FR. PAUL KRAMER'S ERROR ON THE VISIBLE CHURCH

FR. PAUL KRAMER'S ERROR ON THE VISIBLE CHURCH

       Over the last month, we have issued a series of refutations of the theology of the once-respected priest, Fr. Paul Kramer, who has sadly embraced the errors of Sedevacantism. His current obsession with his new position even drove him to publicly critique our book, True or False Pope?, which he has not read. But rest assured, Fr. Kramer has quoted Steve Speray as one of his authorities, who actually did read the book (Speray is one of the most incompetent defenders of the Sedevcacantist sect out there). Since we understand that Fr. Kramer has lost a lot of credibility among his former admirers (even among his “Resistance” priests and colleagues) - having been “knocked off his high horse,” so to speak - he has now has really dug his heels in in order to save face.
       Unfortunately, he has done this by descending into the abyss of detraction and outright calumny, by publicly claiming that John Salza is a Freemason, and saying that Salza and Siscoe are “malicious slanders,” “quack theologians,” “charlatans,” “frauds,” “pseudo-traditionalists,” “public enemies” of the Church, and other such inflammatory and derogatory epithets. This is the typical effeminate response from those whose positions have been publicly refuted and have no substantive reply. Is this how a holy priest responds to those who criticize his theological positions (which include his public rejection of the man the Church has elected Pope)? Is this how any Catholic, much less a priest, should conduct himself? In any of our features, have we ever used such insulting invective against Fr. Kramer? No, we haven’t. Just take a look at our feature articles and see. Fr. Kramer shames the dignity of the Catholic priesthood with such public behavior.
       We can only respond by saying that Fr. Kramer is not only a slanderer, but is now clearly manifesting his latent Protestant tendencies (common amongst members of the Sedevacantist sect) by elevating his private judgment above the public judgment of the Catholic Church: in this case, by preferring his own private judgement concerning who is the Pope, to that of the public judgment of the Church, which was manifest by the Church via the election acceptance of Francis. But since Kramer believes the current Catholic Church (the visible social unit founded by Christ) is actually a counterfeit church (rather than the true Church undergoing a Passion similar to what Christ endured), it’s no surprise that the would reject the Pope elected by the Church (scandalous though he may be), and anyone in communion with him.
       Unfortunately, Fr. Kramer is sucking a few unbalanced souls down his rabbit hole of schismatic private judgment, including one Eric Gajewski, a Steubenville-educated layman who runs his “Resistance” apostolate (called “TradCatKnight”) out of the basement of a relative he lives with (right down the street from Scott Hahn). Gajewski advertises his apostolate in part by falsifying the number of visitors he claims his website receives, and posting it on his homepage. The last count Eric posted on his homepage was almost a half a billion hits! Gajewski has surely got the number counter rigged since when we refreshed the page and ten seconds later it registered another 10,000 hits! By the way, Gajewski has also publicly claimed that he is the “Great Monarch” revealed in a number of private revelations, which shows that he, like Fr. Kramer, is not playing with a full deck.  
        We mention Gajewski because he has become public cheerleader number one for
Eric "the Great Monarch" Gajewski
his theological master, Fr. Kramer, by cutting and pasting Kramer’s inane replies to us on his website, which are entitled “Fr. Kramer Refutes Pseudo-Traditionalists Salza & Siscoe” (Fr. Kramer blocked us from his Facebook page because he didn’t want to be refuted in front of his “fans,” so we are at least thankful to Gajewski for making them public.) But this is Gajewski’s modus operandi. He has never been known for his academic approach or scholarship (most traditional Catholics don’t even know who he is, and for good reason), and has contributed next to nothing to the corpus of Traditional Catholic teaching (very little beyond his private interpretation of private revelations, which he posts on his website). He acts more as an internet medium for people who actually do research and writing, but only if their conclusions agree with his “the visible Church has defected, the true Church is a remnant” mentality.
       Gajewski’s lack of intellectual and theological abilities go on full display as he cheers on Fr. Kramer from the sidelines, posting Kramer’s blurbs on his homepage with a sentence or two of how Kramer has “beaten up” Salza and Siscoe (yeah, right), which Gajewski then accompanies with a juvenile caricature of us getting beat up. This is an accurate gauge of Gajewski’s Catholic IQ. But Gajewski’s got to keep those “half a billion” viewers (with an additional 10,000 every ten seconds!) engaged to keep his advertising revenue coming in! Eric Gajewski is about the biggest nobody who thinks he’s somebody in the whacky world of “Resistance” Traditionalism, and anyone who actually listens to the “Great Monarch” should get his head examined.
       Gajewski embraces the same errors of his master by denying the Church’s attributes and marks of visibility and catholicity respectively, among other things. In fact, he refused to air a radio show he did with John Salza because Salza explained and defended the Church’s teaching on moral catholicity (which took only a few minutes of the show), which contradicts Gajewski’s gnostic belief in a “remnant” Church of the end times reduced to a handful of believers (of which, he, of course, will be a member, so as to publicly assume his role as “the Great Monarch”). And to prove that Gajewski doesn’t think for himself (he’s nothing more than the monkey of sorts for Fr. Kramer), he, for months, publicly endorsed and promoted Salza and Siscoe’s book True of False Pope?, only to withdraw his endorsement and denounce the book immediately after Fr. Paul Kramer began to criticize the book, even though Gajewski knew Fr. Kramer didn’t even read the book! Some brain power from Eric Gajewski, huh? Does it get any whackier in the whacky world of “Resistance” traditionalism? 
        Now, let’s take a look at Fr. Kramer’s latest, from “Part I” of his attempted reply to our refutations.


Kramer Takes Criticisms of His Positions Personally
and Responds with Name-Calling and Slander


       As we noted, Fr. Kramer takes our criticisms of his theological positions personally, and responds with name-calling and slander. But this is precisely how a prideful man whose theological positions have been publicly refuted would respond, as we’ve seen with many other Sedevacantists. And, unlike Fr. Kramer’s “Facebook” blurbs, our responses contain actual, theological scholarship, and which have been reviewed by REAL traditional Catholic priests and theologians, trained in REAL traditional Catholic seminaries, unlike Fr. Kramer who was trained and ordained in the Novus Ordo “counterfeit” Church. Not being able to fight his battle on the merits, Kramer responded by accusing us of the following: “deliberately and publicly vilify[ing] a priest with slanderous lies and malicious misrepresentations; but this is exactly what John Salza and Robert Siscoe have done. The Church teaches, in its moral doctrine, that such a sin constitutes the crime of sacrilege. In Catholic Moral Theology, it is explained that to vilify, slander, or insult a priest is properly the sin of sacrilege, because the priest is consecrated to God, and therefore such a sin is a direct offense against the person of Jesus Christ.” Kramer goes on to say that because our sacrilege is “deliberate” and “public,” we incur “canonical infamy” and must be “denied Holy Communion.” Is this priest kidding? Is he in his right mind?
       First, notice that Fr. Kramer does not prove his most grave accusations against us; he only makes them. And that is obviously because the accusations are completely false. We refuted Kramer’s theology, and now he has hurt feelings, just like the playground bully who has been embarrassed in front of his peers. Anyone who reads our replies to Fr. Kramer can see for themselves. We hurled no such personal attacks against Fr. Kramer; we simply exposed his errors, and he has responded with vicious lies, detraction and even calumny. But we are used to such ridiculous accusations, since we have borne this type of abuse from Sedevacantists for the past decade, and Kramer’s behavior is now a new example of the wicked fruit of this evil tree (Sedevcantism): if you can’t respond to your opponents arguments, go after them personally by impugning their reputations (calling them “public sinners” and “obstinate perpetrators” of “sacrilege,” for example).
       Such grave charges would actually mean something to us if they came from a Catholic of good repute; but they mean nothing coming from the likes of Fr. Paul Kramer, who has been a loose cannon for years. After all, this is a man who seems to find a Jewish/Masonic conspiracy around every corner, as he publicly prognosticates (falsely, and for years) about the timing of the commencement of World War III (which, according to Kramer, was supposed to begin in 2008, followed by the Consecration of Russia and the beginning of the Age of Peace in 2011[1]). He now adds to his impressive repertoire of false prophecies a complete incompetence regarding the theology of a heretical Pope, and even of such basic concepts as the Church’s perpetual attributes and marks.
       So Fr. Kramer gets to call us “malicious frauds,” “charlatans,” “Freemasons,” “heretics,” “obstinate perpetrators of sacrilege” and many other evils things, but we cannot criticize his theological positions because he is a priest? Is this how a man “consecrated to God” treats those who respond to his unprovoked criticisms? What kind of hypocrisy is this? Even Fr. Cekada, who is battling cancer, has thicker skin than Fr. Paul Kramer. Cekada dishes it out, but he can take it too.  Does Kramer think he is immune from criticism because he is a priest? We don’t think so. As St. Thomas teaches, it is precisely because Fr. Kramer is priest that he is in the greater danger due to his errors, especially as he now leads confused souls out of the Church. Thus, as canon law provides, we are duty bound to publicly refute him according to our knowledge and abilities (which we have done), without committing “slander” or the “sin of sacrilege,” or any other such ridiculous charge that Kramer wants to levy against us.
       Fr. Kramer obviously has confused criticisms and refutations of his erroneous theology with “slanderous lies and malicious misrepresentations” of himself, personally, which we have not done. No, Fr. Kramer chose to pick this fight with us, by publicly attacking out book which he has not even read, and is now getting what he asked for. Evidently, given the extremely high opinion he has of himself, he expected us to remain silent. And when we did not, it is he who has descended to the level of personal attacks and lies, which his latest accusations prove. Evidently, Fr. Kramer is not used to being called out for his aberrant theology, and this is the type of reaction one would expect from the playground bully who has been embarrassed in front of his social media admirers. Fortunately, very few outside of his cult following on Facebook take him seriously anymore.
       Now, to his theological errors.


Kramer Says “the Visible Entity Will Become Apostate”

       From the same “Part I,” Fr. Kramer attempts to undo the damage he did to himself when he explicitly claimed that “the visible entity will become apostate.” Kramer made this heretical statement in response to a Facebook post from a Mr. Sam Freson who said that even if the true Church is forced underground, “the legitimate authority will remain visible.” Kramer responded “No!” and then made the heretical statement. Now, after reading our explicit refutation of Fr. Kramer’s position based on the words he chose, Kramer could have simply responded by qualifying his original statement, if not retracting it. But that is not how prideful men act. Rather, Kramer has dug his heels in, and has repeated, in his Part I piece, his original statement verbatim: “the visible entity will become apostate.” Thus, Fr. Kramer means what he says. Unfortunately, what he says is heretical, because it denies both the indefectibility and formal visibility of the Church, since if the “visible entity” became “apostate,” then that same “visible entity” (which is nothing less than the Catholic Church) would defect and thus cease to exist.
       Notice that Kramer doesn’t say “people” or “individuals” (those members of the Church who are materially visible) will apostatize; rather, he refers to the “visible entity” as such. The problem is that the “visible entity” is none other than the Catholic Church proper, that is, the visible social unit, founded by Christ, constituted by a Pope, bishops, priests, and faithful. This “visible entity” will always be formally visible, by which it will always be known to be the Catholic Church, against which the gates of hell will not prevail. As the traditional theologians teach, formal visibility is a perpetual attribute of the Church (the “entity”), and thus it will always exist, even if the Church is driven underground for a time. That’s why any true Catholic theologian worth his salt would immediately reject Kramer’s repeated contention and classify it as materially heretical. By saying the “visible entity” will become apostate denies the Church’s perpetual attribute of formal visibility. Again, the visible social unit (the “visible entity,” the word Kramer consistently uses) can never become “apostate,” without violating her attributes of indefectibility and visibility. If “the visible entity became apostate,” it would violate the Promise of Christ, that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church” since this promise applies to the visible entity as such; it does not simply mean there will always be “true believers” somewhere in the world, as Cardinal Billot explains:


Thesis II: “The Church of Christ, by the revelation and institution of Christ himself, is essentially visible; and this visible Church is the Church to which his promises pertain; promises, namely, that she would be perennial and indefectible (…) this visibility is in reference to the social body as a whole, and not in respect to each of its members taken singly.”
       Msgr. Van Noort likewise teaches that the Promises of Christ pertain to the visible Church, as such:

“Once one proves that the one and only Church which Christ founded is visible from its very nature, then it necessarily follows: (a) that an invisible Church such as that to which Protestants appeal is a pure fiction, and (b) that all the promises which Christ made to His Church refer to a visible Church.”[2]
       Notice also that Fr. Kramer does not explain how the “visible entity [the true Church] will become apostate” while, at the same time, retaining her attribute of formal visibility. He can’t, of course, since his assertion is false and also denies the principle of non-contradiction (the visible entity cannot be both an apostate Church and the Catholic Church at the same time; nor can the Catholic Church ever morph into an apostate church). But this is because Fr. Kramer does not understand the theological distinction between formal and material visibility, or what the theologians teach on this matter. But, as we have demonstrated in our prior features, Fr. Kramer is no theologian. And yet he has the temerity to call us, who have explained and refuted his errors (with the approval of priests who forgot more theology than Kramer ever learned in his Novus Ordo seminary training) “quack theologians.”

Fr. Kramer’s Fallacious Appeal to Fr. Berry

       Fr. Kramer attempts to extricate himself from his heretical statement by appealing to Fr. Berry’s The Church of Christ, a book with which we are very familiar (we quote from it many times in True or False Pope?). Unfortunately for Fr. Kramer, Fr. Berry does not say that the “visible entity will become apostate.” No Catholic who knows his faith would ever say such a thing. Rather, Fr. Berry says that Satan will set up a counter-church to mimic the true Church and lead souls away, which “might” even become “more universal” that the true Church, “at least for a time.”
       There is an obvious distinction between the “visible entity becoming apostate,” and a counter-church being set up in opposition to that “visible entity.” Nowhere does Fr. Berry say that the “visible entity” (translation; the TRUE Catholic Church) will become “apostate,” and thus Kramer’s appeal to Fr. Berry is fallacious. And even if Fr. Berry’s opinion that this counter-church “might” have more members, “for a time,” than the true Church, this would not mean the true Church becomes “apostate,” as Fr. Kramer argues. The true Church, or “visible entity,” will remain formally visible, constituted by a Pope and hierarchy, and many faithful, irrespective of how big or small the counter-church may be (and irrespective of whether or not the “visible Church” is forced underground). These are the kinds of basic theological distinctions that Fr. Paul Kramer fails to make, and this speaks to his own theological competence, as well as the erudition of his Facebook admirers, which are his only real audience these days.
Fr. Kramer’s Fallacious Appeal to Cardinal Manning

       Fr. Kramer also appeals to Cardinal Manning’s statement that the Church would become “invisible” for a time. But as we explained in our original refutation, Cardinal Manning was obviously explaining that the “visible social unit” would be “invisible” to the secular world insofar as she would be driven underground; not that she would become “apostate,” as Kramer argues, which would mean she would lose her mark of formal visibility. Clearly, Cardinal Manning did not say “visible entity will become apostate.” Whether above ground or underground, the “visible entity” will never become “apostate,” because she is indefectible and will always be formally visible.
       If Fr. Kramer took the time to read our book, rather than attacking it publicly, he would learn these basic theological distinctions that he evidently never learned in his Novus Ordo seminary. As our original feature demonstrated, the problem with Fr. Kramer’s opinion is that he divorces the “visible entity” (which he says will become “apostate”) from the “remnant Church in hiding,” which he says is the “true Church.” Not so, Fr. Kramer. Christ’s promises (e.g., "the gates of hell shall not prevail") apply to the “visible entity” (using Kramer’s own words) and not to a “remnant” or “handful” of true believers, which is actually the Protestant definition of “indefectibility.” This is such an easy distinction to see, but evidently not for Fr. Kramer or his cheerleader, Eric Gajewski.
Fr. Kramer’s Fallacious Appeal to Pope Leo XIII

       Finally, Fr. Kramer appeals to the private revelation attributed to Pope Leo XIII. This gives us yet another angle to expose Kramer’s error. In the revelation, Pope Leo had a vision of Lucifer unchained and attacking the Church during a 100-year period. After this vision, Pope Leo wrote a prayer of exorcism, in which he reveals (as Kramer himself quotes from) that the Church will be infiltrated by her “crafty enemies” who will “set up the throne of their abominable impiety, so that the shepherd being struck, the sheep may disperse.”
       Once again, Fr. Kramer fails to make a key distinction, here between “the visible entity becoming apostate” and “the visible entity being infiltrated.” Because the “visible entity” (the true Church, the visible social unit founded by Christ) will always be formally visible, the “entity” can never become “apostate,” no matter how many demons, or Freemasons, or Communists infiltrate her. As with the quotations from Fr. Berry and Cardinal Manning, nowhere in Pope Leo’s exorcism prayer does he say “the visible entity will become apostate.” Quite the contrary, he speaks of the Church being infiltrated and “filled and inebriated with gall,” not being overcome and transformed into a false entity.  Here is what Leo XIII wrote in the original St. Michael Prayer:
“These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be.”
      As one can easily comprehend, this is referring to an infiltration of the Church by the powers of hell; not the Church itself being overcome (“apostate”) by the gates of hell.  The “visible entity” may become disfigured for a time, but the visible social unit can never apostatize because formal visibility is a perpetual attribute of the true Church. And yet Fr. Kramer says the visible entity becoming apostate is a teaching of the “official Magisterium” of Leo XIII!
       Just like Christ was disfigured beyond recognition during His Passion at the hands of the true leaders of the Old Covenant, so too the true Church will be disfigured during her Mystical Passion, at the hands of the true leaders of the New Covenant, but will not “become apostate.” The “visible entity” (again, which is the visible social unit, founded by Christ, constituted by a Pope and bishops) will always be formally visible and indefectible, no matter how deep she is driven underground for a time, or how much her “crafty enemies” seek to disfigure her from within or without. Again, Christ’s promises of visibility, like indefectibility and infallibility, apply to the visible social unit (or, in Kramer’s words, the “visible entity”) and, thus, this visible social unit could never defect into apostasy. To say otherwise is heresy, plain and simple. These are basic theological distinctions that any traditional seminarian can make, but evidently not the Novus Ordo trained priest turned Sedevacantist, Fr. Paul Kramer.
       Fr. Kramer is 0 for 1 in his attempted reply to those he calls “pseudo-traditionalists” and “quack theologians.” Who’s quacking now?



[1] “Father Kramer: Well, here we go beyond the firm evidence of approved apparitions and into the realm of speculation. Based on the reported prophecies of a German priest, a mystic, whose veracity is attested to by another German priest I regard as utterly trustworthy, we can surmise that the year 2008 will see the outbreak of war and 2011 the Consecration of Russia and the beginning of the period of peace spoken of by Our Lady of Fatima. The period of chastisement may continue past 2011, but by 2013 the chastisement will have ended and this may be the actual year of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.” http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr82/cr82pg11.asp.
[2] Christ’s Church, p. 13.

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