Five Simple Refutations of the Layman from New York

       About a month ago, lay Sedevacantist apologist Peter Dimond put out a video declaring that there is an “epic blunder” in True or False Pope?, which states that Pope Paul VI’s new ordination rite retained language referring to a sacrificing priesthood. Dimond, who has assumed for himself the authority to decide which rites that have been approved by the Catholic Church are actually valid, argued that the new rite of ordination removed “every reference” to the sacrificial priesthood, and thus, is invalid. He pointed out that although the Homily of the new rite contains language of a sacrificing priesthood, because it is only model – and not mandatory – language, it is not really part of the rite and hence cannot be used as evidence of sacrificial language within the rite.
       We replied with a feature called “Peter Dimond’s Epic Blunder on the New Rite of Ordination” which showed, among other things, that (1) the Homily, which contains model language about the sacrificial priesthood, is included in the Roman Pontifical and is thus part of the significatio ex adjunctis of the rite; and, (2) bishops usually follow the model language very closely, if not verbatim, when celebrating the ordination rite. We provided seven examples of bishops, some of them known Liberals, who followed the model language, and we even quoted directly from an ordination performed Pope Francis himself, who also followed the model language. 
       Dimond has now put out another inane video espousing the same errors as he advanced in the first video, which we will respond to now. This will provide us an opportunity to explain in more detail the root error of Peter Dimond’s entire argument, which we only touched on in our first article.

1 – Dimond Refuted Because…
He Does Not Have the Authority
to Declare Invalid a Rite Approved by the Church

       As we have shown in our multiple features on Fact and Law, the Church alone – not Pete Dimond and friends – has the authority to resolve such profound theological questions, such as which sacramental rites are valid and which are not. When it comes to such questions, Christ tells us to “hear the Church” (Mt 18:17). As we explained in our book, the staunch, anti-Modernist Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani approved Paul VI’s new rite of ordination with no problems whatsoever, and that was a year before he did raise objections concerning Paul VI’s new rite of Mass. If it was up to individual Catholics, or even non-Catholics (e.g., Sedevacantists), to police the validity of the Church’s sacramental rites, everyone would effectively be their own Magisterium and their own Pope, which is the mentality we see in Protestantism. And that is precisely how Peter, and his brother Michael, act. Having declared “deposed” the Pope and his entire Magisterium, they now evidently imagine themselves to possess the competency and authority (which belongs to the ecclesia docens alone) to determine which Catholic rites are valid and which are not – all based on their own private judgment.
       The Church not only has the sole authority, from Christ, to resolve such questions of theology and law, but also to establish “facts” that pertain to the ecclesiastical forum. And such facts include whether a sacramental rite was performed validly or not. The Sedevacantist Bishop, Dan Dolan, conceded this very point when he was confronted by Fr. Clarence Kelly (now also a Sedevacantist bishop), about the problems concerning his alleged one-handed ordination to the priesthood. Listen to how Dolan responded when Fr. Kelly raised questions about his ordination:

       “The Church, not Father Kelly, investigates and decides the facts. Those impugning the validity of an ordination present their case to the Holy Office, which conducts an investigation, hears the evidence of all parties, examines the witnesses and establishes what the facts are. Let’s repeat that: the Holy Office investigates, weighs the evidence and establishes the facts. Nothing there or in Canon Law about Father Kelly investigating, weighing evidence and establishing facts. Nothing there or in Canon Law about a priest having to answer ‘evidence’ Father Kelly finds convincing. Ditto for the rest of the clergy who signed the letter to me.”
       Here we have a Sedevacantist bishop who correctly declares that the validity of his ordination concerns questions of fact that must be resolved by the Church. But Pete Dimond claims that the validity of all the ordinations in the new rite of Paul VI since 1968 is a question of fact (and law) that he – a layman with no formal education in sacramental theology – can resolve on his own, which he pretends to do dogmatically.  Dimond does not even respect the true and correct opinion of his fellow Sedevacantist bishop.
       And it should be pointed out that the new rite of Paul VI was not written over night in a back room at the Vatican by Bugnini and a few of his “brethren” and then snuck to Paul VI in the middle of the night for his signature. No, the rite was put together by bishops and Cardinals with the necessary training, along with dozens of experts in the field of sacramental theology. Once they completed their work, the new rite was sent for a second tier approval to the Holy Office, which was headed by Cardinal Ottaviani, who approved it with no reservations. But the approval by these qualified authorities will not persuade one who is puffed up with his own imagined brilliance and expertise. This is the case with Peter Dimond, who, like his forefather in heresy, Martin Luther, elevates his own private judgment above all ecclesiastical authority and the judgment of the Church. He makes himself out to be “Pope Peter the Second” (wait a minute; sorry, Peter, we forgot that four other Sedevacantist antipopes have already taken that title!).[1]

2 – Dimond Refuted Because…
The Earliest Ordination Rite of the Church
Does Not Mention a Sacrificial Priesthood

       Contrary to what “Pope Dimond” imagines, it is not absolutely necessary that the Church’s ordination rites mention a sacrificing priesthood or the priestly forgiveness of sins in order to be valid. And this fact negates Dimond’s entire argument. If one researches the oldest known ordination ceremonies of the Church, which go back to the midst of the apostolic age, he will discover that these rites were actually quite simple and short. We see this, for example, in Acts 13 with the ordination ceremony of Paul and Barnabas, which consisted of nothing more than a short prayer along with the laying on of hands. This very short ordination ceremony continued during the first centuries of the Church.
       Probably the oldest known ordination rites are contained in The Statutes of the Apostles, which were compiled by St. Hippolytus in the early 200s, and which Schermann dates to the first century[2] - that is, to the time of the Apostles. The following is the ancient ordination rite for a priest, taken from The Statues of the Apostles:

     “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. This is the Sinödos of the fathers, the Apostles, which they ordered for the direction of the Church (…)
     "Statute 23: Concerning the ordination of presbyters. If the bishop desires to ordain a presbyter, he shall lay his hands upon his head; and all the presbyters shall touch him and shall pray, saying: My God, the Father of our Lord and our Saviour Jesus Christ, look down upon this thy servant, and impart to him the spirit of grace and the gift of holiness, that he may be able to direct thy people with pure heart: as thou lookesdst upon thy chosen people and commendedst Moses to choose presbyters whom thou fillest with the Holy Spirit which thou grantedst to thy servant and minister Moses, so now, Lord, give to this thy servant the grace vouchsafed to us, whilst thou fillest us with thy worship in our heart, to glorify thee, through thy Son Jesus Christ, through who to thee be glory and power, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in the holy Church now and always and for ever and ever. 
    "And all the people shall say: Amen and Amen. He is worthy of it.”[3]
      Commenting on the above ordination rite for priests, which was likely used by the Apostles themselves, Fr. Bligh, S.J, writing during the reign of Pope Pius XII, said: “The whole ceremony would take only two or three minutes.”[4] And notice what is missing from the above prayers: there is no mention of the powers of the priesthood, such as offering sacrifice and absolving sins (which Dimond claims must be present for validity).
       Now, since Peter Dimond pretends to be an expert in sacramental theology, perhaps he can use his imagined “expertise” to research and pass judgment on the ordination ceremony performed by the Apostles, to see if it also lacks the necessary prayers for validity. Then “Pope Dimond” can use his imagined Magisterial authority (based, of course, on his private interpretation and application of Apostolicae Curae) to inform us if the ordinations performed by the Apostles were also null and void. What say you, Peter? Does the ordination rite used by the Apostles pass your test?

3 – Dimond Refuted Because…
The Mandatory Parts of the New Rite Mention
 “Sacrificial” Priesthood and Conform to Tradition

       Having demonstrated that it is unnecessary for an ordination rite to mention the sacrificial priesthood or forgiveness of sins to be valid (since the earliest rite did not include this language), Dimond has been completely refuted, irrespective of whether the sacrificial language in the Homily of the new rite is mandatory or merely model language. But it gets even worse for Peter, because language that is mandatory in the new rite also expressly evinces the intent to confer the sacrificing priesthood upon the candidate in accordance with the Church’s tradition, and how the Church has always understood the priesthood. Did Peter not read the mandatory parts of the rite? Or did he just conveniently forget to mention these details?
       For example, in the mandatory Examination of the Candidate, the following exchange takes place which reveals the intent to ordain according to the Church’s tradition:

       “Bishop: Are you resolved to celebrate the mysteries [i.e., Sacraments] of Christ faithfully and religiously as the Church has handed them down to us for the glory of God and the sanctification of Christ's people?
Candidate: I am.
Bishop: Are you resolved to hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience as the Apostle urges, and to proclaim this faith in word and action as it is taught by the Gospel and the Church's tradition?
Candidate: I am.”

       In the mandatory Prayer of Consecration, the bishop also confirms the sacrificial nature of the priesthood being conferred (even though Peter Dimond says “every reference” to a sacrificing priesthood has been removed from the rite).  It begins by referring to the priesthood of the Old Testament, whose sacrifices derived their efficacy from the foreseen merits of Christ and his Sacrifice:

       “In the desert you extended the spirit of Moses to seventy wise men who helped him to rule the great company of his people.  You shared among the sons of Aaron the fullness of their father's power, to provide worthy priests in sufficient number for the increasing rites of sacrifice and worship.”

       And in the mandatory Anointing of Hands, the bishop then refers to the sacrificial aspect of the New Testament priesthood (which, according to tradition, offers the “once for all sacrifice” of Christ on the altar), when he anoints the new priest’s hands with chrism and says:

       “The Father anointed our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.  May Jesus preserve you to sanctify the Christian people and to offer sacrifice to God.”

      And to Dimond’s objection (which he will certainly make) that this does not explicitly mention the sacrifice of the Mass (as opposed to ‘sacrifice of praise’), we note that the sacrificial language is more clear than anything that appeared in the ancient rite we saw above, which was almost certainly used by the Apostles. What this shows is that Peter Dimond has not only been refuted on the theology (since sacrificial language is not required for validity), but also on the facts of the new rite (since sacrificial language is nevertheless present and mandatory in the new rite).  He falsely claimed that all of the language describing the sacrificial priesthood was removed from the rite and made optional, which is not at all the case, as the above proves without question. This shows that Peter Dimond is either a liar, or completely ignorant about the subject matter in which he claims to have expertise.[5]

4 – Dimond Refuted Because…
He Erroneously Believes that Words Are Not 'Univocal' if they Are Interpreted Differently by a Non-Catholic Sect.

       Having refuted Dimond by demonstrating that a valid ordination rite does not have to make explicit mention a sacrificing priesthood, and that the mandatory parts of the new rite do in fact mention a sacrificing priesthood (even though such wording is not absolutely necessary), Dimond, perhaps anticipating he would be refuted on these points, argues that certain terms in the new rite (such as “priest” and “celebrating the Eucharist”) are also used by non-Catholics, in a sense that differs from how the Catholic Church understands the words, and therefore these words do not have a univocal sense (Dimond didn’t use the word “univocal” in his video; he probably doesn’t know what that word means in the context of sacramental theology; but that is what he meant to say, theologically). He believes this renders null the correct intention of the Catholic minister who performs the rite.  Dimond justifies his erroneous argument by appealing to Leo XIII’s teaching in Apostolicae Curae, in which the Pope declared the Anglican rite of episcopal consecration to be invalid, due to a deficiency in intention (for validity, the minister must have the intention of doing what the Church does). The Anglican sect does not understand the office of priest and bishop as does the Catholic Church (e.g., they deny that the Mass is a sacrifice, and therefore do not believe a priest is one who offers the Sacrifice of the Mass). This different understanding of the words is one of the root error that renders the Anglican’s intention defective. They consequently revised their new rite to correspond to their incorrect understanding of these terms (e.g., removing any mention of a sacrificing priesthood from the rite).  More importantly, they also changed the form itself in a way that did not sufficiently signify the sacramental effect (the office of priesthood itself).  Their form merely said “Receive the Holy Ghost” which, by itself, does not suffice for a valid ordination. That, in fact, is the primary reason their rite is invalid.
       Dimond believes that because the word “priest” – which is used in Paul VI’s new rite of ordination - is used by the non-Catholic Anglican sect to mean something different than what the Church means by the same word, it must follow that when the new rite of Paul VI uses the word “priest” in the form, it also has a different meaning (or is at least equivocal), just like it does in the Anglican rites. In other words, Peter Dimond thinks that because a non-Catholic sect understands a word differently than how the Church understands it, when the Catholic Church uses the same word, it must mean that it too understands it like the non-Catholic sect (or at least that the word, when used by the Church, does not mean only what the Church means). Needless to say, the argument is utterly absurd. But the reason Dimond is forced to make this argument is because the form used in the new rite of Paul VI (which is virtually identical to the form in the old rite of Pius XII), sufficiently signifies the sacramental effect to confer ordination, without even considering any ancillary prayers that refer specifically to the powers of the priesthood (and Dimond knows this, or at least should know it). 
So Dimond thinks that if he can argue that the word “priest” does not univocally signify the Catholic priesthood (since the same word means something else in non-Catholic sects), he can imply that the ancillary prayers (the significatio et adjunctis) are necessary for the rite’s validity.
       Unfortunately for the layman from the so-called “Holy Family Monastery,” Pope Pius XII rejected this non-Catholic approach to sacramental theology. In his encyclical Sacramentum Ordinis (1947), Pius XII did not say that the words of the form of a Catholic sacrament can never have been used in any other possible way in the history of theology, the Church or the liturgy (or in  non-Catholic sect). Rather, the Pope said that the words of the form must “univocally signify the sacramental effect” and then added an important phrase (which Dimond didn’t learn or understand), namely, “which are accepted and used by the Church in that sense.” Note also that Pius XII is referring to the actual form of the sacrament, which would have stricter standards than the surrounding words (the significatio ex adjunctis).
       By saying the form univocally signifies the sacramental effects, and then adding that the words are “accepted and used by the Church in that sense,” it obviously does not exclude the possibility that the words can be understood by non-Catholic sects in a manner different than how the Church understands the word. To illustrate this point, just because the Mormons understand the words “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” differently from how the Church understands the words (which renders their baptisms invalid), does not render the same words, when used by the Church, to be equivocal (open to more than one meaning), as opposed to univocal (having only one meaning).  Therefore, the Mormon’s erroneous understanding of the words Father, Son and Holy Ghost does not invalidate the Catholic sacraments which use this same wording (e.g., Baptism, Confirmation and absolution). The reason is because the univocal signification of the words is based, as we have said, on how the Church understands them, not how a heretical sect (the Anglicans) or other false religion (the Mormons) understands the words. The phrase “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” is “accepted and used by the Church” to refer only (univocally) to the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, even though the Mormons give the phrase a different meaning. This point is at the heart of Dimond’s error. Now, since others, such as the late traditionalist writer Michael Davies, have made a similar error, let us explain this important point in more detail. 

Substance and Accidents of Words

       Words and phrases possess a substance and accidents. The substance is the meaning; the accidents are the words used to convey the meaning. A single word can have multiple meanings. For example, the words “rose” can refer to a flower, or to the act of rising quickly; the word “right” can refer to being correct, or to a direction.
       Theological terms (accidents) can also have a different meaning (substance), when used by different religions. As mentioned above, when the Mormons uses the phrase “Father, Son and Holy Ghost,” they mean something completely different than what the Catholic Church means when it uses these words. Now, with respect to sacramental theology, if a word that is used by a non-Catholic sect means something completely different than what the Church means by the same word, it could render invalid the sacrament when administered by the sect. This is the case with the Mormon baptism. They baptize using the correct words (accidents), but because of their different meaning (substance) of the words “Father, Son and Holy Ghost,” the Church has ruled that their baptisms are invalid.[6]
       A similar problem exists with the Anglican’s rite of ordination, since they have a different understanding of the terms “bishop” and “priest.” They do not believe the office of bishop is ontologically superior to that of a priest, and, because they reject the Sacrifice of the Mass, they do not believe a bishop or priest offers the Sacrifice. Hence, when they revised their rites, they did so to reflect this false understanding of these terms, for example, by removing any reference to the priest as offering the sacrifice of the Mass. The incorrect understanding (substance) of the words priest and bishop (accidents) is at the root of why Pope Leo XIII declared their rite to be invalid, just as the Church has declared Mormon baptism invalid, due to the different meaning (substance) they have for the words (accidents) “Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
       But what should be obvious to all (except for Pete Dimond) is that how a non-Catholic sect understands a word has no effect whatsoever on how the Catholic Church understands it. Hence, just because a sacrament is declared invalid because of how a non-Catholic sect understands a word, in no way means the sacrament is invalid when the same word is used by the Catholic Church, which has the correct understanding of the word. And not only does the Church have the correct understanding of the word “priest” (as being one who does offer the Sacrifice), but this correct understanding is reflected in both the model language of the Homily (with is contained in the Roman Pontifical itself, even though it is not mandatory) and also in other parts of the rite that are mandatory, as we saw above. If a Catholic sacrament were rendered null because of how a non-Catholic sect understands the essential terms, it would mean that all baptisms, absolutions and confirmations performed by the Catholic Church would be null, since the Mormons understand the essential words of the form (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) in a way that is false, just like the Anglicans understand the office of priest and bishop in a false way.
As we mentioned, Michael Davies also failed to grasp this important point concerning how a word is understood by the Church, as opposed to how it is understood by a non-Catholic sect. This error seems to be one of the main reasons Davies had a difficulty with the new rite of ordination. Peter Dimond has called Michael Davies a “faithless heretic,” yet when it comes to this mistake of Davies, Dimond follows lock step behind him, quoting him as the main authority in his recent videos. For our part, we quote the authority of Pope Pius XII, who said that the meaning (or “sense”) of the words when used in an approved Catholic rite, is based, not on how a heretical sect understands the words, but how the words “are accepted and used by the Church.” 

       What this means, in effect, is that the form of the new rite of Paul VI, in and of itself, sufficiently signifies the sacramental effect for validity, even without the need of any ancillary prayers that refer to the office and function of a priest.
       We should also note that in one of the two ordination ceremonies that Dimond cites (which were no doubt the best examples he could find to support his case), he admits that the bishop uses the term “celebrate the Eucharist.” This terminology, of course, means nothing less than offering the Mass.  So even in the ordination ceremonies cited by Dimond, ancillary language is used to refer to the Sacrifice of the Mass.

5 – Dimond Refuted Because…
He Ends With a Circular Argument: The New Rite of
Ordination is Invalid Because it Comes from a False Church!

       After spending almost the entire video arguing for the invalidity of the new rite of ordination on the grounds of a defect in intention, but perhaps suspecting that his arguments are weak and would be refuted by the astute Catholic with even a basic grasp of sacramental theology, Dimond at the end of the video changes course with his final argument; and it is more idiotic than the rest of his arguments combined: He says that even if all the arguments he just advanced were false (and even if the model Homily was used verbatim, which contains explicit mention of the sacrificing priesthood), the new rite of ordination is still invalid because it comes from a false Church! You read that correctly.
       That, dear reader, is what you call a defective argument tainted by the logical fallacy of petitio principii, or “begging the question,” in which the truth of the conclusion is assumed by the unproven premise. As applied here, having completely lost his faith in the Church (due to the Passion she is currently experiencing), Dimond shamelessly assumes that the Catholic Church of 1968 (when the new rite was approved), was no longer the Catholic Church, but an entirely new entity that he calls the “false, Vatican II sect.”  He then claims that rites that came from it must necessarily be false and therefore invalid. In other words, Dimond attempts to “prove” a proposition (the new rite of Paul VI is invalid) based on a premise (the “Vatican II Church” is a “false church”) that itself requires proof, and which he has not, and indeed cannot prove (we refute this false claim in our book). That Peter Dimond cannot recognize the logical fallacy of his own argument is quite telling indeed, but perhaps expected from someone who has no more than a high school education.
       And as we show in our book, it is not possible for the Church, with the same members and hierarchy, to have morphed into a false Church without the gates of hell having prevailed against it. Peter Dimond evidently had a weak faith (before he lost it), and was unable to understand how the Church could suffer what she is currently enduring, just like Jesus’ disciples could not understand how He could have suffered what He did during His Passion. Just like the disciples, who lost faith in Christ on Good Friday, so too Peter Dimond has lost his faith in the Church during its Good Friday, and ended by abandoning the Church for his own false, non-Catholic sect, of which he imagines himself to be the Magisterium and de facto Pope.  Then, like many other fallen away Catholics, he spends his life attacking the Church and those who defend her. Those Catholics who have managed to retain their faith in the Church during the present Passion should be very grateful. Indeed, this requires a special grace from God, which Peter Dimond evidently didn’t receive.
       What all this shows is that Peter Dimond does not have a clue about making logical arguments, much less the finer points of sacramental theology. But we welcome his failed attempt to refute our book, since it has provided us with an opportunity to expose him as the complete fraud that he is, which anyone with an honest mind for truth can plainly see.

[1] They are Maurice Archieri, who claims he was mystically given the papacy in 1995 by the Holy Ghost; as well as Peter Henry Bubois of Canada, Aime Baudet of Brussels, and Julius Tischler of Germany. Perhaps someday Peter Dimond will finally do likewise.
[2] Cf. Schermann, Theodor, Ein Weiheritual der römischen Kirche am Schlusse der ersten Jahrhunderts, (München, Walhalla-Verlag, 1913).
[3] This is a translation of the Ethiopic text, taken from: Horner, George, The Statues of the Apostles or Canones Ecclesiastici, (London, Williams & Norgate, 1904)  pp. 127, 143-144; For the Latin text see E. Hauler, Didascalia Apostolorum, Leipzig, 1900, I, pp. 108-109.
[4] Ordination to the Priesthood, p. 32.
[5] Since Dimond is forced to concede that the mandatory parts of the rite mention “sacrifice,” he would likely argue that it means the non-propitiatory “sacrifice of praise.” Of course, the problem with that argument is that (1) the two examples we cite above from the Prayer of Consecration and Anointing of Hands do not use that terminology;  (2) the Examination reveals the Church’s intent to ordain according to Tradition, which includes the Church’s understanding of the propitiatory Sacrifice of the Mass; and, (3) even if the term “sacrifice of praise” were used, it would not invalidate the rite, since this too is one of the elements and purpose of the Mass according to Tradition.
[6] “The words Father, Son and Holy Spirit have for the Mormons a meaning totally different from the Christian meaning. The differences are so great that one cannot even consider that this doctrine is a heresy which emerged out of a false understanding of the Christian doctrine. The teaching of the Mormons has a completely different matrix.” (Fr.
Luis Ladaria, “The Question of the Validity of Baptism conferred in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” (L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, August 1st, 2001, p. 4, emphasis added).