Sedevacantist Watch…

A Case of “Cherry-Picking” Theology
and “Butchering” Canon Law

       In our recent article titled “SEDEVACANTISM PROVEN
Mario Derksen who runs NovusOrdoWatch
FALSE BY THE CASE OF NESTORIUS (2/2/16),” we proved that, contrary to the claims of Sedevacantists, Nestorius was not deposed, ipso facto, the moment he professed his heresy in the year 428. We proved this by showing that the Council of Ephesus (not individual Catholics) deposed Nestorius, and “stripped him of his episcopal dignity,” three years later. We even quoted the Sedevacantists’ favorite theologian, St. Robert Bellarmine, who explicitly stated that it was “certain” that Nestorius was deposed by the Council of Ephesus.
       We further cited the example of St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Universal Church, who refused to publicly sever communion with Nestorius before the Church itself rendered a judgment. We then cited a lengthy quotation from Pope Pius XI praising the saint for his actions.  We also quoted the Fourth Council of Constantinople, which confirmed the position taken by St. Cyril by declaring, in no uncertain terms, that any layman who severs communion with his Patriarch, before the Church has rendered a judgment, is excommunicated. In spite of this, Mario Derksen of NovusOrdoWatch.com is still defending the actions of those who do precisely what the Catholic Church (and her great saints) would later condemn. But this is the hubris of those who espouse the anti-Catholic thesis that individual Catholics are the judge of who lawfully holds office in the Church, even when their private judgment is contrary to the public judgment of the Church.
       In this piece, we will respond to the fallacious arguments Derksen made in his response to our article. As you will see, Derksen’s attempted shot was a complete misfire. In this response, we will not only show that the Sedevecantists are completely unable to make basic theological distinctions, but also conveniently skip over (and utterly ignore) the quotations that directly contradict their position. Their theology is built upon what we would call “cherry-picking,” that is, selecting what quotations they think work for them, and ignoring those that don’t. The difference between the Sedevacantist cherry-pickers and us is that we don’t need to ignore any theologian or quotation that, at first blush, may seem confusing or contradictory to our position. We accept all of them, because we make the proper and necessary distinctions, which is critical to the study of theology. To ignore them is to admit defeat, which is what the Sedevacantists have already done. Let’s take a look.

First Point:  Error in Judgment Presented as a Fact

       Derksen comes out of the gate, quite appropriately, with an error, which amounts to a public lie.  He wrote:

       “The huffing and puffing anti-sedevacantist apologists over at TrueOrFalsePope.com are currently busy publishing countless excerpts from their 700-page book as separate, individual articles.”

       Derksen has been repeating this falsehood on social media. He claims that our recent feature articles are simply excerpts from the book that we are posting online. Derksen is not only mistaken but a liar, as anyone who reads the book will see (and because Derksen admits in this same article that he has not yet read the book, he convicts himself of rash judgment as well).  While most of the information contained in the articles can be found in substance in the book, the articles we have recently posted have been written from scratch.
       Derksen made a similar rash judgment about the contents of the book, by claiming that the book simply repeats old arguments (which is not true), and therefore “has already been refuted.” He began making this false claim publicly, not only before he read the book, but before it was even published. He simply created the lie out of thin air and began publishing it as if it were a fact.
       Although these are somewhat minor issues (and irrelevant to the fact that Derksen cannot rebut our material, whether in book or article form), it is further evidence of the way in which Sedevacantists not only err in their private judgment, but also how easily they present their false judgment as if it were a fact. We saw a similar error committed by Fr. Cekada, when he claimed, repeatedly, that the SSPX “bankrolled the Salza/Siscoe book” (and for which he has not provided a public retraction). But when agenda-driven individuals are not really searching for the truth, but instead present their own opinions as “fact,” they will eventually spew public falsehoods without the slightest pang of conscience, as is the case with Derksen and Cekada.

Second Point: Erroneous Claim That Nestorius
Was Deposed, Ipso Facto, By Divine Law

       Next, Derksen disagrees with our assertion that Nestorius was not deposed, ipso facto, by “Divine law” for preaching heresy, but was instead deposed at the Council of Ephesus. Here is what Derksen wrote:

       “…One such article posted on Feb. 2 criticizes Sedevacantists for pointing out that Nestorius automatically and immediately ceased to be the valid bishop of the see of Constantinople at the moment he became a public heretic, and not only after a legal declaration by the Church. This, John Salza and Robert Siscoe maintain, is false: ‘Nestorius was not deposed by ‘Divine law’ the moment he began preaching heresy, but was instead deposed after the Church itself rendered a judgment,’ they argue. But is this true?”

       Yes, Mario, our statement is true: Nestorius was deposed at the Council of Ephesus, after the Church had rendered a judgment. It is an historical fact that is confirmed by your favorite theologian, St. Robert Bellarmine. Once again, this is what he wrote. 

       “No bishop can be shown to have either been deposed or excommunicated by the people, although many are found who were deposed and excommunicated by the Supreme Pontiffs and general Councils. Certainly, Nestorius was deposed from the episcopacy of Constantinople by the Council of Ephesus, from the mandate of Pope Celestine, as Evagrius witnessed.”[1]

       The above quotation is from Book I of De Romano Pontifice. In Book II of the same work, Bellarmine again confirms that Nestorius was deposed by the Council of Ephesus. He wrote:

       “The Council of Ephesus, as it is found in Evagrius, says that it deposed Nestorius by a command of a letter of the Roman Pope Celestine.”[2]

       What was Derksen’s response to these quotations from St. Bellarmine, one of which was included in our original article? He completely ignores them! That’s right. And his strategy is to quote a passage from Cardinal Billot, even though Billot in no way contradicts what Bellarmine wrote. Derksen then predicts that our response to the Billot quote will be to claim that “theologians are not infallible.”
       Now, before we address the quote from Billot, we must say that we find this prediction quite amusing, since the Sedevacantists themselves have made that very claim (“theologians are not infallible”), when presented with a teaching from – wait for it - Cardinal Billot himself!  That’s right again. In fact, the quotation in question was from the very same book that Derksen cites.[3] What is the teaching of Cardinal Billot that was rejected by the Sedevacantists? It is the common teaching of theologians which maintains that the peaceful and universal acceptance of a Pope by the Church provides infallible certitude that he is a true and legitimate Pope. When the entire Church accepts a man as Pope, his legitimacy falls into the category of a dogmatic fact, which cannot be denied. Needless to say, this common teaching of the Church’s theologians eviscerates the Sedevacantist claim that all the Popes after Pius XII have been antipopes.
       Again, to reiterate for our Sedevacantist opponents, this is not only the teaching of Cardinal Billot. It is the common teaching of the Church’s theologians, and is qualified as “theologically certain.” As we showed in our recent article called “Sedevacantists Reject Pre-Vatican II Popes,” the rejection of this dogmatic fact is a mortal sin against Faith. In fact, in the comment section of the NovusOrdoWatch website, beneath Derksen's article on Nestorius, a questioner asks: “The faithful must assent to a teaching that is communis?” To which Derksen responds: “Yes, they do, under pain of mortal sin.” Well, if Mario does not “assent” to the common teaching of universal and peaceful acceptance as regards the conciliar Popes, he has just publicly accused himself of mortal sin.
       Now, when NovusOrdoWatch’s friend, Steve Speray, was presented with the teaching of Cardinal Billot, who explained that “the adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff,” he rejected it without a scruple. And guess how Speray justified doing so? Get ready for it: He did so by saying: “theologians are not infallible.” That’s right! He did exactly what Derksen claimed we would do (and did not do). Perhaps Derksen should consult the writings of his fellow Sedevacantists before preemptively accusing us of making arguments that his own colleagues make - and we have not made - which has only caused further embarrassment for him.
       Here is what Speray wrote when Robert Siscoe presented him the teaching of Cardinal Billot (and others):  
       “…your theologians and canonists are proven wrong by history. You don’t know how and where infallibility applies. Unfortunately, even theologians get it wrong. … The theologians that say that unanimous consent of Catholics on who the pope is constitute dogmatic facts are simply wrong. Theologians are not infallible!”[4]

       You see, when Sedevacantists can find a quote from an authority which they think supports their position, they puff the quotation and praise the theologian to the heavens (cherry-picking). But when the exact same authority (i.e., Cardinal Billot) teaches a doctrine that presents an obstacle to their position, they reject it without a second thought. And, thus, with his rejection of the infallible certitude of peaceful and universal acceptance, Speray accuses himself of mortal sin.   
       Now, how do you think Speray reacted when he read the quotation from Billot that Derksen recently discovered and claims supports the Sedevacantist position? Here is what Speray wrote:

       “John Salza and Robert Siscoe have attacked me on the case of Nestorius … My friends at Novus Ordo Watch just posted a devastating piece against Salza/Siscoe on the issue. It just so happens that Cardinal Billot supports the very argument that Salza/Siscoe ridiculed me for making. … Salza/Siscoe need to concede or denounce Cardinal Billot as a nutty professor.”

       You see, when Billot teaches what Speray doesn’t like (universal and peaceful acceptance), then “theologians are not infallible.” But if Speray happens upon a quote that he thinks supports his position, everything changes. Instead of saying “even theologians get it wrong,” suddenly his opponent must either concede his point “or denounce Cardinal Billot as a nutty professor.” Unfortunately, this modus operandi of cherry-picking, not only theologians but also their individual teachings, is pervasive amongst Sedevacantist apologists, which is demonstrated in spades at both “NovusOrdoWatch” and “Speray’s Catholicism in a Nut House.”
       Now, although we do agree that theologians are not infallible (especially when they are simply giving their opinion on a matter of speculative theology or law which the Church itself has not yet resolved), the quotation that Derksen has brought forward by Billot does not say what Derksen would like it to say. Nowhere does Billot teach that Nestorius was “deposed, ipso facto, by Divine law,” the moment he began preaching heresy. Nor does Billot ever contradict the teaching of the Fourth Council of Constantinople (which Derksen completely ignored!), which condemns those who separate from their Patriarch before the Church has rendered a judgment on the matter.  In fact, in the same book Derksen cites, Billot himself mentions that St. Cyril refused to separate from Nestorian before the Church rendered a judgment.[5] But this is precisely what Derksen has done, and he seeks to justify his anti-Catholic actions by appealing to the quote from Billot.
       Unlike Derksen, who in his “response” to our article, ran and hid from the quotations we provided from Bellarmine and the Fourth Council of Constantinople (he never even mentioned them, much less addressed them), we will address his quotation from Billot directly.
       Here’s what Billot wrote:

       “Then [Pope Celestine] declaring invalid the opinion whereby Nestorius had removed some people from either their office or the communion of the faithful, he continues: “Nevertheless, lest the opinion of one who had already called down upon himself a divine judicial sentence seem valid even at the time, the authority of our See has decreed that, from the moment that Nestorius and those like him begin to proclaim such [false doctrine], We do not regard as exiled or excommunicated any of the bishops or clerics or Christians by any profession who were dispossessed of office or cast out of communion by him and his followers. Rather all were and still remain in communion with Us, because a person who erroneously preached such [false doctrine] could not eject or remove anyone” [2].”

      We note here that nowhere does Billot claim Nestorius was deposed, ipso facto, by Divine law, before a judgment of the Church, as Derksen claims. All he says is that Celestine declared invalid the excommunications of Nestorius, which is exactly what we wrote in our original article.  There is nothing to prevent a Pope from rendering null unjust acts of a prelate.
       Next, Derksen imagines that the statement of Pope Celestine, who said Nestorius “had already called down upon himself a divine judicial sentence” (see the citation above) means “he was automatically deposed by Divine law.” Here is Derksen’s commentary, which includes a quotation from our article:

       “Cardinal Billot is contradicting verbatim the thesis of Salza and Siscoe, namely: ‘Nestorius was not deposed by ‘Divine law’ the moment he began preaching heresy, but was instead deposed after the Church itself rendered a judgment’. Billot, quoting no less of an authority than Pope St. Celestine, explicitly says that Nestorius had ‘already called down upon himself a divine judicial sentence’ — ‘already’, as in, ‘before the judgment of the Church’; and obviously a divine judicial sentence is effective immediately and not dependent upon the Church confirming it later on.”

       Again, the obvious problem with Derksen’s “interpretation” of what he thinks Celestine meant, is that it is contradicted by the facts – namely, that Nestorius was deposed by the Council of Ephesus in the year 431, which means he was not deposed by “Divine Law” in 428. While Nestorius may have called down a “divine sentence” upon himself, this doesn’t mean he was deposed from office, but only that he deserved to be deposed by the Church.
       Cardinal Cajetan addresses this point directly in his treatise on the loss of office for a heretical Pope. In discussing the quotation from St. Paul in Galatians 1:8, who teaches that they who preach another Gospel – one different from what they had received - are anathema (as Nestorius did), Cajetan explains that he who does so is immediately anathematized by God, but only deserving of excommunication by the Church. Cardinal Cajetan explains:

       “anyone, even an angel of heaven, would be anathematized by God if he preached against the gospel of Christ. This is to proclaim him to be separated from God and worthy of the Church’s excommunication as far as men [are concerned]. This is confirmed by Saint Thomas’ saying in that connection that this opinion given by the apostle was promulgated on the authority of gospel doctrine, ‘The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:48). For it is obvious that the divine word establishes that they have to be excommunicated [or deposed] by the Church, not (for this would be to contradict itself) that they had been excommunicated by it.”[6]

       You see, just because a bishop has drawn down a divine sentence upon himself for heresy, and hence is “separated from God,” it does not mean he is already excommunicated by the Church. Such a one is only deserving (“worthy”) of the excommunication (not that he “had been excommunicated by it”). And this is precisely what Pope Celestine said about Nestorius. Read Celestine’s own words:

       “Pope St. Celestine I wrote: “It is evident that he [who was ‘excommunicated’ by Nestorius] has remained and remains in communion with us, and that we do not consider destituted anyone who has been excommunicated or deprived of his charge … by Bishop Nestorius or by the others who followed him, after they commenced preaching heresy. For he who had already shown himself as deserving to be excommunicated, could not excommunicate anyone by his sentence.”[7]

       Clearly, when Pope Celestine said Nestorius had already called down divine judgment upon himself, he did not mean he was already excommunicated (or deposed), but was only deserving of it. Derksen was obviously not aware of this theological distinction.
       Continuing with the quotation from Billot:

       “Therefore you see that a bishop who is a heretic in secret is still vested with the power of binding and loosing, since he loses episcopal jurisdiction and the power of excommunication only from the time at which he begins to preach heresy openly.”

       The first thing to note is that, in context, Billot is making a distinction between occult (secret) heresy and public heresy. His point is that an occult heretic retains his jurisdiction, since he remains a member of the Church, whereas a public heretic ceases to be a member of the Church, and hence loses his jurisdiction.  This is the same point we have made in previous articles (as well as in the book), and for which we have been criticized by Sedevacantist apologists.  
       Regarding the statement that one who preaches heresy openly loses jurisdiction, we respond to this by noting that heresy has two elements. There is the material (or objective) aspect, which is a proposition that is directly and unequivocally contrary to that which must be believed with divine and Catholic Faith (not all errors qualify as heresy). There is also the formal (or subjective) aspect of heresy, which is pertinacity of the will. Pertinacity is a person’s conscious and obstinate adherence to the heretical doctrine, when he knows it is contrary to what the Church teaches. Both the matter of heresy (heretical doctrine) and the form of heresy (pertinacity) can be public or occult (secret).  For a person to be a public heretic, both must be public. And both must be established by the Church (the crime of heresy) before a prelate ceases to be a member of the Church and loses his office.
       As we have demonstrated in our earlier features on Fact vs. Law, the Church alone establishes the facts in the ecclesiastical forum (a point that was conceded by Bp. Dolan), and the Church alone resolves speculative questions of law and theology (a point conceded by Bp. Sanborn and Fr. Cekada).  
       Thus, consistent with the statement from Cardinal Billot, a bishop “loses episcopal jurisdiction” when he “preaches heresy openly,” that is, when the material (objective) and formal (subjective) elements of heresy are established as a fact in the external, ecclesiastical forum, and this happens only according to the judgment of the Church. This is how a bishop loses his office for preaching heresy publicly, and this is the common teaching of all the Church’s theologians, as we show in our book True or False Pope?
       To reiterate, the Church must establish both that the proposition itself qualifies as heresy (rather than a lesser error), and that the person is pertinacious in adhering to the heresy, rather than simply mistaken.  To preach heresy openly requires that both matter and form are clearly present, since both are essential elements of heresy. In fact, as Cardinal Billot himself teaches, “the nature of heresy consists in withdrawal from the rule of the ecclesiastical Magisterium,”[8] not simply by uttering a heretical proposition (the matter only). The person’s “withdrawal from the ecclesiastical Magisterium” is the formal (subjective) aspect of heresy, which is established when the person either openly leaves the Church, or refuses to “hear the Church” by remaining hardened in heresy following the Church’s warnings.
       In the case of Nestorius, both of these aspects of heresy were, in fact, established by the Church, and, specifically, by the Pope himself. Unbeknownst to most Sedevacantists, Nestorius’ crime of heresy was established by the Pope at a council in Rome, which was held one year before Nestorius was deposed by the Council of Ephesus, a year later. Before the council in Rome rendered a judgment (in the year 430), Nestorius was not a public heretic. He was still considered a member of the Church, even though the errors he was professing (the matter) were declared to be heretical (not a lesser error) at the council in Rome (it was here that the matter was deemed formally heretical). That is why he was still considered in communion with the Church – a member of the Church - up to that time, and why he was treated as such by his fellow bishops.
       For example, even after Nestorius began preaching his grievous errors (later qualified as formally heretical), St Cyril addressed him as ”the most religious and reverend fellow-minister Nestorius” (Second Letter of St. Cyril to Nestorius). And St. Cyril addressed him this way in the very letter he wrote to warned him of his error, and seek to bring him back to the correct doctrine.
       Now the council of Rome, which occurred in these early years of the Church, followed all of the ecclesiastical procedures that apply today in judging a heretical prelate, since they are based on the Divine law revealed by St. Paul to Titus (3:10). Nestorius’ teachings (the objective, material element) were condemned as heretical, and then he was issued multiple warnings. After being given the ecclesiastical warnings (which were necessary to establish the subjective element of pertinacity), he was given a determined space of time renounce his heresy, before being expelled from communion with the Church (at which time he would be proven guilty of the crime of heresy). The following account of these events is from A History of the Councils of the Church, by Hefele:

       “Pope Coelestine, in the year 430, held a Synod at Rome, at which Nestorius was declared a heretic [the Church established the crime of heresy], and threatened with deposition, unless he revoked his errors within ten days of the reception of this decision.[9]

       Notice that Nestorius had not already been deposed, ipso facto, by “Divine Law” as Sedevacantists like Mario Derksen imagine, but was only threatened with being expelled from the Church. Hefele continues:

       “Nestorius had paid no regard to two warnings from Cyril; if he now refused to obey this third admonition, then he must be shut out from the Catholic Christian Church… If he does not condemn his impious innovation within ten days, he must be expelled from all communion with the orthodox Church…”[10]

       Again, we see that Nestorius was still in communion with the Church (a member of the Church and a bishop with jurisdiction) until the ten days had expired. Commenting on a letter from Pope Celestine to St. Cyril, Hefele wrote:

       “More important for us is Coelestine's letter to Cyril himself. In it he praises him in strong terms, approves of his teaching, sanctions all that he has done, and gives order that, in case Nestorius perseveres in his perverse opinion, and does not within ten days after the reception of the Papal letter condemn his impious doctrine, and promise to teach so as to be in accordance with the faith of the Roman and Alexandrian Churches, and in fact with the whole of Christendom, Cyril must carry into effect the judgment of the Roman Synod in the name of the Pope, with all energy, and give him notice of his exclusion from the Church.”[11]

       So, we see that in spite of publicly professing false doctrines, (for which some Catholics formally separated from him), Nestorius was still considered to be “in” the Church, and would only be given notice of “his exclusion from the Church” if he remained hardened in his heresy beyond the ten day period. After remaining hardened in heresy following the ecclesiastical warnings, Nestorius would have been a manifest heretic according to the Church’s judgment, and if he continued to preach his doctrines publicly, he would not merely be uttering a material error or heresy, but truly “preaching heresy openly” (in Cardinal Billot’s words), having already shown himself to be pertinacious. Only then – after refusing to heed the Church’s warnings - would he be considered guilty of the crime of heresy – a manifest heretic - and lose his jurisdiction.
       To further prove that a bishop will not lose his jurisdiction for simply professing a materially heretical doctrine, we can cite the historical case of Msgr. Darboy, Archbishop of Parish, who publicly professed heresy in a speech to the French senate. He was even rebuked by the Pope for doing so, but was never declared to have lost his office, or to have been deposed, ipso facto, by Divine Law, as no doubt the Sedevacantists of his day would have argued. In fact, even though Darboy refused to renounce his public heresies (not just errors), he was still invited to take part at the First Vatican Council. The following history of the Darboy affair was written by the Sedevacantist author, John Daly, who no one can accuse of distorting the fact of the case to undermine the Sedevacantist position that he himself holds.

       “In 1865 Mgr Darboy, archbishop of Paris and member of the French senate expressed in an important speech to the senate ideas clearly opposed to the divinely instituted primacy of the Roman Pontiff over the entire Church, which, unlike papal infallibility, already belonged to the corps of Catholic doctrine. The speech was a public defiance of the pope and a refusal to recognize the pope's ordinary and universal jurisdiction in the dioceses of France. … Pope Pius IX, already aware of the ideas of this wayward bishop, reprimanded him sternly in a private letter in which he reminds him that his stated ideas are comparable to those of Febronius (already condemned) and opposed to the teaching of the IVth Lateran Council. … Darboy did not reply to the pope for some months and, when he finally did so, adopted a haughty tone to justify himself and to rebuke the pope! He retracted nothing whatever of the errors which had been reported throughout France with glee by the anti-Catholic press! … Rome allowed the situation to ‘ride’ and meanwhile the Vatican Council was in preparation.  Before and at the council, Darboy, needless to say, opposed the dogma of papal infallibility. For more than five years, despite the rebukes of the pope and of the nuncio, he never withdrew his extremely public errors against the faith.”[12]

       Now, if Derksen interprets Billot as teaching that a prelate who publicly professes material heresy is deposed, ipso facto, or at least automatically loses his jurisdiction, by Divine Law, he will have to explain why Blessed Pius IX (a staunch, anti-Modernist Pope and a favorite among Sedevacantists), and the rest of the Church, treated Archbishop Darboy as a member of the Church in good standing.
       What the Darboy case shows us is that the crime of heresy must be established by the Church – just like it was with Nestorius – before the prelate will lose his jurisdiction, and be subject to deposition. This is the common teaching of all the theologians who ever addressed the question, as we demonstrate at great length in our book. A prelate will only lose his jurisdiction for heresy if he is a manifest heretic, and he must be a manifest heretic according to the Church’s authoritative judgment, not private opinion.
       Regarding the Nestorius case, while it seems likely that he lost his jurisdiction following the Pope’s decision at the Council of Rome (when he was a manifest heretic according to the Church’s judgment), there is absolutely no question that he was deposed by the Council of Ephesus the following year[13] – since deposition itself doesn’t merely take away jurisdiction, but strips a person of all episcopal dignity and prevents him from ever acquiring it in the future. But, as the Darboy case shows us, without a judgment of the Church, a prelate who professes a materially heretical doctrine does not automatically lose his office by Divine Law, contrary to the claims of Derksen & Company.
       Furthermore, we have the authority of Fr. Paul Laymann, one of the greatest canonists of the early seventeenth century, and a fellow Jesuit and contemporary of Bellarmine and Suarez, who directly addresses the case of a heretical Pope (not just any bishop) who has not been judged a heretic by the Church. He explains that in such a case – even if the Pope had fallen into notorious heresy - he would retain his office, just like Darboy retained his office, unless and until the Church rendered a judgment. Laymann explains:

       “It is more probable that the Supreme Pontiff, as concerns his own person, could fall into heresy, even a notorious one, by reason of which he would deserve to be deposed by the Church, or rather declared to be separated from her. …. one finds in the writings of the Fathers and in decrees: … if such a thing should seem to have happened, it would pertain to the other bishops to examine and give a judgment on the matter.
       But note that, although we affirm that the Supreme Pontiff, as a private person, might become a heretic, and therefore cease to be a true member of the Church … nevertheless, for as long as he is tolerated by the Church, and is publicly recognized as the universal pastor, he is still endowed, in fact, with the pontifical power, in such a way that all his decrees have no less force and authority than they would if he were a truly faithful, as Dominic Barnes notes well.
       The reason is: because it is conducive to the governing of the Church, even as, in any other well-constituted commonwealth, that the acts of a public magistrate are in force as long as he remains in office and is publicly tolerated.”[14]

       Here we have a quotation that directly and explicitly explains that if a Pope fell into notorious heresy,it would pertain to the other bishops to examine and give a judgment on the matter” (which means it does not pertain to individual Catholics to make a judgment from the bleachers). Fr. Laymann expressly teaches that a heretical Pope would retain his office as long as he was tolerated by the Church (i.e., before the bishops rendered a judgment), and that “all his decrees [would] have no less force and authority than they would if he were a truly faithful.” This quotation addresses the issue at hand directly. There is no guesswork. 
       Thus, we ask: Does Derksen accept this teaching, or will he reject it by arguing that “theologians and canonists are not infallible,” as Steve Speray did when he was presented with a quotation from Cardinal Billot that he didn’t like? Time will tell. And while Derksen is thinking about it, we should also note that no Sedevacantist apologist has ever produced a quotation that contradicts what Fr. Laymann wrote.
       Lastly, Cardinal Billot in no way advocated doing precisely what the Fourth Council of Constantinople condemned – namely, separating from ones Patriarch (e.g., the Pope) before the Church itself has rendered a judgment. Yet, this is precisely what Derksen has done, who ignores the condemnation of Constantinople IV both in his teaching and practice, and who even appeals to Billot to justify his actions. This is not only a completely erroneous interpretation and application of what Billot taught, but it is injurious to his good name to even suggest that his teaching supports doing what the Church has formally condemned.

Third Point: John Daly “Butchers” a Quote
from Pope Celestine As Well

       Derksen then quotes John Daly, who, given his track record, is one of the last people he should be quoting. Citing the “authority” of John Daly is about the same thing as us quoting the authority of Mark Shea. Daly has caused more confusion in the world of Sedevacantism by his horrible article on Vatican II (claiming that it met the conditions for conciliar infallibility), than perhaps any other single individual (save Fr. Cekada), and that is quite an accomplishment, given the cast of characters found in the world of Sedevacantism. In fact, we learned that it was the writings of John Daly, in defense of Sedevacantism, that convinced a gentleman (who was open to the position at the time) that the Sedevacantist thesis was completely erroneous and utterly indefensible. Nevertheless, since Derksen evidently believes Daly’s opinions carry some weight, let’s see what he has to say.
       The following quote from Daly is a short excerpt from a book he wrote against Michael Davies, followed by his own footnote (footnote 44). Be sure to notice how Daly “interprets” (i.e., “butchers”) the clear words of Pope Celestine as meaning the exact opposite of what the Pope actually said.  We will begin with Derksen’s lead-in, followed by Daly’s quote. The part from Daly is in red:

       Derksen: “Next, the two authors [i.e., Salza/Siscoe] seek support for their idea that Nestorius couldn’t have lost his episcopal see automatically upon the fact of being a heretic, in the Council of Ephesus (431 AD): ‘Nestorius was deposed three years later at the Council of Ephesus, after the Church had investigated the matter and rendered the necessary judgment.’ The authors think that Ephesus lends support to their ideas because the council says Nestorius ‘should be stripped of his episcopal dignity and removed from the college of priests.’ 
       This objection is tackled in John Daly’s book against Michael Davies, which neither Salza nor Siscoe apparently came across in their 10 years of research (its first edition was published in 1989) [here we see another rash judgment from Mr. Derksen].

       Daly: ‘In passing, it should perhaps also be mentioned that, if any of the Fathers did assert that heretics deserve to be deprived of their dignity, this would not necessarily imply that they had not forfeited their office ipso facto, because it could equally refer to their de facto possession of the external trappings of the office [reference footnote 44].

       Here’s the footnote:

       Daly Footnote 44: This would appear to be supported by the nearest instance I know to a statement by a Father of the Church that heretics deserve to be deprived of their dignity. Pope St. Celestine I (422-432) in his letter to John of Antioch preserved in the Acts of the Council of Ephesus (Vol. 1, cap. 19), says:

       “If anyone has been excommunicated or deprived either of episcopal or clerical dignity by bishop Nestorius and his followers since the time that they began to preach those things, it is manifest that he has persevered and continues to persevere in communion with us; nor do we judge him to have been removed, because one who has already shown that he ought himself to be removed [‘se iam præbuerat ipse removendum’] cannot by his own judgment remove another.”

Here comes Daly’s interpretation:

       ‘Here it is evident that in referring to Nestorius and his supporters as “removendi” – ‘those who ought to be removed’ – St. Celestine does not mean that they retain their offices until deposed. That is precluded by the fact that he expressly judges their authoritative acts to have been null even prior to their deposition. His meaning is evidently that they ought to be removed physically from the accoutrements of the office which they had already ipso facto forfeited.[15]
       Here we have another example of a Sedevacantist completely twisting (“butchering”) a quotation to mean the exact opposite of what it actually says. That is, when Pope Celestine said that Nestorius “ought to be removed” from his office (or “worthy” to lose his office), John Daly interprets it to mean Nestorius already lost his office, and this merely because some of his prior juridical acts were retroactively nullified by the Pope! Can a Pope nullify the juridical acts of a bishop (who gets his jurisdiction from the Pope) without the bishop losing his office? Of course. These Sedevacantists are utterly incapable of understanding that the acts of a prelate “who had shown himself deserving of being excommunicated” can be rendered null by the Church and a later date, without concluding that prelate had already been deposed from office.

Sedevacantist Bishop, Donald Sanborn,
Disagrees With Derksen and Daly

      Bishop Sanborn publicly disagrees with Derksen’s (and Daly’s) claim that a heretical prelate will lose his office, ipso facto, by Divine law, without the Church rendering a judgment.  Sanborn concedes that before the Church renders a legal judgment, a heretical prelate will remain a legal officeholder. Sanborn even concedes that it is necessary for the heretical prelate to be warned twice, before being deposed. We wholeheartedly agree with the bishop, since his position is in perfect agreement with the teaching and practice of the Church, rooted in Divine law. It is by remaining obstinate in the face of ecclesiastical admonitions (Titus 3:10) that a prelate, who has professed heresy, is guilty of refusing to “hear the Church” (Mt 16:18). This obstinacy is what establishes the fact of the crime in the external forum (as we saw with Nestorius), and renders the cuplrit a manifest heretic (according to the Church’s judgment).
       Commenting on the case of Nestorius specifically, Bishop Sanborn wrote:

       “despite his public heresy, it was still necessary that Nestorius undergo warnings by the Pope, and having repudiated the warnings, be officially excommunicated and deposed by the same. The case is strikingly close to our own. … we do not have the authority to declare the sees legally vacant which these heretical ‘popes’ or ‘bishops’ possess de facto. Only the authority of the Church can do that. … until their designation to possess the authority is legally declared null and void by competent authority, the heretical ‘pope’ or ‘bishop’ is in a state of legal possession of the see … He can only lose that state of legal possession by legal deposition.[16]

       So notice, unlike Derksen and Daly, Bishop Sanborn realizes that a heretical prelate must be deposed by the Church, and that only by a legal deposition can he lose “the state of legal possession.” Perhaps Derksen and Daly should attend some classes at Sanborn’s seminary to learn a few things. Then maybe they will understand how Nestorius could preach heresy publicly (and even be condemned by a council), but only be “stripped of his episcopal dignity and removed from the college of priests” three years later.
       Now, if Derksen and Company wish to argue that some or all of the post-conciliar Popes will eventually be declared heretics by the Church, we will not voice any objections. In fact, we both signed a public petition which we hope will ultimately lead to the deposition of Francis/Bergoglio (and we have learned that there are bishops, and not a few, who desire the same). But the bottom line is that, until the Church establishes that a prelate is guilty of the crime of heresy, they remain legal occupants of their office, just as Fr. Laymann, St. Celestine, St. Cyril, and yes, Bishop Sanborn, maintain.

Fourth Point: Derksen’s Embarrassing Error
on “Notoriety of Fact”

       Derksen’s next error is his self-defeating reference to canon law on establishing heresy as notorious by a “notoriety of fact.” This is surely one of Derksen’ more embarrassing blunders, as he completely butchers the canon law he thinks helps his case. Derksen evidently thinks this canon, which provides a necessary element to proving the crime of heresy, somehow helps him show the Pope is deposed for the sin of heresy (not the crime of heresy) under “Divine law”! This appeal shows just how unread Derksen is on the meaning and application of canon law. Here’s what he says:

        “With their undue accusation of ‘private judgment’ against Sedevacantists for saying that a manifest heretic loses his office immediately upon the fact, Salza and Siscoe are demonstrating that they do not believe that facts can be known apart from a Church judgment. Yet the Church teaches the exact opposite, legislating in her Code of Canon Law that facts that are ‘notorious’ (Canon 2197 n. 3) — that is, things publicly known and carried out in such circumstances that they could not be concealed — need not be proved in an ecclesiastical court (Canon 1747 n. 1) because it would be pointless to prove something that is already known and cannot reasonably be questioned.”

       As we will now explain, this is about the worst interpretation of canon law that we have ever seen. Again, there are only two “options” for establishing the “fact” of heresy in the external, ecclesiastical forum – either by the “private judgment” of individual Catholics (which is forbidden), or by the public judgment of the Church. Unfortunately for Mr. Derksen, he appeals to canon 2197 which provides a canonical element of the crime of heresy of which the Church alone is the judge!  
       While we don’t need a judgment from the Church to establish the fact that the grass is green and the sky is blue, Church law (to which Derksen himself appeals!) requires the ecclesiastical authorities to establish the “fact” of notorious heresy for a cleric. In fact, the Catholic Encyclopedia entry that Derksen unwittingly cites completely refutes his assertion that “notorious facts” are established by individual laymen in the streets, and not by the competent authority of the Church. Here is the entry that Derksen himself cites, with our emphases added:

       “Canonists have variously classified the legal effects of notoriety, especially in matters of procedure; but, ultimately, they may all be reduced to one: the judge, and in general the person in authority, holding what is notorious to be certain and proved, requires no further information, and therefore, both may and ought to refrain from any judicial inquiry, proof, or formalities, which would otherwise be necessary. For these inquiries and formalities having as their object to enlighten the judge, are useless when the fact is notorious.” (Catholic Encyclopedia [1911], s.v. “Notoriety, Notorious”)

       Derksen couldn’t have presented our case any better! As this Catholic Encyclopedia entry confirms, “the judge” and “the person in authority” determines whether the canonical element of “notoriety” is “certain and proved,” and not individual Catholics in the street. Once the “judge” (the person in authority, not Derksen & Company) determines that the “fact” is “notorious,” no further “judicial inquiry” is required. For the benefit of our untrained legal “scholar,” this simply means that the canonical element of notoriety is legally established by the judge as proven (as a “fact”) in the ecclesiastical forum, with no further finding of fact (oral testimony, affidavits, interrogatories, etc., which could support or undermine what the judge has already established). Thus, we can only laugh at Derksen’s subsequent comment:

       “Nor will the authors of True or False Pope? be able to argue that notoriety of fact is tied to a church judgment, because as the text just quoted shows, facts can be notorious even before such a judgment, and, in such a case, require no legal proof at all.”
       Here we have yet another example of “butchering” a text, where Mario Derksen asserts the exact opposite of what his own selected authorities explicitly teach! The Catholic Encyclopedia says “the judge holds what is notorious to be certain and proved” (in other words, the judge makes a judgment of what is notorious in fact), and yet Derksen claims that “notoriety of fact is not tied to a church judgment.” As the same Catholic Encyclopedia further provides (and which Derksen omitted from his piece):

       “When a fact is admitted as notorious by the judge, and in general by a competent authority, no proof of it is required, but it is often necessary to show that it is notorious, as the judge is not expected to know every notorious fact.”

       As we see once again, the “judge” (the Church’s “competent authority”) determines whether or not a fact is notorious, not individual Sedevacantists in the streets. Only when the Church’s competent authority (an imperfect council, in the case of a Pope accused of heresy) admits a fact as notorious in the ecclesiastical forum is “no legal proof at all” further required (in the words of Derksen). The foregoing entry also reveals that what may be considered notorious to some or even many Catholics, may still require “legal proof,” since the competent authority is not expected to know (or may not agree with) what facts have been alleged to be notorious.
       In short, for Derksen to (1) appeal to Church law which provides a canonical element of the crime of heresy (2) when Derksen is not trying to prove the crime of heresy but rather the sin of heresy; (3) and then completely misunderstand the canon law and Catholic Encyclopedia entry he himself cites for his position, shows that he is completely incompetent to pontificate about matters of Church law, and should cease and desist writing such pieces until he takes course work in canon law and obtains other legal training.

Fifth Point: Sedevacantists’ Consistent
Misunderstanding of Canon 188.4

       Now we arrive at the next error of Mario Derksen, who once again completely butchers the proper interpretation and understanding of canon law. We have exposed this error many times already, but Derksen nevertheless persists in the error. Derksen imagines that a person who professes heresy automatically loses his office, even without a declaratory sentence. He bases this erroneous assertion on canon 188.4 of the 1917 Code. Regarding this argument, Derksen wrote:

       “One of the likely reasons why Salza and Siscoe are blundering so badly on this topic is that they confuse the loss of ecclesiastical office for heresy with the punishments for heresy. Loss of office is not a punishment per se, it is simply the necessary consequence of holding a faith different from that of the Church. Since the Church can have only one Faith, he who professes a different one cannot be a member of the Church, much less hold office in her. That’s why in the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the loss of office is dealt with in Canon 188, under the section “On Persons”, whereas the punishments for heresy are not covered until Canon 2314, under the section “On Delicts and Penalties”.

       First, Derksen’s strange distinction between persons and penalties in canon law is a distinction without a difference, since the penalties under canon law (e.g., loss of office) apply to the persons who violate the law (e.g., heretics, public defectors). Second, Derksen claims that the “loss of office [for heresy] is not a punishment per se,” but then contradicts himself in the same paragraph by saying “punishments for heresy are not covered until Canon 2314,” which is the canon that mandates the loss of office (“punishment”) for heresy! Clearly, Derksen is quite confused about these matters, and understanding canon law is definitively above his pay grade (even though Derksen imagines himself to be the competent judge to interpret and apply canon law to particular cases).  
       Third, Derksen claims that a person who makes a heretical statement – or, as he says, “professes a different faith” (and according to his private judgment) - falls under the penalty of canon 188.4. This claim is also completely false, and a most elementary error by our amateur legal “scholar.” Let’s set the record straight on this matter once and for all.
       Setting aside the fact that a Pope is not subject to the positive law of the Church (and canon 188.4 is part of the Church’s positive law), which Derksen himself argues when it is convenient for him, the canon in question does not apply to a prelate who simply professes a heretical doctrine, but to a prelate who publicly joins a non-Catholic sect. This section of the Code deals with tacit resignation from office and the ways in which this can occur. One way a prelate can tacitly resign from office is by joining a false religion, either formally (sectae acatholicae nomen dare) or informally (publice adhaerere). This is what the canon means by “public defecting from the Faith.” Here is the canon in question:

       “There are certain causes which effect the tacit resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of the law, and hence is effective without any declaration. These causes are… §4 if he has publicly defected from the faith.”

       The following commentary from Fr. Augustine’s 1920 book on the 1917 Code of Canon law explains what constitutes public defection from the Faith (according to canon 188.4). As we will see, the loss of office for this act is a special category of a vindictive penalty, which is deemed to be more severe. The following quote is lengthy, but we are citing it all due to the detailed explanation it contains:

       “The vindictive penalties are rendered more severe in two cases, which may be distinct, but may also occur by one and the same act: sectae acatholicae nomen dare or publice adhaerere. A sect means a religious society established in opposition to the Church, whether it consist of infidels, pagans, Jews, Moslems, non-Catholics, or schismatics. To become a member of such a society (nomen dare) means to inscribe one’s name on its roster. Of course, it is presumed that the new member knows it is a non-Catholic society, otherwise he would not incur the censure. If he hears of the censure after he has become a member, and promptly severs his connection, the penalty is not incurred. The text also provides for cases of informal membership. Publice adhaerere means to belong publicly to a non-Catholic sect. This may be done by frequenting its services without any special cause or reason, or by boasting of being a member, though not enrolled, by wearing a badge or emblem indicative of membership, etc. Those guilty of such conduct, whether laymen or clerics, render themselves infamous (infamia iuris latae sententiae) and consequently can. 2294, must be applied to them. A cleric must, besides, be degraded if, after having been duly warned, he persists in being a member of such a society. All the offices he may hold become vacant, ipso facto, without any further declaration. This is tacit resignation recognized by law (Canon 188.4) and therefore the vacancy is one de facto et iure [by fact and by law].”[17]

       Notwithstanding the claims of Derksen & Company, tacit resignation from office does not take place when a prelate merely makes a heretical statement, but occurs when he publicly joins a non-Catholic sect (which none of the conciliar Popes have done; they all professed membership in the Catholic Church). Even then, however, the public defector must still be warned by the Church, even though the loss of office itself takes place without the need of any further declaration. 
       We also provide a commentary on the same 1917 Code, written by Fr. Ayrinhac:

       “If they have been formally affiliated with a non-Catholic sect, or publicly adhere to it, they incur ipso facto the note of infamy; clerics lose all ecclesiastical offices they might hold (Canon 188.4), and after a fruitless warning they should be deposed.”[18]

       The equivalent canon in the 1983 Code (194, §2) specifies that the loss of office for public defection will only be effective upon a declaratory sentence by the competent authority.
       But what this shows is that canon 188.4 does not apply to the conciliar Popes. But what has been the Sedevacantist response to the canonists’ explanation of canon 188.4? Listen to Steve Speray’s “rebuttal” after Robert Siscoe explained this point in an article, and even cited the lengthy quotation from Rev. Augustine (above). Here is Speray’s reply:

       “Siscoe fails to mention that Rev. Augustine explains “tacit resignation” in canon 188.4 is public heresy, not just joining another religion.”

       Now, Steve Speray has made some idiotic statements in the past, and this one makes his top ten list. Siscoe fails to mention it? That Rev. Augustine says “188.4 is public heresy”? What? When did Rev. Augustine ever teach such a thing? The answer is that Siscoe never mentioned it because Fr. Augustine never taught it. Speray provided no quotation whatsoever to back up his statement (and that’s because none exist). He simply uttered a falsehood and then moved on. Speray needs to show us where “Rev. Augustine explains ‘tacit resignation’ in canon 188.4 is public heresy, not just joining another religion,” or he needs to retract his statement. Will he?   
       We have searched Fr. Augustine’s book thoroughly and found nothing that corroborates Speray’s claim. We’ve found a total of two references to Canon 188.4 in the entire book. One is found in the quotation we cited (page 280, footnote 13), and the other is on page 276.  The reference from page 276 explicitly refers to joining a non-Catholic sect, either formally or informally. Here is the direct quotation (copied and pasted from the book).  It pertains to Canon 2314.3:

       “Si sectae acatholicae nomen dederint vel publice adhaeserint, ipso facto infames sunt et, firmo praescripto can. 188, n. 4, clerici, monitione incassum praemissa, degradentur.”

Here is the English:

       “Canon 2314: (3) if they have joined a non-Catholic sect or publicly adhered to it, they are ipso facto infamous, and clerics, in addition to being considered to have tacitly renounced any office they may hold, according to canon 188.4, are, if previous warning proves fruitless, to be degraded.”

       Nothing in either of the two references to canon 188.4 support Speray’s claim, which is why he failed to provide a quotation to back it up. And you can be sure that if Speray had a quotation from Rev. Augustine that confirmed his position, he would have cited it and praised it to the skies. But he didn’t. Speray needs to either produce the quotation from Rev. Augustine confirming what he claimed, or else admit that no such quotation exists, which would mean his statement was a lie. All this shows that neither Mario Derksen nor Steve Speray are competent to write about matters concerning the Church’s canon law. They don’t understand even basic principles of Church law, much less the finer details, which can be understood by most people of average learning and intelligence.

Sixth Point: Derksen Defends
What Constantinople IV Condemns

       In our previous article, we showed that there were two different reactions to Nestorius preaching heresy. One group formally severed communion with him.  The other refused to publicly sever communion before the competent authority (e.g., Pope, or a council with the authority of the Pope) rendered a judgment. Chief amongst the latter group was St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria and Doctor of the Universal Church, who refused to sever communion with Nestorius until the Church established his pertinacity in the ecclesiastical forum.
       The Fourth Council of Constantinople, which was held in the same territory in which Nestorius taught his heresy, later confirmed the position taken by St. Cyril and condemned anyone who would separate from their Patriarch before the Church itself rendered a judgment. As we also showed in our last article, today’s Sedevacantists cite the example of the former group as being the model for us today, even though the Fourth Council of Constantinople attached an excommunication on any layperson who would dare to do such a thing in the future. We also cited the encyclical Lux Veritatis, of Pope Pius XI, who praised the example of St. Cyril. What was the response of Derksen & Company? Here it is:

       “Next, Salza and Siscoe attempt to hijack Pope Pius XI for their cause, quoting his encyclical letter on the Council of Ephesus, Lux Veritatis (nn. 11-12), in which the Pope commends St. Cyril of Alexandria’s appeal to Rome before deciding whether to break communion with Nestorius or not. But this will not help our anti-sedevacantist duo either, because while St. Cyril of Alexandria was not sure how to act with regard to Nestorius and therefore prudently appealed to the Holy See, knowing that this See would render a decision he had to abide by — note well, Messrs. Salza and Siscoe! — Pius XI nowhere says that those who immediately cut off communion with Nestorius did anything wrong. What the quote from the encyclical proves is only how St. Cyril acted, and that Pope Pius commended him for it — not, however, as though it would have been impermissible for St. Cyril to break communion with Nestorius before a judgment from Rome.”

       Now this “explanation” of Pius XI’s treatment of St. Cyril is really quite incredible. Not only for what Derksen argues, but also for what he fails to mention – namely, the teaching of the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, which clearly and unequivocally condemns the practice of separating from ones Patriarch before the Church has rendered a judgment. We focused great attention on this definitive teaching of Constantinople IV in our first piece, and Derksen completely ignored it. That’s right. Derksen has the temerity to argue that it would not have been “impermissible for St. Cyril to break communion with Nestorius before a judgment from Rome,” when an ecumenical council of the Church condemns that very practice! The most important teaching of all on the error of Sedevacantism, bolstered by an accompanying excommunication, is entirely disregarded by Sedevacantist Mario Derksen.
       This is not only a glaring omission, but very telling.  It shows that Derksen & Company have no answer for this teaching, and Fr. Cekada certainly has no answer.  Cekada's truly pathetically argument was to claim that the council’s teaching no longer applies because “antipope Benedict XVI” dropped the name Patriarch as a title for the Pope, and even though Cekada separated from the conciliar Popes well before the “antipope’s” alleged dropped the title! Is Derksen going to back up his mentor‘s ridiculous argument!? Obviously not. Derksen “plays it safer” by avoiding Constantinople IV altogether!
      The fact that Pius XI did not mention Constantinople IV does not mean that the Pope condoned the behavior “of those who immediately cut off communion from Nestorius” as Derksen would like you to believe. How could that be, when the Pope explicitly praised St. Cyril for not doing what these Catholics did? In two separate paragraphs of his encyclical, Pius XI reminds the Church that St. Cyril would not separate from Nestorius before a judgment from the Church. Obviously, the Pope attributed great importance to St. Cyril’s actions, which is why he highlighted them in his encyclical. He says:  

       “Cyril, who understood and strenuously maintained the authority of the Roman Church, would not himself take further steps, or pass sentence in such a very grave matter, until he had first applied to the Apostolic See and had ascertained its decision…For the latter, although he occupied the See which was held to be the first in the Eastern Church, would not, as we have said, decide a very grave controversy concerning the Catholic faith for himself before he had certain knowledge of judgment of the Apostolic See.”[19]

       It is clear that the purpose of Pius XI’s encyclical was not to call to mind those who opposed the Church’s teaching and practice, but rather those who followed it. Thus, Pius XI’ confirms the teaching of the Church, and praises in particular the actions of St. Cyril (centuries before Constantinople IV was convened), who acted prudently in conformity with the Church’s common teaching, by not “cutting off communion with Nestorius” until the Church rendered a judgment. Clearly, the scope and spirit of of Pius XI’s encyclical is to praise those who followed the prudent actions of St. Cyril and Pope Celestine, not to condemn those who didn’t, which is why there was no need to bring up Constantinople IV.
       But Derksen seeks to divert the attention away from the explicit and direct teaching of Constantinople IV by the referencing the non-teaching of Pius XI. It is a classic example of the logical fallacy known as “argument from silence” (argumentum ex silentio), which is no argument at all.  This, dear reader, should tell you all you need to know about Mario Derksen. And this is exactly the kind of mindset we discovered when investigating the teachings of other Sedevacantists as we wrote our book.

Closing on a “High Note!”

       In closing, we couldn’t help but notice a comment that is posted right at the end of Derksen’s article. It is a comment that a fellow Sedevacantist blogger submitted to NovusOrdoWatch about the article. The comment comes is from a person using the name “2c3n1” (which is the “anonymous” name of Steve Speray), showing again how many Sedevacantists, like Derksen himself, wish to operate clandestinely while they attack Catholics and call them “twisted” and “goofballs.” Here is the insightful comment:

       “Simply awesome! The case of Nestorius proves Sedevacantism. The goofballs John Salza and Robert Siscoe are so twisted that literally everything they write is wrong. EVERYTHING!”

       Isn’t Derksen embarrassed to display such a ridiculous comment on his website? Only an imbecile would make such a comment. Even we wouldn’t argue that “EVERYTHING” Mario writes “is wrong.” Obviously, Derksen has as little shame as Steve Speray who posted this  idiotic comment. But this speaks to the intellectual caliber of Derksen’s audience, and also explains why Mario Derksen can continue to publicly persist in his errors, while the inmates at the NovusOrdoWatch asylum cheer him on.

[1] Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, bk. 1, ch 6.
[2] De Romano Pontifice, bk. 2, ch. 13.
[3] See: Louis Billot, S.J., Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi, 3rd ed. (Prati: ex officina libraria Giachetti, 1909), pp. 620-621.
[4] https://stevensperay.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/the-end-for-robert-siscoe-and-catholic-family-news/ In case Mr. Speray decides to delete that from his website, we have saved a pdf copy here.
[5] See: Louis Billot, S.J., Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi, 3rd ed. (Prati: ex officina libraria Giachetti, 1909), p. 591
[6] Cajetan, De Comparatione Auctoritatis Papae et Concilii, English Translation in Conciliarism & Papalism, by Burns & Izbicki (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 104.  
[7] Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, bk 2, ch. 30
[8] Billot, De Ecclesia Christi, 3rd ed. (Prati: ex officina libraria Giachetti, 1909), p. 292
[9] C.J. Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church, Vol. III (T&T Clark, Edinburg, 1883), p. 25
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid. p. 26
[12] John Daly, Heresy in History, May, 2000. http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/ heresyhistory.html.  
[13] Nestorius was supposed to be deposed following the council of Rome.  However, he appealed and requested that the Emperor call a general council, which he did with the approval of Pope Celestine.  The General Council convened at Ephesus.  Nestorius refused to show, even though he was summoned three time.  The Council again judged Nestorius guilty of heresy and formally deposed him at once.  Had Nestorius not requested the Emperor to call this council, he would have likely been formally deposed following the council of Rome, after the expiration of the 10 day grace period.  
[14] Laymann, Theol. Mor., bk. 2, tract 1, ch. 7, p. 153 (emphasis added).
[15] John Daly, Michael Davies — An Evaluation, 2nd ed. [Saint-Sauveur de Meilhan: Tradibooks, 2015], pp. 156-157; italics given.
[16] Sanborn, “An Emperor We Have, But No Bishop,” http://www.mostholytrinity seminary.org /An%20Emperor%20We%20Have.pdf.
[17] Augustine, A Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law, vol. 8, bk. 5, pp. 279-280.
[18] Ayrinhac, Penal Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law, p. 193.
[19] Pius XI, Lux Veritatis, December 25, 1931, Nos. 12 and 14. 

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