre nature of the circumstances surrounding its birth make it noteworthy for that reason alone. Beyond that there is value in warning people away from something that can do them serious spiritual harm no matter how pious it seems at first glance.

On August 6th, 1978, a few hours after the death of Pope Paul VI, a Spaniard by the name of Clemente Dominguez, who had been claiming to receive apparitions and locutions from the Blessed Virgin in the town of Palmar de Troya, declared himself Pope Gregory XVII, the first Marian pope. On the strength of anti-pope Clemente Dominguez mystical claims a Chicago area priest and two laymen traveled to Palmer de Troya Spain and eventually got themselves consecrated as bishops. There they met an English dwarf, Mrs. Patricia McElliot who like Pope Clemente heard voices too. Mrs. McElliot who had been living in Palmar de Troya took the three Chicagoans under her wing and began traveling with them back and forth between her new Marian order in Italy and the bogus Marian Shrine at Necedah Wisconsin.

Necedah is the site of a 42-year old cult built up around a false apparition every bit as blasphemous as Bayside. A typical locution allegedly from Our Lady as strained through the mind of Necedah seer Mary Ann van Hoof would consist of fifteen minutes of shouted diatribe against the Godless Supreme Grand Master the Black Pope. (She meant Pope Paul VI.) The shrine and its supporters were placed under an interdict whereupon Mary Ann affiliated the cult in 1979 to the Old Catholics. And so the cult of Necedah remains condemned locally and by Rome; all Catholics are forbidden to support it in any way under pain of excommunication; nevertheless drawing to its web a crowd of disaffected and disobedient Catholics of every stripe. It is interesting to note that Mrs. McElliot's voices took her and the priests under her influence to such a disreputable Catholic sideshow.

Fr. John Quinn was one of those priests. One night in 1981 he visited Necedah and was consecrated there by Clemente bishops Maurice Revaz, William Daly and the former layman Richard Corr. "Bishops" Corr and Daly are two of those who had gone to Palmar de Troya from the Chicago area some years previously and had become entranced by Mrs. McElliot's voices. In 1982 less than a year later those same (or different?) voices told Mrs. McElliot to return to the Church. Richard Corr was laicized and Fr. Daly died in 1982 after being regularized. These two men along with the English seer apparently came out from under the spell they had been under but John Quinn remains a bishop technically under the jurisdiction of the Anti-Pope Gregory XVII. As "Fr. Quinn," he hosted the September convention of the Tridentine Rite Conference.

Supposedly Fr. Quinn has been regularized also. When the sudden consecration took place Fr. LeBlanc from Arizona telephoned and told Fr. Quinn that Fr. Quinn had incurred excommunication for his irregular act -- but LeBlanc would fix things. LeBlanc went off to Rome and came back with a piece of official looking paper supposedly exonerating Fr. Quinn. The piece of paper meant nothing. Regularization is something that has to be done by the schismatic priest himself after a full abjuration of his errors. But Fr. LeBlanc is famous for going to Rome and seeking special favors some of which he claims have been granted. In 1985 he tried to talk Cardinal Ratzinger into granting him special dispensation to form an independent papal order with permission to say the pure Tridentine Mass. (The 1984 Indult was not good enough since it permitted the John XXIII Mass which includes minor alterations that LeBlanc could not accept.) LeBlanc's plea was refused. Then in 1988 or 1989 he claimed to have received an Apostolic blessing on the newly formed Tridentine Rite Conference from the Pope himself. In reality the papal blessing was given indiscriminately to a general audience (an audience that happened to include Fr. LeBlanc) and the TRC, no matter what they say have no Papal brief for existing. (This is confirmed in a letter from Msgr. Camille Perl for the Ecclesia Dei Commission in the Vatican.)

A Priests for Tradition meeting a precursor of the TRC -- took place in Chicago at a Howard Johnson s motor lodge in late 1985. Hosted by Fathers Quinn and LeBlanc the convention drew about twenty-five priests. It would be enlightening to run down the whole list to show the length and breath of the motley crew in attendance. We will identify only a few to give a taste of things to come. Fr. Fred Nelson of the Powers Lake, N.D. traditional Marian shrine was there. Fr. Leonard Giardina. O.S.B. came from Alabama and Fr. Daniel Jones from Colorado. And then there was Archbishop Zaboroski of the Mariavite Church. An offshoot of the Old Catholics, the Mariavites were originally a Polish sect whose priests and nuns joined together in mystic marriages to produce immaculately conceived offspring for the Final Age.

Father Wathen of the counterfeit Order of St. John attended and Fr. Fouhy an independent priest who now resides at Mount St. Michael in Spokane, Washington, and Fr. Joseph Vida Elmer who in 1987 became Bishop Elmer (by way of Robert McKenna through Guerard des Lauriers out of Ngo-dinh-Thuc.) The cult at Mount St. Michael and the schismatic Thuc lineage will be described later.

The show moved to Phoenix the following year when the Tridentine Rite Conference was formally instituted under the direction of Fr. Francis LeBlanc.

Who is Fr. Francis LeBlanc? He apparently received his priestly orders in Canada. He spent years in the paratroopers as a military chaplain. At what time he conceived a dislike for the Conciliar Church is not known. He tried to become incardinated in a diocese in Los Angeles but was refused. He spent the next 20 or 15 years going from place to place in California saying the Tridentine Mass for small groups of disaffected Catholics. Sometime in the late 1970s he came to Phoenix and according to Lefebvrite Fr. Finnegan tried to horn in on Finnegan's scene there. Eventually LeBlanc gathered a flock for himself and established a church with the aid of a munificent lay benefactor.

LeBlanc was never actually made president of the TRC. The first was Msgr. Rucsitto (a California priest whose faculties had been suspended for saying the old Mass without permission) then Fr. Stemper and now Fr. Paul Wickens. LeBlanc remains a power behind the scenes though for public relations reasons he claims to be out of the TRC entirely.

Fr. Robert Stemper. formerly president and now vice-president of the TRC was originally a Jesuit. He is a confederate of Fr. LeBlanc and now has his own parish of irregular Catholics in Mesa, Arizona. Early on he taught at the Jesuit University in Tokyo. Later he was an assistant pastor in Madison, Wisconsin. In the early 1980s he resided at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Prairies at Powers Lake, N.D. a conservative Catholic compound (the Tridentine Mass was said there) which was under the direction of the now deceased Fr. Nelson. On at least one occasion a couple of years ago Stemper visited the place of the phony apparitions in Necedah. He was then in the company of Father "X" a reputed prophet who advertises himself as the true seer for Necedah and Bayside -- thrilling mystic credentials indeed. Father "X" is actually Gary McLaughlin, a gentleman who was convicted of mail fraud and impersonating a priest in New Mexico in 1987.

A couple hundred miles east of Powers Lake in North Dakota is a religious center called Our Lady of Victory International Shrine. McLaughlin after unsuccessfully trying to take over the Shrine at Powers Lake established the Orrin, ND shrine two or three years ago. Here he rules and receives rather wordy messages from the Blessed Virgin and Jesus on such subjects as the New World Order, the International Bankers Conspiracy and the Masonic bishops and cardinals leading the Church today. In the middle of one of these long-winded locutions Our Lord proclaims:

"The Great Pontiff of the future shall be an American and come from the Shrine in North Dakota. I see the Pontiff and I am amazed. He rules the Church with the tenderness of a Shepherd and the iron rod and smites the enemies of Church with his breath.... Oh! It is horrible. I now see the destruction of those seers and laity who refuse to unite with this Shrine. I see the Bishops and Cardinals and Priests being executed in the Chastisement. I see Veronica Leuken [the seer of Bayside] in a turmoil, Satan buffeting her for a small space. I now see Veronica saying: "Yes Father McLaughlin is the future Pontiff. . . obey only Seers that are united with Orrin, ND and Bayside. I am in union... total union with you Father and you shall lead all Seers worldwide."

Fr. Stemper's association with this Great Pontiff-to-be and his involvement with the cult at Necedah might make one wonder a bit about his judgment if not his religious sanity.

Fr. Paul Wickens seems to be the most energetic promoter of the TRC. He visits Richard Williamson (the Lefebvrite bishop of North America) in Winona, Minnesota; Williamson has performed confirmations on children at Wickens traditionalist chapel in New Jersey. Wickens also gives sermons to the Sectarians at Mount St. Michael, visits Fr. Dan Jones independent Catholic chapel in Westcliffe, Colorado and is often in the company of Leonard Messineo, Grand Master of one of the factions that make up the scurrilous (Shickshinny) Order of St. John.

Dan Jones, a friend of Fr. LeBlanc, is on the fringier edge of the traditionalist movement. He has been an independent priest since the early 1970s and a sede vacantist for five or more years. He prints a newsletter called Sangre de Christo Newsnotes: in recent editions he has printed articles by Gary Giuffré (click here to read Mr. Giuffré's objections to this article) promoting the theory that Cardinal Giuseppe Siri was the truly elected pope at both the 1958 and 1963 Conclaves. (Or the 1963 and 1978 Conclaves according to which article you read.)

The articles in Sangre de Christo presenting Giuffré's Siri Theory are a fantasia of wish-it-were-so. The underlying assumption is that since the Vatican II popes are false popes a real pope must have been elected and then through some conspiratorial treachery was denied the papacy. The treachery must somehow have occurred within the Conclaves that ended up electing the "false Popes" John XXIII and Paul VI (or Paul VI and John Paul II). Since Giuseppe Siri represented the traditional Church for many (he died recently) he becomes the obvious candidate for an alternate papacy.

None of this is explained in the articles. The proof in the articles of Siri's true papacy is the fact that in 1958 when a Mass was held in a circus arena before a great crowd of the faithful in Genoa a flock of pigeons was released: and one of these pigeons (or doves reasons Giuffré) landed atop the blessed head of the presiding bishop Cardinal Siri. The symbolic descent of the Holy Ghost verified Gods intention. Siri was obviously destined to be the next pope.

Another proof is based on a prediction from the Lafayette apparition that "the Holy Father would suffer greatly.... The wicked will make several attempts on his life...." Giuffré applies this prediction to the "true Pope" Siri who he says endured 33 years of exile from the papacy as well as constant blackmail and threats and was possibly murdered. This is fabulous history. In real history it is Pope John Paul II who was shot in Rome and nearly knifed at Fatima a year later.

Of course Pope Siri would never have called the Council, the modernist horrors would never have taken place and the Church would have remained in the pristine state it enjoyed in 1958.

But all is not lost. The word has gone out from the Giuffré camp for the cardinals secretly consecrated by Siri to come out of hiding now and take their place in the sun. To gather together that is and hold a Conclave to elect a true pope and thus return the Church to the succession and make It once again One and Holy and Catholic.

Why dignify this fairy tale with the retelling? Because it demonstrates the lengths some people will go to resolve what seems an unsolvable problem. John XXIII a tool of the Illuminate? (Why else call the Council?) Paul VI a secret Mason? (Why else let Archbishop Bugnini ruin the Mass?) Siri not elected pope? There must have been a plot!


Back to CONTENTS or to The Tridentine Rite Conference and Its Schismatic Cousins PART 2


From: Gary Giuffré

To: grossklas@earthlink.net

Subject: Why?

Date: Friday, January 14, 2000 1:31 AM


It's been some time since we talked on the phone, and I wasn't sure how your ideas might have evolved by this time, yet I was still surprised to see that you had disseminated the old Thomas Case attack piece against me, without giving me a chance to answer his objections first. It seems that Case, trashed me with all the others who are included in the mixed bag known as "traditional Catholics" (even though I have nothing to do with any of the alphabet soup groups) simply because I will not pay homage at the altar of his false god, JP2. I say, false god, because that is what this hideous characature (sic) of a "pope" has become to people like Case, since they obviously accept his word over all the true Popes of past centuries, and even Christ Himself.

As I recall, when I talked to you about my investigation into the post-Pacelli conclaves, at which Giuseppe Siri was repeatedly elected but overthrown each time by the Masonic super-powers, while his office was usurped by enemy agents, you indicated no objection to my thesis but seemed to agree that this was, at least, a possible answer to the horrendous Church crisis since the death of Pope Pius XII.

Now you place yourself squarely in the camp of Case, who employs ridicule rather than to respond to my material as a whole, by twisting my preliminary comments made in an introductory article, before any of my documentation is presented.

Have you, or Case, or any of your ilk ever spoken with any former Vatican officials or secretaries of the cardinals regarding the anomalies that surrounded the recent conclaves? Did you know, for instance, that Milan's Corriere della Sera revealed on their front page, for 28 October 1958, that a high Vatican official inside the conclave confirmed that a new Pope was elected and accepted office on 26 October, two days before Angelo Roncalli was seen on the papal balcony? Have you ever been to Rome to check the public documents that pertain to those hidden events that deprived the Church of her rightful shepherd? Well, I have. And until you and Case have done a little checking into these issues on your own, perhaps you should reconsider the wisdom and justice of tarring a fellow Catholic with your broad brush, over subjects about which you know absolutely nothing.

I have been in this fight since the first week in January 1961. Although probably not much older than you, I challenged my pastor back then, when he glibly announced that the Confiteor, Misereatur, and Indulgentiam would no longer be recited before the Communion in the Mass. When that first change mushroomed over the next 9 years into a total revamp of the irreformable, untouchable, Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, my family and I organized with other Catholics in Houston to expose and oppose what was in reality the illegal suppression of the true Mass by the enemies of the Church within and without its physical structures (see Newsweek, 4 February 1974, page 56).

From the beginning, we relied upon the services of valid, senior clergy ordained by the Church when it WAS the Church. In 1976, our group was one of the first to uncover the duplicity of the cunning SSPX, and to warn other lay associations around the country that the Lefebvrists were agents of the "phony opposition."

We were already into the investigation surrounding the violation of the conclaves, before you had a clue that something had gone wrong at your local parish. Without any careful study of the issue, you jumped right into the trap they set for you. Then, when you got burned by the SSPX, you ran right back into the loving embrace of the same criminal agents who took away the Mass in the first place, once they offered you a few pathetic crumbs they euphemistically call "Ecclesia Dei" and the "indult."

You are a "Johnny-come-lately," Bill, - a "babe in the woods." You think that the problem with the "traditionalists" is that "they left the Church." You don't have the slightest idea what your talking about and have no business putting out your hodge-podge, which is laced with some truth, half-truths, and outright falsehoods. You have neither the sense nor Catholic education to know the difference. Consider this as a strong dose of "fraternal correction."

You ought to close down your whole operation and go "back to school" and learn the Catholic Faith. Begin by locating and reading the documents of all the General Councils of the Church. If you knew what they taught, you would know that the "conciliar church" cannot be the true Catholic Church founded by Christ. This can be assertained without any reference to the violated conclaves.

Conversely, if you accept the documents of Vatican II, then you must necessarily reject the definitions of past true Popes. You can't have it both ways. Think twice before you spread your ignorance around to those even more ignorant than you. There will be hell to pay for leading others into error. "Affected ignorance," as St. Thomas described it, will be no excuse come Judgment Day.

Read also the annotations of the eminent English Fathers of the Church who translated the Latin Vulgate into the original Catholic Bible in English, from which was published the Duoay-Rheims (sic) New Testament in 1582 (not to be confused with the truncated Challoner version) . In their commentaries, the learned fathers explain, over and over again, the prophetic texts of the Bible, that refer to the latter days, as a culmination of three frightful events in succession: First, the usurpation of the Chair of Peter by Antichrist; secondly, the banishment from Rome of the rightful Pope; finally, the abolition of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - in that order.

Our Lady of La Salette warned: "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of Antichrist . . . the Church will be in eclipse, the world in dismay." Melanie of La Salette predicted: "The Church will be eclipsed. At first, we will not know which is the true pope. Then secondly, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will cease to be offered in churches and houses; it will be such that, for a time, there will not be public services any more. But I see that the Holy Sacrifice has not really ceased: it will be offered in barns, in alcoves, in caves, and underground." (Abbot Paul Combe, The Secret of Melanie and the Actual Crisis, Rome, 1906, page137.)

If somehow, you can muster the capacity to inform yourself, but do not rejoin the true Church, remaining instead with its persecutors who have driven it "underground," you will be no better than the insidious SSPX which you claim to oppose. Then may God have mercy on you, and all who are so blind as to follow you.

Sincerely, Gary Giuffré

Back to Contents or to The Tridentine Rite Conference and Its Schismatic Cousins PART TWO


by Thomas W. Case

Part 2

Fidelity Magazine, March 1993

Thomas W. Case is an expert on cults and a frequent contributor to Fidelity.

Does Fr. Wickens subscribe to the Siri Theory? For him it is an open question. But he wants to include under the big tent of the TRC those who believe in the Siri papacy, and who search among the back alleys of schismatic Catholicism for that pure and unspotted Church of the Ages.

What they will get is disturbed spirits claiming the Siri mantle (perhaps Father X will reveal it). The red caps will come out of the closets. On to the Conclave!

Fr. Wickens collection agency extends to a pan-Christian sect called the Sovereign Order of St John, Knights of Malta. (There is a papally approved Knights of Malta in the Church, but this is not it.) The Shickshinny group, as the fictitious OSJ is also known, traces a fictitious connection to the medieval Hospitalers, or Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. This quasi-military, 12th century order, originally established to provide medical aid and to provide protection for pilgrims to the newly won Holy Land, went through several permutations and name changes before becoming the Knights of Malta in the 16th century.

There is no space to go into the controversial history of the Knights. What happened in the birth of the Shickshinny OSJ was some imaginative men searching history to find the usual loophole to gain the pretense of Catholicism while remaining independent from the Church. The loophole was that the medieval Knights had been given extraordinary papal privileges freeing them from episcopal control. Grasping this old-time privilege to itself through its own imaginative lineage (by way of an Eastern Orthodox Czar of Russia) the modern OSJ includes in its membership a potpourri of diverse Christian groups. Besides traditional Catholics, these include Eastern Orthodox, High Church Anglicans, Old Catholics, and (according to a 1967 Shickshinny report), Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists and other Protestants. Another declaration of the OSJ proclaims that the Catholic Church and the Old Roman Catholic Church are equally legitimate bodies of the Catholic faith.

The OSJ is ruled by vainglorious laymen trying to relive the glory of the past -- aristocratic connections are usually required for lay officers. The group collects discredited priests from various Catholic, quasi-Catholic, and other Christian lineages to act as chaplains. Thus it is in the curious religious position of having priests under the jurisdiction of laymen. Leonard Messineo, Grand Master of one of the five or six OSJ factions all of which claim to be the one true OSJ -- was a speaker at the 1991 Tridentine Rite Conference convention in New Jersey. Father Wickens acts as a chaplain for the Messineo-led sect of the OSJ.

According to a priest who knows Messineo, the latter claims to be a seer graced with the power to open seminaries and ordain priests. Is Messineo a mystical lay bishop? Is he another one of those fairy-tale prophets who keep popping up in schismland?

Fr. Wickens himself was a parish priest in New Jersey, but disassociated himself from his diocese when sex education was introduced in diocesan schools under Bishop Gerety. He started saying the Tridentine Mass on his own for many years he has been associated with the Feeneyites, and he and Fr LeBlanc, and probably most other members of the TRC governing board lean towards the Feeneyites in belief at the 1991 TRC convention in New Jersey, Fr Wickens back-peddled just a little claiming that baptism by blood or desire (which the Feeneyites deny) is not defined doctrine, and that the overwhelming majority of the Fathers and theologians are against it.

Back in the 1940s, Fr Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit writer and theologian, became upset at what he considered excessively ecumenical statements by the then Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Cushing. Fr Feeney, taking the well-worn phrase "No Salvation Outside the Church" to its logical conclusion, insisted that there was no such thing as baptism by blood or desire. Baptism by blood or desire is the Catholic doctrine that the unbaptized infants or non-Catholics are not ipso facto excluded from salvation.

Probably many orthodox Catholics insist that there can be no salvation outside the Church. The problem comes in defining the Church in this connection too literally. The Church includes the Church Triumphant, the heavenly Church which all good men will recognize after death. The innocent child and the "invincibly ignorant" good man will enter that Church Triumphant in God's good time. (A clear statement of this doctrine can be found in Radio Replies, 111, #487 )

A too literal interpretation of the salvation doctrine takes us back to the Jansenist Antoine Arnauld's statement that "God obviously did not want all men saved," and to that Calvinism condemned by the Council of Trent it leads modern traditionalists into the same heresy that caused the Schism of Utrecht in the early eighteenth century. If visible membership in the Catholic Church is a precondition for salvation, then untold millions of good men, women, and children of other faiths are excluded from heaven through no moral fault of their own. The next logical step is to say then that God has preselected those He will gratuitously save and those He will let fall into damnation. And that's the doctrine of John Calvin.

Today's Feeneyites grasp the usual loophole to claim they remain Catholics in good standing. In 1950 Fr. Feeney was dismissed from the Jesuits for disobedience, and in 1953 Cardinal Cushing excommunicated him. The Cardinal then sent to Rome for a papal condemnation of Fr. Feeney. The condemnation was delivered in due time by Pope Pius XII, but no formal papal excommunication came with it. This omission is used today by Feeneyites such as TRC convention speaker Br. Francis, MICM, to claim their legitimate Catholic status. In fact Feeney's doctrine had been formally condemned as heretical by Pius XII.

The Feeneyite heresy is easy to fall into for Catholics distressed by modernist priests, nuns, and lay ministers preaching an ecumenism that seems to make all religions equal.

It is important to see the precise mind of the Church on the question. Pope Pius IX addresses the matter in his Letter on Indifferentism (August 10, 1863):

"The Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church is well-known. Those who obstinately and knowingly reject the authority and definitions of the Church, and persist willfully in remaining separated from the unity of the Church and from the Bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter to whom the charge of the vineyard was committed by Christ, those cannot be saved. [But he goes on to say] We know that those who are invincibly ignorant of our holy religion, and who are prepared to obey God. earnestly observing the natural moral law engraven in the hearts of all men by God, can be saved by living an honest and just life with the help of divine light and grace. For God, who clearly discerns the minds and souls, thoughts an habits of all men, will not, in his goodness and mercy, permit anyone to be punished eternally who is not guilty of voluntary sin."

It is ironic that many of the people the pope has in mind in the first paragraph of this quote reject the doctrine outlined in the second paragraph. Perhaps it is poetic justice that people who condemn other people to hell unjustly are in the gravest danger of hell themselves.

Since schismatics consign themselves to hell if they are knowingly in schism, they feverishly dredge up every arcane bit of canon law or canonist opinion from any and all eras to make the claim that they are not indeed really in schism. I would feel a bit more sympathy for these worried souls if they would not condemn me and the 900,000,000 other "Conciliar Catholics" to everlasting perdition.

Feeneyite Br. Francis was on the program of the September TRC convention. (The "MICM" after Br. Francis' name stands for the Latin translation of "Slaves of the Immaculate Conception of Mary" -- the condemned order founded by Fr. Feeney.) Br. Francis is married and has children. As Br. Francis' order is not under Catholic Jurisdiction, there are apparently no vows of celibacy to contend with. Also speaking at the convention were Feeneyite-leaning priests Fr. Quinn and Fr. Wickens.   (Ed. note - for clarification, a vistior to this site took exception to this paragraph.  Her comment is as follows: "Br. Francis has a wife.  Well, he was married before he took his religious vows, and he even had children.  However, since becoming a religious, he no longer lives as a married man.")

These might be called the Jansenist contingent. In fact the whole weight of the TRC moves towards a replay of the original Schism of Utrecht, a holier-than-thou-Calvinist Christianity under the shadow of God as the Grim Reaper.

On the executive board of the TRC is Fr. Leonard Giardina, who runs the Christ the King Monastery in Cullman, Alabama. The "OSB" after his name should mean he is a Benedictine, but Fr. Giardina is fully independent from the Order of St. Benedict. His sympathies are sede vacantist. A brochure from the monastery says that "the Monks of Christ the King Monastery are Priests and Religious Brothers of the Traditional Roman Catholic Church," which Church does not exist on this earth, but only in the mind of Fr. Giardina. The title "Traditional Roman Catholic Church" is deceptive in two aspects. First, it makes naive Catholics think that Fr. Giardina's church is a really existing church, and second, that it is a legitimate part of the Catholic Church.

Not one of these priests has faculties, none is incardinated in a diocese. None can legally confect the sacraments. Now this is important for a Catholic to know. Even when a priest without faculties can claim valid orders, and can validly confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist (although if he is with-out faculties he acts thus in sin), he cannot validly hear confessions, nor can he validly witness a marriage. For these two sacraments jurisdiction is required, and jurisdiction is lost when a priest has no faculties. In terms of these two sacraments, we have gone past the point of "illicit" and reached the point of unreality. A marriage performed by a priest without faculties is not a marriage, and a priest without faculties cannot absolve sins. Only in the most extreme social situation, as at the point of death when no legitimate priest is available, will the Church revoke the Jurisdictional restriction.

Those Catholics who attended the TRC Conference, and those invited speakers who actually did show up, associated themselves with a variety of independents, schismatics, and heretics with strange theories who will nevertheless try to establish a united front in favor of tradition, which invariably means access to the Tridentine Mass, which has become the prime recruiting device aimed at Catholics scandalized by the chaos which followed in the wake of Vatican II. Fr. Wickens' New Jersey Catholic News periodically provides a directory of chapels where the Traditional Mass is said.

Included are OSJ chapels, sede vacantists, Feeneyite houses, Pius V and Pius X churches and a slew of schismatic independents. Nowhere are Catholic Indult Masses listed, indicating that there are obviously some limits to the TRC's big tent theory. The great divide is between those inside the Church and those outside the Church. The line is drawn deeper and firmer by the TRC's attitude towards the Indult Mass. In Fr. Wickens' New Jersey Catholic News, the Indult Mass is seen not as a welcome event but as a seductive enticement that will drag True Catholics back into the Church of the Modernists. (Anything the Church does wrong is blasted; anything the Church does right is a clever trick.) This kind of reasoning a viewpoint the TRC shares with Bishop Williamson of the Society of Pius X diabolizes the Church of Rome and makes it impossible for there ever to be a reconciliation. The end of that road is ruin.

To all those Catholics so disturbed by abuses of faith and liturgy in the modern Church that they have joined one or another schismatic, traditional "Catholic" communions, read the following morality tale of the Utrecht Schism and take warning.

The designation of "schismatic" is already a scandal for many. The members of the Society of St. Pius X (Lefebvrites) consider themselves faithful Catholics; they are not in schism: it is the "Conciliar Church" that is in schism. They rail against the Society of St. Pius V (Kellyites), who are in schism from the Society of St. Pius X. Meanwhile the Society of St. Pius V considers itself the True Church; its members rail against those groups originating in the Thuc lineage of schismatic Catholics. In turn the Thuc lineage bishops, priests, and faithful excoriate the groups validated by the Old Catholic lineage. But in terms of excommunicate status, each group is equal to any other. All are outside the Church of Rome.

Equally outside the Church? I hear the outrage as I write. In the course of writing this article, I interviewed a lady who is a member of our local Pius X church. When I pointed to the 1988 document Ecclesia Dei, excommunicating Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his organization, she informed me in no uncertain terms that you cannot be excommunicated for upholding the Faith. She gave me some slickly colorful pamphlets decrying obedience to a false authority.

As time goes on, I hear a million subtle arguments proving that it is the present Church of Rome that has lost the true faith, and the Lefebvrites (for example), alone of all the faithful keep the True Church alive. I hear that the Novus Ordo Mass is a hodgepodge of Protestantism, or that the new code of Canon Law is un-Catholic, or that the Second Vatican Council documents are a muddle of heresy, or that the Chair of Peter is empty, or that the Chair of Peter is occupied by the Anti-Christ, or any combination and permutation of the above. All of these opinions are presented to justify separation from the visible Church of Christ. But let us see what happens to the Catholic faithful when, for whatever reasons, they become disconnected from the See of Peter.

The Utrecht Schism of 1724 was born from the ultra-rigorous theology of Jansenism. Jansenism is today considered an archetypal heresy of the Catholic Church, but in its own day it was a belief held by many of the faithful, basing itself chiefly on notions of efficacious grace derived from the theology of St. Augustine. The arguments are subtle, but in essence Jansenism can be reduced to these propositions: 1) By the sin of Adam all men are condemned, and no human acts are any help to salvation; 2) God chooses, before anyone's coming into existence, whom He shall save and whom He shall allow to fall into eternal damnation; 3) In effect God predisposes the few to a good life and to heaven by providing them with His irresistible grace, while predisposing the many to an evil life and to eternal damnation by withholding that grace. (The Council of Trent had roundly condemned this doctrine of "double predestination.")

As proof for God's pre-selection of people for heaven or hell, Jansenist theologian Antoine Arnauld had argued that "God obviously did not I want all men saved, because otherwise he would not have made membership in his Church a precondition for salvation. The existence of millions of non-Christians was proof of his intentions." We have met up with this gloomy logic among present- day traditionalists, unaware, perhaps, that it has been condemned implicitly by their favorite Council of Trent.

Jansenist tendencies were rife in northern France and the Netherlands in the late 1600s. The Diocese of Utrecht in Holland became a center of Jansenism and a haven for refugee Jansenists from France. Pieter Codde, the Vicar Apostolic of Utrecht (1686-1704), enticed towards the Jansenist view by these refugees, was summoned to Rome in 1699 to answer charges that he taught Jansenism and harbored influential French Jansenists like Quesnel and Gerberon. A Vatican Commission eventually required the Dutch clergy to sign a formulary of Pope Alexander VII, abjuring Jansenist doctrines. Codde (among many others) refused, was suspended in 1702, and dismissed as Vicar Apostolic. In alliance with a majority of Utrecht's secular and regular clergy, Codde refused to accept the new Vatican-appointed Vicar Apostolic of Utrecht, Theodorus de Cock.

From Rome came a bull of excommunication. Rebellious clergy of the area appointed their own bishop. But to retain the apostolic succession, and so arguably to remain true Catholics, the rebels needed their new bishop consecrated by another bishop with valid, if illicit, orders. They found their man in one Dominique Varlet, a renegade French missionary bishop suspended for holding Jansenist views. Varlet consecrated Cornelius Steenoven in 1724, thus establishing a schismatic communion popularly called the Little Church of Utrecht, which still exists.

During the 18th century, attempts were made to reunite with Rome. At the Council of Utrecht in 1763, the Little Church rejected its more extreme Jansenist views and edged closer to the Tridentine faith of Rome. But doctrinal differences reappeared with the papal definition of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and deepened with the dogma of Papal Infallibility at Vatican I in 1870. By then the Utrecht schismatics were a remnant.

A new stream of schismatics appeared after the Vatican Council, soon to take on the title of Old Catholics. But to retain the apostolic succession, and so arguably to remain true Catholics, they needed a bishop of their own from a valid, if illicit, Catholic lineage. They found their man in one Heykemp of Deventer in Holland, a bishop of the Little Church. In 1873 he consecrated Joseph Reinkens, thus establishing an Old Catholic\Utrecht schismatic communion which still exists.

The Old Catholics swamped the membership of the Utrecht schismatics, and after this time -- the last decades of the 19th century -- the whole movement was Old Catholic in essentials. The Little Church of Utrecht had provided an arguably valid episcopal succession, but its by now ancient Jansenist rigorism was lost in the shuffle. The movement soon broke into a number of competing and diverse sects, most of them moving into closer relations with the Protestants after 1870. The Union of Utrecht in 1889 attempted to bring the various Old Catholic sects into line, but its Declaration of the same year promulgated a creed shot through with Protestant doctrines. The Council of Trent, previously held as central and as the last true ecumenical council by most Old Catholics (in lieu of accepting the heretical Vatican Council I) was rejected, since its chief canons and anathemas were directed at Calvinist and Lutheran heresies. The door was now open to rapprochement with Protestant denominations.

According to the Declaration of Utrecht, the Bishop of Rome was accorded a primacy of honor, but not of Jurisdiction (an Eastern Orthodox formula). Typical Catholic doctrines such as the treasury of merits, indulgences, the Immaculate Conception, and the Assumption of Mary, were rejected. Also rejected were practices like the veneration of saints, the rosary, wearing the scapular, pilgrimages, processions, and clerical celibacy. The Real Presence was accepted, but transubstantiation was denied. Only the first eight ecumenical councils were declared valid.

From this list of deletions, it is easy to see how Anglicans could be accommodated, and in fact the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930 proclaimed that there was nothing in the 1889 Declaration of Utrecht incompatible with the doctrines of the Church of England. Intercommunion between High Church Anglicans and Old Catholics became customary.

The Old Catholic lineage sired stranger offspring. A mystical sect called Mariavites sprang up in Poland in the early years of this century. The origin were visions and locutions vouchsafed to a Third Order Franciscan nun, Sister Maria Felicia Kozlowska. Due to its questionable mystical practices, the sect was excommunicated in 1906, whereupon it organized itself into the Mariavite Union. But to retain the apostolic succession, and so remain (arguably) Catholics, the Mariavites needed their own bishop. A delegation of Marianites therefore attended the Old Catholic Congress in Vienna in 1909 and before long an Old Catholic bishop had consecrated the Mariavite co-founder, Jan Kowalski, thus establishing a Mariavite/Old Catholic/Utrecht schismatic lineage that still exists today.

A few years later the Mariavites were thrown out of the Old Catholic communion when it became known that their "mystic marriages" involved cohabitation of priests and nuns, whose children would be "conceived without original sin." These children were declared to be the firstborn of a new and sinless humanity. Archbishop Zaboroski of the Mariavite Church attended the first TRC "Priests' Meeting" in 1985.)

The Anglican connection spawned weirder stuff. Theosophy was born in the fertile imagination of Madame Blavatsky and became an existing organization in 1875. It is a nebulous muddle of Eastern mysticism and Western magic, complete with Tibetan "Ascended Masters" claiming to hold the keys to a synthesis of all religions. Jesus Christ and the Buddha are pals in the heavens, part of the Great White Brotherhood helping mankind to achieve nirvana. A member of the Theosophical Society, Mr. Charles Leadbeater (a renegade Anglican clergyman), decided to form his own sect of Theosophy with a more traditional religious cloak.

The Old Catholics had consecrated a Mr. Willoughby (an Anglican minister) as "Presiding Bishop of the Old Catholics" in England. He in turn consecrated Mr. Wedgewood. Mr. Leadbeater, desiring an entrance into the apostolic succession, needed a bishop with valid, if illicit, orders. He found his man in Bishop Wedgewood, who consecrated Leadbeater as the "Regionary Bishop of Australia." Bishop Leadbeater then founded his own religion, a blend of Theosophy, Spiritism and astral and etheric imaginings which are a primary source for the present day New Age Movement. But Mr. Leadbeater, having, as he supposed, the apostolic succession, called his religion the Liberal Catholic Church. In this country you will find Liberal Catholics, Old Catholics, and Old Roman Catholics all connected by episcopal succession to the Schism of Utrecht. The Old Catholics are small in number and by-and-large adhere openly to the doctrines of the Utrecht Convention of 1889 (married priests, no infallible pope, no Assumption of Mary, etc.). The Liberal Catholics ride every New Age spiritual fashion from channeling to esoteric astrology to a belief in reincarnation.

The Old Roman Catholics derive from a one-time Anglican, Arnold Harris Mathew, who was consecrated into the Old Catholic line in England in 1910. His followers settled in the Chicago area, and, presumably in order to distinguish themselves from the existing Old Catholics in the United States, added the title "Roman" to their name. Today there are at least 300 Old Roman Catholic bishops in the country, mostly with minuscule flocks, without dioceses, but with loudly proclaimed and competing jurisdiction over any and all traditionalists. Most Old Roman Catholics reject the Utrecht Convention doctrines, and are apt to pretend to a conservative, pre-Vatican II Catholicism. But the theology they hold is as variable as the bishops who rule their particular sect. Some parishes put on a good show but allow a wide latitude of belief. In this respect they are much like the High Anglican Church: incense, bells, reverent music, lots of Latin, but not much in the way of a Creed (except on paper). Many are annulment mills and havens for morally sick Catholics.

If anyone claims that the Old Roman Catholic line is somehow legitimate, it should be known that Pope Pius X specifically declared Mathew, who tried "to arrogate unto himself the title of Anglo-Catholic Archbishop of London" and "all others who lent aid, counsel or consent to this nefarious crime, by the authority of Almighty God, We hereby excommunicate, anathematize, and solemnly declare to be separated from the communion of the Church and to be held for schismatics."

Thus ends the morality tale (we shall meet up with the Old Catholic lineage again later on). Recall that neither the Church of Utrecht, nor the Old Catholics, nor the offspring of the Old Catholics, ever accepted their status as schismatics. Archbishop Heykemp, at the Utrecht Convention of 1889, said,

We recognize the Roman Catholic Church as the only Church of Jesus Christ. and the Pope of Rome as the center of Catholic Unity. We remain, by the grace of God, in the Roman Catholic Church and abhor schism as one of the greatest crimes in the Church.

This is a preamble to the Declaration of Utrecht, which went on to reject a whole slew of Catholic dogmas, doctrines, devotions and disciplines.

As "Catholics," however these sectarians needed a valid episcopal succession. Therefore it was necessary for them to gain leaders consecrated by Catholic bishops who were themselves in schism, but able to pass on such a valid succession. In this legitimizing process, they naturally promoted the notion of "sacramental validity" while downplaying the notion of "licit," as if the state of unlawfulness and excommunication from the Vicar of Christ, were of no account, so long as "validity" was preserved. This is exactly the modus operandi of traditionalist movements today.

It should be made clear that the claim to apostolicity by excommunicated lineages is spurious. Here we can do no better than quote Rumble and Carty's Radio Replies on the issue: The word "Apostolic" in general signifies the identity of a present Church with the Church of the Apostles. This identity can be either adequate or inadequate. Adequate apostolicity is present when a Church of today has not only the same doctrine and worship, and the same episcopal constitution, but also the same uninterrupted and lawfully transmitted jurisdiction or authority. Without this later requirement, any vestiges of apostolicity are inadequate, and useless as a mark or identification By the mere fact of being in schism, apostolic authority is forfeited.

The authors are here (Vol. II, 1266) responding to the claim of apostolicity for the Greek Orthodox Church, but the same argument applies to the Old Catholics or any other group that claims to retain the apostolic succession while in a state of schism from Rome. To put it simply: no one can lawfully claim to be a Catholic who is not in communion with the See of Peter.

That is a crucial point overlooked by every schismatic straining the bounds of logic to claim he is not realty in schism. The other thing to take a hard look at is to see what happened to group of sectarians who split off from the authority of the visible Church tn order to retain, as they claimed, the true Catholic faith. Without that Magisterium and without that central authority, they soon dissolved into competing, back-biting, bitter sects. Rigorous faith and strict morals dissolved quickly into any old faith at all, and in some cases, bawdy-house morals. New schismatic movements attached themselves willy-nilly to existing schismatic movements. Finally, real flakes and mountebanks could claim an apostolic succession.

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