Gerry Matatics: Sedevacantist, Debate, Facts, Beliefs and Heresies of Gerry

Gerry Matatics is a self-professed Catholic and sedevacantist who – although he objects to the word “sedevacantist” – rejects the Second Vatican Council as heretical, and John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis as heretics and therefore antipopes.

Gerry, a former Presbyterian minister, along with his wife, converted to what they thought was Catholicism about 20 years ago after previously making a solemn pact with fellow Presbyterian Scott Hahn to convert “all Catholics out of the Church”. After studying Catholic Theology as a protestant to better “grasp the beast” the duo eventually “converted” to the Vatican II Church not long after they realized they had been on the wrong side all along! Regrettably, their conversion was not to the Catholic Faith, however, but to the Vatican 2 sect.

Gerry eventually came to embrace the sedevacantist position, although some sedevacantists dispute his orthodoxy as a Catholic.

Gerry Matatics Beliefs

  • About Gerry Matatics (from his own website): "The first PCA minister ever to become Roman Catholic, Gerry is the only one of the dozens of Protestant-minister “converts” of the last twenty-five years to end up fully embracing the traditional Catholic Faith, abstaining (as did the Catholic recusants during the English Reformation) not only from the “New Mass” but also from those pseudo-Tridentine Masses offered by invalidly or illicitly ordained Catholic priests, or offered according to the unauthorized 1962 Missal of antipope John XXIII and in union with antipope Benedict XVI, such as the Masses offered by the FSSP, the SSPX, and similar clergy."

  • Gerry Matatics, Unauthorized Shepherds: Why the SSPX, SSPV, CMRI, and similar post-Vatican II traditionalist clergy are not priests of Christ's one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church: "During the crisis and confusion of these prophesied last days true Catholics must avoid, not only the counterfeit Catholicism of the "left" (the new religion of Vatican II) but also the equally counterfeit Catholicism of the "right," represented by those who believe the current situation in the Church gives them carte blanche to become, by hook or by crook, priests and bishops -- in defiance, not only of Church law, but even immutable divine law, which neither "epikeia," a "state of emergency," or "supplied jurisdiction" can successfully dispense the would-be priest or bishop from. Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Doctors of the Church, and the Magisterium all consistently teach that the Church's clergy must always and necessarily possess a divine mission and authorization in order to legitimate, validate, and make salvifically efficacious their priestly activities[*]. Since the clergy of such unauthorized groups as the SSPX, SSPV, CMRI et al, lack such a mission, these men are therefore NOT priests of the Christ's one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church, but merely the priests of various man-made traditionalist sects. As such, they are off-limits to true Catholics, upon peril of our eternal salvation."

[*] Council of Trent, Session 23, Canon 7, July 15, 1563: “If anyone saythat those who have not been rightly ordained by ecclesiastical and canonical power and have not been sent [by the Church], but come from some other source [such as a heretical or schismatical source], are lawful ministers of the word and of the sacraments: let him be anathema.” (Denzinger 967)

Council of Trent, Session 23, Chapter 4, July 15, 1563: “The holy Synod teaches, furthermore, that in the ordination of bishops, priests, and of other orders, the consent, or call, or authority of the people, or of any secular power or magistrate is not so required for the validity of the ordination; but rather it decrees that those who are called and instituted only by the people, or by the civil power or magistrate and proceed to exercise these offices, and that those who by their own temerity take these offices upon themselves, are not ministers of the Church, but are to be regarded as "thieves and robbers, who have not entered by the door" [cf. John 10:1; can. 8].” (Denzinger 960)

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem fidei, Aug. 28, 1794: “The proposition which states "that power has been given by God to the Church, that it might be communicated to the pastors who are its ministers for the salvation of souls"; if thus understood that the power of ecclesiastical ministry and of rule is derived from the COMMUNITY of the faithful to the pastors,--[condemned as] heretical.” (Denzinger 1502)

Plainly no necessity, no claim of epikeia can override, even in an extreme need, an obligation derived, not from human law, but from Divine law infallibly proposed as such by the Church (such as the Divine Law that forbids Catholics to communicate in the sacraments with non-Catholics and heretics).

  • Gerry Matatics, Bonding with Benedict: The Catastrophic Consequences of Attending A Mass Offered "Una Cum" (in ecclesial union with) Benedict XVI: "This explosive, in-depth, four-hour interview examines the Church's authoritative teaching regarding the impossibility of escaping ecclesial union with the man mentioned in the opening prayer (the Te Igitur) of the Canon of the Mass as being the head of the Church; everyone attending such a Mass identifies himself or herself as being a member of the church of which that man is the head. But if Joseph Ratzinger, aka Benedict XVI, is an unrepentant modernist (albeit a relatively and cleverly "conservative" one) and therefore a heretic and therefore an antipope, and if the Vatican II church is in fact but a counterfeit of the true Catholic Church, then everyone attending a Mass naming Benedict as pope in the Canon thereby OBJECTIVELY places himself in that counterfeit church and thus outside the true Church (since one cannot have "dual membership" simultaneously in both the true and the false church), and it is a dogma of the Faith that outside the true Church there is no salvation. This applies not only to those attending the Vatican II-mandated "New Mass" but also those "traditionalists" who attend "Tridentine" Masses naming Benedict, including the SSPX and all other non-sedevacantist "traditionalist" clergy. Gerry's discussion comments, point by point, on "Father" Anthony Cekada's 19-page article "The Grain of Incense," not only because of the positive aspects of that article (definitely demolishing as it does not only the SSPX position but also the "John Lane" position that sedevacantists may attend such Masses without harm), but because at several points Cekada unintentionally undermines the legitimacy of his own priesthood (which he obtained under the auspices of the SSPX) as well as of his subsequent sedevacantist priestly "apostolate." This has inescapable ramifications for all sedevacantist "clergy" ordained post-Vatican II."

See: Una Cum Masses In The Te Igitur Prayer Controversy Exposed and Explained

  • About Gerry Matatics (from his own website): "Gerry uncompromisingly rejects as constituting a counterfeit Catholicism all the doctrinal, liturgical, and moral novelties previously condemned by the Church but now emanating from Rome since 1958, such as ecumenism, religious liberty, the survival and salvific sufficiency of the Old Covenant in our day, interfaith worship, altar girls, etc. He rejects as heretics and therefore false “popes” those who have sought to foist these manifestly unorthodox abominations upon Catholics — namely John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I & II, and now Benedict XVI."

See: The Truth about What Really Happened to the Catholic Church after Vatican II

  • Is Gerry Matatics a ''sedevacantist''? (from his own website): "It goes without saying that I do not necessarily agree with or endorse every detail of every article on these other [sedevacantist] websites, especially on other matters. Particularly is this true with regard to their various views on the hotly-debated dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus ("outside the Church no salvation"). Some of these websites take too unacceptably liberal a view of this dogma, holding, for example, that those who do not profess the Catholic Faith could still be saved -- despite the clear teaching of the Athanasian Creed and infallible papal pronouncements to the contrary. Others of these websites, such as that of the Dimond brothers, take too unacceptably rigorist a view of this dogma, uncharitably and unjustly anathematizing as hell-bound heretics those [obstinate people] who today might hold -- as did St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, and in fact every single doctor of the Church and every catechism and theological manual used by the Church for the last millennium -- to the remote possibility of salvation for Catholic catechumens who hold the Catholic Faith and who possess perfect charity and perfect contrition for their sins, and thus might qualify to receive the grace of the sacrament of baptism when they are unable, through no fault of their own, to receive the sacrament itself -- especially if these spiritual qualities are evidenced by their martyrdom for the Catholic Faith. Such a rare occurrence would still require the existence of the sacrament of baptism and derive its efficacy from the sacrament, thus arguably not negating John 3:5 and similar papal statements. This would be the classic doctrine -- not the modern liberal version thereof -- of "baptism by desire" and "baptism by blood," admittedly never dogmatically defined by any pope or council, but equally admittedly never explicitly condemned by any pope or council either. At best this teaching is a tolerable theological opinion within the parameters of Catholic orthodoxy, certainly not de fide but arguably proximate to faith. At worst it is an error, as yet uncondemned by the magisterium, but certainly not a heresy, since saints and doctors held and taught it (seemingly with the full approval of Rome) and died without abjuring it (so far as we know), and yet were canonized and officially declared trustworthy Doctors of the Faith. The Dimond brothers, be it noted, have, among their other demonstrable errors -- such as having declared John Paul II (while he was still alive) to be "the final Antichrist"(!) -- persisted, even after I have corrected them, in libelously misrepresenting me as having "sold out" to those who teach the liberal view that one can be saved in other religions, which is a damnable lie, since I have never at any time held to this heresy, nor have I for a single moment ever considered to be a Catholic anyone holding to this heresy. Their outrageous and mortally sinful calumny that I am a supporter of this heresy nevertheless remains prominently featured in the "Beware (groups and individuals who teach heresy)" section of their website."

Comment: For the Church's correct teaching on Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire and Salvation Outside the Church, see:

What Most Holy Family Monastery says about Gerry Matatics

Also see: http://www.catholic-saints.net/heretics/most-holy-family-monastery-exposed.php

Gerry sells out to those who believe in salvation for non-Catholics

Gerry Matatics

Dear Brothers Dimond

I am rather confused by the different positions rumored to be taken by Gerry Matatics on EENS/necessity of water baptism to be saved. I thought he endorsed your website and Brother Peter Dimond's book refuting Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood, as evidenced by some e-mail responses from him featured some short while ago on your website. But a discussion forum moderated by John Lane features a photograph of Gerry with John Lane at the recent Fatima Conference in Spokane last week, as well as anecdotal statements from people who met Gerry and were told by him that he is not a Feeneyite and supports Baptism of Desire. Apparently he has read a pamphlet written by a nun entitled "Father Feeney The Pope Has Spoken" which convinced him of the magisterial status of the condemnation of Feeneyism by the prelates acting in Pius XII's name…Are you able to shed any light on what is going on with Gerry?

Thank you.

Michael

MHFM: … Gerry Matatics was recently caught in the Pacific Northwest distributing a booklet which attacks Fr. Feeney as excommunicated and which promotes the heretical Protocol 122/49 (Suprema haec sacra)! Gerry Matatics has thus radically changed his position on Outside the Church There is No Salvation and the water baptism issue; he now sides with the heretics. Here’s the report from baptism of desire and salvation for non-Catholics supporter Vincent, to whom Gerry actually gave the aforementioned pro-salvation-for-non-Catholics booklet:

“Pax Christi ! Good news about Gerry Matatics. Last week, John Lane and I spent some time with Gerry Matatics. He told us he no longer denies Baptism of Desire and Blood ! And that he will retract his previous position publicly. Deo Gratias!

“One of the main citations that helped him see the error of the Feeneyite and Dimond Brothers was this little booklet: Titled;

"Fr. Feeney, the Pope Has Spoken" By "a Missionary Sister of the Holy Ghost"… Catholic Research Institute. Given the rise of Feeneyism in the traditional circles, I HIGHLY recommend this little booklet that Gerry Matatics gave me… in Spokane Wa. It fills in the gaps regarding Fr. Feeney's excommunication giving the true outline, and why the Letter from the Holy Office Aug 8th 1949 is an official act of the Holy Office…

Vincent”

… The heretical letter was written in order to oppose Fr. Feeney’s preaching in Massachusetts that all who die as non-Catholics are lost (a defined dogma). As we read above, Gerry Matatics actually handed the aforementioned heretical booklet to a man who believes in baptism of desire to manifest his agreement with it. The booklet that Gerry Matatics handed to this individual was published by “Catholic Research Institute.” “Catholic Research Institute” is the same group which publishes a booklet by Fr. Vaillancourt which teaches salvation for those “outside” the Church and for Muslims and Buddhists.…

In a public talk with a woman named Judith, which was recorded this month (November of 2008), Gerry stated: “When Catholics like you or me or Tom Droleskey speak out about this…” Gerry described Tom Droleskey as a Catholic. Gerry also praised Tom and thanked the woman for having him speak. Tom Droleskey is a disgusting heretic who believes that Jews (and other members of false religions) who reject Jesus Christ can be saved. We demonstrated that in this file.

We asked Tom if he considered it heretical for Fr. Fahey to teach that Jews who reject Christ can be in the state of grace. Tom wrote back and indicated that he did not consider it heretical, but rather that he considered it to be Catholic teaching. Thus, Tom is a clear heretic. He holds that Jews who reject Jesus Christ can be saved. (Tom was too cowardly to debate us, by the way, because his heretical position would be exposed and refuted.). Not only does Tom obstinately deny the dogma, but he attacks those who hold the true position. In short, Tom D. belongs to the crowd of baptism of desire heretics who not only believe that souls can be saved in false religions, but who detest and wish to extirpate faith in Jesus’ dogma that “unless a man is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God” (John 3:5). In other words, he’s among the very worst of the false traditionalist heretics.

That crowd is accurately described as the scum of the Earth. They are abominable.…

This summer we also wrote to Gerry and asked him if he would be interested in a recorded debate/discussion on the baptism of desire issue. We received no response.…

Gerry offers a monthly public prayer with the aforementioned woman (Judith) who is not even a sedevacantist! That’s right. Someone we know wrote to her just recently. He asked her if she holds the sedevacantist position. She responded by saying that her group “does not take a position on the Pope.” So she doesn’t even reject Benedict XVI as an antipope! (She also promotes talks by supporters of the SSPX.… Gerry offers a public prayer with her every month; he calls her Catholic and promotes her. What more does one have to say?.…

In the recent conversation, Gerry also described a Protestant named Chuck in these terms: “Chuck Baldwin, perhaps in the total sincerity of his heart, believing that Protestantism is the true faith, still comes short of a true analysis of what is wrong with the human condition…” He describes the Protestant named Chuck as someone who might be totally sincere in his heart. That’s not something any Catholic could or would say. It indicates that Gerry believes that the Protestant, who rejects Catholicism, could be in good faith – a heretical position.…

He also holds that people can passively attend non-Catholic funerals and weddings. One person in New Jersey went to such a non-Catholic service passively after hearing him speak. Those errors are significant.

MHFM's Accusations Against You - Are They True?‏

An email to Gerry Matatics - Sent: August 9, 2014 20:54:43 (CEST)

Hello, Most Holy Family Monastery has some information concerning some of your beliefs and actions. I am asking you these questions below since you seem to deny some of these charges on your own homepage, i.e., the charge that you reject the dogma on no salvation outside the Church. But, if the accusations below are true, it would seem that MHFM are right. Are they?

1. Is the accusations of Most Holy Family Monastery true, i.e., that you pray with and promote non-Catholic material of the non-Catholic Judith S., who is a promoter of the Vatican II sect and the Vatican II antipopes; and who sponsors false traditionalist conferences that feature pro-Novus Ordo and Vatican II speakers? and that you even call her Catholic?

2. Is the following statement about you, true: "Gerry Matatics rejects the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation. He rejects it by accepting as Catholics those who reject it. It proves that he is actually a Christ-denier, by recognizing as Catholics those who believe that Jesus Christ is not necessary for salvation. It also proves that he denies the dogma by considering Suprema haec sacra to not be heretical, and by failing to accept the absolute necessity of water baptism."

Is it true that you do not consider Suprema haec sacra (also called Protocol 122/49) to be heretical? Do you reject Suprema haec sacra as heretical?

3. Is the following written testimony about you, true?

“Pax Christi ! Good news about Gerry Matatics. Last week, John Lane and I spent some time with Gerry Matatics. He told us he no longer denies Baptism of Desire and Blood ! And that he will retract his previous position publicly. Deo Gratias!

“One of the main citations that helped him see the error of the Feeneyite and Dimond Brothers was this little booklet: Titled;

"Fr. Feeney, the Pope Has Spoken" By "a Missionary Sister of the Holy Ghost"… Catholic Research Institute. Given the rise of Feeneyism in the traditional circles, I HIGHLY recommend this little booklet that Gerry Matatics gave me… in Spokane Wa. It fills in the gaps regarding Fr. Feeney's excommunication giving the true outline, and why the Letter from the Holy Office Aug 8th 1949 is an official act of the Holy Office…

Vincent”

Do you consider the view on the absolute necessity of baptism by water and membership in the Church for salvation as an "error"? or, if not, what exactly do you believe when it comes to this? And do you consider the supposed excommunication of Fr. Feeney as right or justified? or that the "the Holy Office Aug 8th 1949 is an official act of the Holy Office"?

Please see: The Whole Truth about Fr. Leonard Feeney, Feeneyism, Feeneyites and the Supposed Excommunication Explained Exposed Truth

4. Do you absolutely stand by your word that only unbaptized catechumens can be saved by a desire for baptism, and you do not apply this in anyway to non-Catholics? I ask this because many who claim to believe in this doctrine on no salvation outside the Church, will admit when questioned more closely that they don't know or cannot judge who is or who is not saved outside the Church, thus demonstrating that they actually do not believe in this dogma at all.

5. Are you aware of that Dimond's position on the baptism issue is that those only who are obstinate in denying the Church's teaching on the absolute necessity of water baptism for salvation are heretics, and not simply those "who today might hold" this position, as you wrote. A person can be honestly mistaken on the issue on salvation for unbaptized catechumens and be a material heretic (as all the saints and writers were that you mentioned); but after that person has had the evidence and dogmas presented to him [that says] that no one at all can be saved without first actually receiving water baptism and thus being cleansed from original sin, and he rejects it, one cannot [any longer] consider him an a material heretic, since he is obstinate.

Canon 1325, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “After the reception of baptism, if anyone, retaining the name Christian, pertinaciously [or obstinately] denies or doubtssomething to be believed from the truth of divine and Catholic faith, [such a one] is a heretic.”

Please see: The Sacrament of Baptism and the Dogma Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation

[Update: As of September 15, 2014, Gerry Matatics has still not responded to my above email.]

Update on Gerry Matatics 10/1/08 – Another conversation with Gerry

By Br. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.

10/1/08- In the fall of 2007, I (Bro. Peter Dimond) had a lengthy telephone conversation with Gerry Matatics. The conversation lasted about five hours. We discussed many things, including the article which I wrote about him below. Gerry wanted to have the conversation tape-recorded. I agreed, as long as he would send me a copy of the tapes. In the presence of his wife and some of his children (who were listening), Gerry promised that he would send me a copy of the tapes the very next day. To this day (about a year later) I have not received the tapes. Although disappointing, this failure to live up to his word on this matter is consistent with the activity described below.[1]

In the lengthy conversation with Gerry, I tried again and again to get him to admit that Protocol 122/49 (also known as Suprema haec sacra) is indeed a heretical document (see my book on salvation if you’re not familiar with this document). Gerry refused to admit that it is heretical, even though the document (as I pointed out to him and as he knows) teaches salvation for people who are “not members” of the Church; it teaches salvation for those who are not baptized but “invincibly ignorant” of the faith; and it teaches salvation for those who do not belong to the “body” of the Church. Gerry might claim that he doesn’t believe that members of false religions can be saved, or that people can be saved without believing in Christ. However, that assertion is meaningless if he doesn’t consider as heretical documents which teach and justify that very heresy, and if he doesn’t denounce as heretical “traditionalists” who adhere to that kind of heresy. This summer I also wrote to Gerry and asked him if he would be interested in having a recorded telephone conversation on the salvation issue, in which we could discuss/debate the issue. I haven’t received any response.

THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION

To further show that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation, I will quote numerous infallible statements from the Chair of St. Peter.

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Sess. 7, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that baptism [the Sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation (cf. Jn. 3:5): let him be anathema.”

This infallible dogmatic definition from the Chair of St. Peter condemns anyone who says that the Sacrament of Baptism is not necessary for salvation. The Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for all for salvation, first of all, because, as the Council of Trent defines, all men (except the Blessed Virgin Mary) were conceived in a state of original sin as a result of the sin of Adam, the first man. The Sacrament of Baptism is also necessary for all for salvation because it is the means by which one is marked as a member of Jesus Christ and incorporated into His Mystical Body. And in defining the truth that all men were conceived in the state of Original Sin, the Council of Trent specifically declared that the Blessed Virgin Mary was an exception to its decree on Original Sin. But in defining the truth that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation, the Council of Trent made no exceptions at all.

Pope Eugene IV, The Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” Nov. 22, 1439: “Holy baptism, which is the gateway to the spiritual life, holds the first place among all the sacraments; through it we are made members of Christ and of the body of the Church. And since death entered the universe through the first man, ‘unless we are born again of water and the Spirit, we cannot,’ as the Truth says, ‘enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5]. The matter of this sacrament is real and natural water.”

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: “But the sacrament of baptism is consecrated in water at the invocation of the undivided Trinity – namely, Father, Son and Holy Ghost – and brings salvation to both children and adults when it is correctly carried out by anyone in the form laid down by the Church.”

Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas (# 15), Dec. 11, 1925 : “Indeed this kingdom is presented in the Gospels as such, into which men prepare to enter by doing penance; moreover, they cannot enter it except through faith and baptism, which, although an external rite, yet signifies and effects an interior regeneration.”

We see here that one cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven without faith and the external rite of baptism (i.e., the Sacrament of Baptism). Ignorant people nowadays contradict this fact and claim that people can reach heaven without a real and actual water baptism. One could easily understand if a person were ignorant of these facts and believed that a person or infant could be Saved without the sacrament of baptism since many have been wrong on this issue, even Saints. But when one has seen these infallible dogmatic declarations from the Popes, and still obstinately hold to the position that people or infants can be saved without real and actual water baptism, he is a heretic. A heretic is a person who obstinately, willfully and knowingly hold an opinion which he knows to be in opposition with what the Church teach.

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Can. 2 on the Sacrament of Baptism, Sess. 7, 1547, ex cathedra: “If anyone shall say that real and natural water is not necessary for baptism, and on that account those words of Our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit’ [John 3:5], are distorted into some sort of metaphor: let him be anathema.”

Pope Benedict XIV, Nuper ad nos, March 16, 1743, Profession of Faith: “Likewise (I profess) that baptism is necessary for salvation, and hence, if there is imminent danger of death, it should be conferred at once and without delay, and that it is valid if conferred with the right matter and form and intention by anyone, and at any time.”

Catechism of the Council of Trent, Baptism made obligatory after Christ’s Resurrection, p. 171: “Holy writers are unanimous in saying that after the Resurrection of our Lord, when He gave His Apostles the command to go and teach all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the law of Baptism became obligatory on all who were to be saved.”

For a person to assert that salvation can be attained invincibly or ignorantly by Jews, pagans, heretics or schismatics without baptism or the Catholic Faith, is truly the most evil of doctrine since it renders Faith in Jesus Christ and the true Catholic Faith meaningless. According to this erroneous world view, anyone who is “good” can attain eternal life.

Many people like to object against these truths as “bitter” or “uncharitable.”But this is not true. The “foundation of charity is faith pure and undefiled” (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, #9). Some will also say that they cannot understand the justice behind these infallible declarations by God through the Popes. But it is not our job to question God’s laws and decrees. Our job is to believe first and understand second. Yet, if one looks at this situation clearly, one can understand the justice behind it. Adam and Eve brought death and original sin on every human being through their sin of eating the forbidden fruit. Did they fall for just desiring the fruit? NO! They fell after eating a real physical fruit. If you cannot accept that all of humanity must be baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, how can you accept that all of humanity fell into sin because of Adam and Eve ate a physical fruit?

INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE

2 Corinthians 4:3: “And if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.”

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 6 on Justification, Chap. 15: “…it must be maintained that the grace of justification, although received, is lost not only by infidelity, whereby even faith itself is lost, but also by any other mortal sin, although faith be not lost, thereby defending the doctrine of the divine law which excludes from the kingdom of God not only the unbelievers, but also the faithful who are ‘fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, liers with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, extortioners’ [1 Cor. 6:9], and all others who commit deadly sins…”

The dogma Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation has been solemnly defined at least seven times by popes speaking from the Chair of St. Peter. Never once were any exceptions mentioned about “invincible ignorance.” In fact, it is just the opposite: all exceptions were always excluded.

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: “There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.”

Thus, the idea that a non-Catholic who is ignorant of the Faith can be saved is heretical; it is contrary to the dogma that “no one,” (Pope Pius IV; Benedict XIV; Pius IX) “nobody at all,” (Innocent III) “nobody, even if he shed his blood in the name of Christ” (Eugene IV) can be saved as a non-Catholic. It is a denial of the dogma that “every human creature” (Boniface VIII) must be a Catholic, and that “only those” (Eugene IV) inside the bosom and unity of the Church can achieve salvation.

Those who insist that “invincible ignorance” can possibly save a person who dies as a non-Catholic simply depart from and deny the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church.

Fr. Francisco de Vitoria, O.P., a famous 16th century Dominican theologian, summed up the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church on this topic very well. Here is how he put it: “When we postulate invincible ignorance on the subject of baptism or of the Christian faith, it does not follow that a person can be saved without baptism or the Christian faith. For the aborigines to whom no preaching of the faith or Christian religion has come will be damned for mortal sins or for idolatry, but not for the sin of unbelief. As St. Thomas says, however, if they do what in them lies [in their power], accompanied by a good life according to the law of nature, it is consistent with God’s providence that he will illuminate them regarding the name of Christ.”

Fr. Michael Muller, C.SS.R., The Catholic Dogma, pp. 217-218, 1888: “Inculpable or invincible ignorance has never been and will never be a means of salvation. To be saved, it is necessary to be justified, or to be in the state of grace. In order to obtain sanctifying grace, it is necessary to have the proper dispositions for justification; that is, true divine faith in at least the necessary truths of salvation, confident hope in the divine Savior, sincere sorrow for sin, together with the firm purpose of doing all that God has commanded, etc. Now, these supernatural acts of faith, hope, charity, contrition, etc., which prepare the soul for receiving sanctifying grace, can never be supplied by invincible ignorance; and if invincible ignorance cannot supply the preparation for receiving sanctifying grace, much less can it bestow sanctifying grace itself. ‘Invincible ignorance,’ says St. Thomas, ‘is a punishment for sin.’ (De, Infid. Q. x., art. 1).

All the people who die in cultures which have never been penetrated by the Gospel go to Hell for sins against the natural law and the other grave sins which they commit – which bad will and failure to cooperate with God’s grace is the reason He does not reveal the Gospel to them. The First Vatican Council defined infallibly, based on Romans 1, that the one true God can be known with certitude by the things which have been made, and by the natural light of human reason.

St. Paul, Romans 1:18-20: “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it to them. For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.”

Everyone can know with certainty that there is a supreme spiritual being, Who is the One True God and the Creator of the world and all that it contains. Everyone knows that God is not something that they have carved out of wood or jade or stone. They know that God is not the tree that they worship or the river they worship or the rock or the snake or the sacred tree frog. They know that these things aren’t the Creator of the universe. Every such person knows that he is worshipping a creature rather than the Creator. They are, as St. Paul says in verse 20, without excuse. St. Augustine explains this well in reference to persons who died ignorant of the Faith and without baptism.

St. Augustine (+428): “… God foreknew that if they had lived and the gospel had been preached to them, they would have heard it without belief.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, De Veritate, 14, A. 11, ad 1: Objection- “It is possible that someone may be brought up in the forest, or among wolves; such a man cannot explicitly know anything about the faith. St. Thomas replies- It is the characteristic of Divine Providence to provide every man with what is necessary for salvation… provided on his part there is no hindrance. In the case of a man who seeks good and shuns evil, by the leading of natural reason, God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or would send some preacher of the faith to him…”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. II, 28, Q. 1, A. 4, ad 4: “If a man born among barbarian nations, does what he can, God Himself will show him what is necessary for salvation, either by inspiration or sending a teacher to him.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. III, 25, Q. 2, A. 2, solute. 2: “If a man should have no one to instruct him, God will show him, unless he culpably wishes to remain where he is.”

In his Encyclical Letters, dated Dec. 8, 1849; Dec.. 8, 1864; and Aug. 10, 1863, and in his Allocution on Dec. 9, 1854: Pope Pius IX. says:

"It is not without sorrow that we have learned another not less pernicious error, which has been spread in several parts of Catholic countries, and has been imbibed by many Catholics, who are of opinion that all those who are not at all members of the true Church of Christ, can be saved: Hence they often discuss the question concerning the future fate and condition of those who die without having professed the Catholic faith, and give the most frivolous reasons in support of their wicked opinion . . . ."

"We must mention and condemn again that most pernicious error, which has been imbibed by certain Catholics, who are of the opinion that those people who live in error and have not the true faith, and are separated from Catholic unity, may obtain life everlasting. Now this opinion is most contrary to Catholic faith, as is evident from the plain words of our Lord, (Matt. xviii. 17 ; Mark xvi. 16; Luke x. 16; John iii. 18) as also from the words of St. Paul, (II. Tim. Iii. 11) and of St. Peter (II. Peter. ii. 1). To entertain opinions contrary to this Catholic faith is to be an impious wretch."

"We therefore again reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all and every one of these perverse opinions and doctrines, and it is our absolute will and command that all sons of the Catholic Church shall hold them as reprobated, proscribed, and condemned. It belongs to our Apostolic office to rouse your Episcopal zeal and watchfulness to do all in your power to banish from the minds of the people such impious and pernicious opinions, which lead to indifference of religion, which we behold spreading more and more, to the ruin of souls. Oppose all your energy and zeal to these errors and employ zealous priests to impugn and annihilate them, and to impress very deeply upon the minds and hearts of the faithful the great dogma of our most holy religion, that salvation can be had only in the Catholic faith. Often exhort the clergy and the faithful to give thanks to God for the great gift of the Catholic faith."

St. Augustine, Tractate 89, on John 15:22-23- “What, then, does He [Jesus] mean by the words, If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin? [John 15:22] Was it that the Jews were without sin before Christ came to them in the flesh? Who, though he were the greatest fool, would say so?... But when He went on to say, But now they have no excuse for their sin, some may be moved to inquire whether those to whom Christ neither came nor spoke, have an excuse for their sin. For if they have not, why is it said here that these had none, on the very ground that He did come and speak to them? And if they have, have they it to the extent of thereby being barred from punishment, or of receiving it in a milder degree? To these inquiries, with the Lord's help and to the best of my capacity, I reply, that such have an excuse, not for every one of their sins, but for this sin of not believing on Christ, inasmuch as He came not and spoke not to them.”

Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio, May 27, 1832, on no salvation outside the Church: “Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life… You know how zealously Our predecessors taught that article of faith which these dare to deny, namely the necessity of the Catholic faith and of unity for salvation… Omitting other appropriate passages which are almost numberless in the writings of the Fathers, We shall praise St. Gregory the Great who expressly testifies that THIS IS INDEED THE TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. He says: ‘The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her and asserts that all who are outside of her will not be saved.’”

COMMUNION WITH HERETICS

In this context, it is also important to mention the Church's teaching concerning communion with heretics. The traditional Catholic Church's teaching which forbids a man to receive the Catholic sacraments of The Holy Eucharist, Penance, Confirmation, Extreme Unction, Matrimony and Holy Orders from all heretical priests – as well as Her teaching that all sacramental communions with known heretics, whether they be priests or laymen, is sinful – is based directly on the Holy Bible, and was preached from the very start of the Church by the Holy Apostles.

Titus 3:10-11 “A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid: Knowing that he, that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.”

If we find out that someone is a heretic, Holy Scripture makes it crystal clear that we must avoid him, except for the purpose of converting him to the true Faith. Douay Rheims Bible Commentary explains that the words “By his own judgment” means that “Other offenders are judged, and cast out of the church, by the sentence of the pastors of the same church. Heretics, more unhappy, run out of the church of their own accord, and by doing so, give judgment and sentence against their own souls.” Therefore, “If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, do not receive him into the house nor say to him: "God speed you." For, he who says to him "God speed you" communicates with his wicked works.” (2nd John 1:10-11) This verse of St. John the Apostle also makes it clear that everyone, whether priest or layman, have a right and indeed a duty, to judge between whether a man is a heretic or not.

Contrary to what many claim today, we see that the Holy Bible not only tells us to not commune sacramentally with heretics, but that we “communicates with his wicked works” if we would dare to enter into religious communion with him, or receive the sacraments from them. Thus, if we would like to receive the sacraments, we are obligated to know that the priest we receive them from is a Catholic, seeing that otherwise we “communicates with his wicked works”. So important was this doctrine of separation from the ungodly that the Holy Bible over and over repeats this truth.

2nd Thessalonians 3:6 “We charge you, brethren, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition received from us. And, if any man does not obey, note that man, and do not keep company with him.”

From the very start of the Church, various heretics and heretical sects tried to lure people away from the true Faith, and because of this, Our Lord Jesus Christ also inspired the authors of the Bible to repeatedly write about the importance of this doctrine.

Romans 16:17:20 “Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For they that are such, serve not Christ our Lord, but their own belly; and by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent. For your obedience is published in every place. I rejoice therefore in you. But I would have you to be wise in good, and simple in evil. And the God of peace crush Satan under your feet speedily. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

St. Paul here gives some good reasons why Catholics must avoid non-Catholics. Following the devil's temptations as well as their own pride, all heretics fool themselves into believing that they have found out the “true” meaning of the Christian Faith long after the Church was founded and begun by Apostolic Succession after the resurrection of Our Lord. Heresy as a crime is mainly a sin of pride, and as a result, these people will also cause “dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned [from the Apostles]” which could harm an untold number of souls. “For they that are such, serve not Christ our Lord, but their own belly; and by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent.”

The greatest reason why the Church have always condemned receiving the sacraments from heretics or being in communion with them is that in very many cases, the heretic will corrupt the life and faith of the Christian. St. Paul speaks at length of this in his letters in the Holy Bible: “Be not seduced: Evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake, ye just, and sin not. For some have not the knowledge of God, I speak it to your shame. (1st Corinthians 15:33-34) If we want to save our own soul from the eternal hellfire, we cannot allow human friendships and family to corrupt our faith. If we receive the sacraments from or commune with heretics, the result is very often that we will become like them: “He that walketh with the wise, shall be wise: a friend of fools shall become like to them.” (Proverbs 13:20)

Another great reason why the Church condemns sacramental communion with heretics or schismatics is that we, by this act, shows externally to them that they are fine where they are, thus confirming them in their mortal sin. Because heretics and schismatics would conclude that a Catholic who worshipped with them approved of their errors or rebellion, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith warned in 1729:

“When they see Catholics go to their [heretical and schismatical] churches, assist at their rites, and participate in their sacraments, should not one believe (or at least fear) that from this fact alone they would be more greatly confirmed in their errors, and also be persuaded by this example that they are walking the straight path to salvation?

“From this it follows that it is most difficult to avoid the danger of pernicious scandal to heretics and schismatics themselves. Wherefore, a Catholic cannot be safe in his conscience if he worships together with them this way.” (SC de Prop. Fide, Instruction (Pro Mission. Orient.), 1729, Fontes 7:4505)

Reason itself dictates that this may never be done. “Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth; Proving what is well pleasing to God: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. But all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the light; for all that is made manifest is light. Wherefore he saith: Rise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee. See therefore, brethren, how you walk circumspectly: not as unwise...” (Ephesians 5:6-15)

Thus, contrary to the many heretics who nowadays teach that one may be in communion with heretics, St. Paul tells us through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” We must thus do all in our power to reprove them, and must abstain from every act that could be taken by others to mean that we are in communion with heretics. “I will not communicate with the choicest of them... Depart from me, ye malignant ones!” (Psalm 140:4; 118:115)

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, #9, Jan. 6, 1928: “Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment ‘Love one another,’ altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt form of Christ’s teaching: ‘If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you’ (II John 10).”

From the very beginning of the Church's councils, the biblical truth that true Christians (that is, Catholics) could not partake in the “holy” rites of heretics, Jews or infidels, nor receive the sacraments from them (even though their sacraments are valid) has always been affirmed.

III Council of Constantinople, 680-681: “If any ecclesiastic or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or the meetinghouses of the heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of communion [excommunicated]. If any bishop or priest or deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from communion.” (Sacrorum Conciliorum, XI:635)

Here we see that the Church teaches that not only are we forbidden to commune sacramentally with a heretic or a Jew, but that we may not even go into their houses “to join in prayer with them”. A man or even a “bishop or priest or deacon” who disobeyed this biblical truth was to be immediately excommunicated from the Church according to the Church's infallible teaching.

Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, 553, ex cathedra: “The heretic, even though he has not been condemned formally by any individual, in reality brings anathema on himself, having cut himself off from the way of truth by his heresy. What reply can such people make to the Apostle when he writes: As for someone who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned (Titus 3:10).”

Pope Vigilius makes it clear that Catholics may not even communicate sacramentally with undeclared heretics, since all heretics are automatically excommunicated. This means that we may never enter the “Churches” of heretics, worship with them, or receive the sacraments from them. A Catholic who receives the Holy Eucharist and Penance from any heretic thus sins mortally, for he disobeys the Law of the Church and God while doing so, and it does not matter whether the heretic is declared or undeclared, formally excommunicated or automatically excommunicated as a heretic as we can see from the infallible teaching of Pope Vigilius in the Second Council of Constantinople.

1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1258.1: “It is unlawful for the faithful to assist in any active manner, or to take part in the sacred services of non-Catholics.”

A Catholic actively assists at a traditional Mass by his presence when it is celebrated. This is a true form of active assistance or participation, and according to Catholic teaching constitutes “cooperation or common action with another in the prayers and functions of worship.”

As explained by Rev. Szal in his book Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, on Dec. 5, 1668, the Holy Office ordered a bishop to instruct his people not to go to Mass or other Divine offices in the churches of schismatics or heretics, and to warn them that THEY WERE NOT BOUND BY THE PRECEPT OF HEARING MASS WHEN THERE WAS NO CELEBRATION OF A CATHOLIC MASS, which means that if there is no Catholic Mass available (a Catholic rite said by a Catholic priest), 1) one cannot attend a non-Catholic Mass, and 2) one is not held to the precept of hearing Holy Mass. To fulfill your Sunday obligation or obtain sacramental graces at Mass requires active assistance or participation. This is an all-or-nothing proposition. You either actively assist or you don’t.

Pius VI, Charitas (# 29), April 13, 1791: “Keep as far from you as possible all intrusion and schism.… Above all, avoid and condemn the sacrilegious intruders..… Keep away from all intruders… do not hold communion with them, especially in divine worship.”

Catholics are explicitly forbidden to knowingly pray in communion with notorious or known heretics or receive the sacraments from them as Pope Leo X makes perfectly clear.

Pope Leo X, Fifth Lateran Council, Session 8, ex cathedra: “And since truth cannot contradict truth, we define that every statement contrary to the enlightened truth of the faith is totally false and we strictly forbid teaching otherwise to be permitted. We decree that all those who cling to erroneous statements of this kind, thus sowing heresies which are wholly condemned, should be avoided in every way and punished as detestable and odious heretics and infidels who are undermining the Catholic faith.

“… All false Christians and those with evil sentiments towards the faith, of whatever race or nation they may be, as well as heretics and those stained with some taint of heresy, or Judaizers, are to be totally excluded from the company of Christ’s faithful and expelled from any position, especially from the Roman curia, and punished with an appropriate penalty…”

So, the Pope just said infallibly that all heretics should be avoided in every way (that has to do with religious communion and other unnecessary dealings with them). Note that you can only know that someone is a heretic if you yourself have obtained this knowledge of the person in question. Thus, if you know your priest to be a heretic, you are obliged to avoid him “in every way”, and may not approach him for the sacraments.

When we enter into sacramental communion with heretics or receive the sacraments from them, we give scandal to our neighbor, make the heretic who distributes the sacrament commit mortal sin, and most importantly, sin against God and Heaven. Indeed, the heretical priest who consecrates the host or gives out the sacraments commits a mortal sin of sacrilege at that very moment. A person who thus receives the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist or Penance from a person he knows is a heretic that is automatically excommunicated or formally excommunicated, actually makes this heretic sin mortally by receiving the sacrament from him! Only a thoroughly hardhearted human would continue to go to him after knowing about this fact, receiving the fruit of his sacrileges, mortal sins and profanations of our Lord... The heretical priest commits a mortal sin when he confects the sacraments, as well as when he gives it out, yet the person receiving the sacrament from him couldn't care less about the mortal sins of sacrilege and profanation of our Lord that are enacted in front of him. In truth, “You help the ungodly, and you are joined in friendship with those who hate the Lord; and therefore you did indeed deserve the wrath of the Lord.” (2nd Paralipomenon 19:2)

Hermenegild, a young Visigoth prince, was put to death by his heretical father because he courageously refused to receive his Easter Communion from an Arian bishop. The martyr knew that the Eucharist is the sacred symbol of Catholic unity and that we are not allowed to approach the Holy Table in company with those who are not in the true Church. A sacrilegious consecration gives heretics the real possession of the divine mystery, if the priestly character be in him who dares to offer sacrifice to the God whom he blasphemes. But the Catholic, who knows that he may not so much as pray with heretics, shudders at the sight of the profanation and would rather die than take a share by his presence in insulting our Redeemer in that very Sacrifice and Sacrament which were instituted in order that all may be made one in God.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Third Part, Q. 82, Art. 9, Reply to Objection 1, On the contrary: “By refusing to hear the masses of such priests [sinful, heretical or excommunicated priests], or to receive Communion from them, we are not shunning God’s sacraments; on the contrary, by so doing we are giving them honor: but what we shun is the sin of the unworthy ministers... Moreover, [Pope St.] Gregory says (Dial. ii.) that ‘the faithless father sent an [heretical] Arian bishop to his son [St. Hermenegild], for him to receive sacrilegiously the consecrated Communion at his hands. But, when the Arian bishop arrived, God’s devoted servant rebuked him [and refused the communion from his hands], as was right for him to do.”

Pope St. Gregory the Great, The Dialogues: “It was the feast of Easter. At an early hour of the night when all was still, his wicked father sent an Arian bishop to him with this message, that if he [Hermenegild] would receive Communion from his hands [the Communion of a sacrilegious consecration] he should be restored to favor. True to his Creator, the man of God gave a merited reproof to the Arian bishop, and, with holy indignation, rejected his sinful offer; for though his body lay prostrate in chains, his soul stood on ground beyond the reach of tyranny. The bishop therefore returned whence he had come. The Arian father raged, and straightaway sent his lictors, bidding them to repair to the prison of the unflinching confessor of the Lord, and murder him on the spot. They obeyed: they entered the prison; they cleft his skull with a sword; they took away the life of the body, and slew what he, the slain one, had sworn to count as vile. Miracles soon followed, which testified to the true glory of Hermenegild…”

If it was a mortal sin to receive Holy Communion from the hands of a notorious heretic or excommunicated person then it is a mortal sin now too, and all who claim otherwise with knowledge of the dogmas of the church are excommunicated heretics. Any law that attempts to change this dogmatic law or diminish it in any way is a heretical law that makes a mockery of the blood of Saint Hermenegild.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Third Part, Q. 82, Art. 9, Reply to Objection 2, I answer that: “The unity of the mystical body is the fruit of the true body received. But those who receive or minister unworthily [such as the heretics or excommunicated], are deprived of the fruit [the unity of the Faith], as was said above (7; 80, 4). And therefore, those who belong to the unity of the Faith [the Catholics] are not to receive the sacrament from their dispensing [from the heretics or excommunicated]... [since the] heretical, schismatical, excommunicate, or even [notoriously] sinful priests, although they have the power to consecrate the Eucharist, yet they do not make a proper use of it; on the contrary, they sin by using it. But whoever communicates with another who is in sin, becomes a sharer in his sin.”

Real Catholics (such as St. Hermenegild) absolutely shudders at the thought of that a sacrilegious profanation is committed against our true Lord’s true Body and Blood by an unworthy heretical minister. True Catholics will certainly not be part of this profanation and sacrilege of Our Lord or give their approval of it when this most grievous sin is committed in front of them, as we have just seen.

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