Leo XIII Against "Recognize & Resist ??"
This blog comes as a refutation to the very impotent argument of the NovusOrdoWatch that Leo XIII was implying "we be against the recognize and resist position"in this crisis of the Church. For reference, I contacted Novus Ordo Watch many months back and after about the third email they ran away from phone conversation.
Impotent Argumentation from Novus OrdoWatch concerning Pope Leo XIII "being against the Recognize and Resist position"
(NovusOrdoWatch) LEO XIII- "To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teaching, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to the Head and Supreme Pastor." (Epistola Tua)
Venerable Pope Pius IX († 1878) recognised the danger that a future pope would be a heretic and “teach contrary to the Catholic Faith”, and he instructed, “do not follow him.”
“If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, do not follow him.” (Letter to Bishop Brizen) So much for recognize and resist being heretical as Novus Ordo watch so comically teaches.
The theologian Juan Cardinal De Torquemada O.P. († 1468) expressly related that Bible passage to the duty to resist a wayward pontiff.
“Although it clearly follows from the circumstances that the Pope can err at times, and command things which must not be done, that we are not to be simply obedient to him in all things, that does not show that he must not be obeyed by all when his commands are good. To know in what cases he is to be obeyed and in what not, it is said in the Acts of the Apostles: 'One ought to obey God rather than man'; therefore, were the Pope to command anything against Holy Scripture, or the articles of faith, or the truth of the Sacraments, or the commands of the natural or divine law, he ought not to be obeyed, but in such commands, to be passed over.” (Summa de Ecclesia)
So, “superiors are not to be obeyed in all things”; a “pope can err at times, and command things which must not be done” and “we are not to be simply obedient to him in all things.” A pope can command “against Holy Scripture, or the articles of faith, or the truth of the Sacraments, or the commands of the natural or divine law” and then “he ought not to be obeyed.”
Pope Innocent III († 1216) stated that a pope can “wither away into heresy” and “not believe” the Faith. “The pope should not flatter himself about his power, nor should he rashly glory in his honour and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God. Still the less can the Roman Pontiff glory, because he can be judged by men, or rather, can be shown to be already judged, if for example he should wither away into heresy, because “he who does not believe is already judged.” (St. John 3:18) In such a case it should be said of him: ‘If salt should lose its savour, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under foot by men.’” (Sermo 4)
The theologian Sylvester Prieras, O.P. († 1523) discussed the resistance of a corrupt pope at some length. He asked, “What should be done in cases where the pope destroys the Church by his evil actions?” and “What should be done if the pope wishes unreasonably to abolish the laws of church or state?” His answer was as follows:
“He would certainly be in sin, and it would be unlawful to allow him to act in such a fashion, and likewise to obey him in matters which are evil; on the contrary, there is a duty to oppose him while administering a courteous rebuke.
“Thus, were he to wish to distribute the Church's wealth, or Peter's Patrimony among his own relatives; were he to wish to destroy the church or to commit an act of similar magnitude, there would be a duty to prevent him, and likewise an obligation to oppose him and resist him. The reason being that he does not possess power in order to destroy, and thus it follows that if he is so doing it is lawful to oppose him.”
“It is clear from the preceding that, if the pope by his commands, orders or by his actions is destroying the church, he may be resisted and the fulfilment of his commands prevented. The right of open resistance to prelates’ abuse of authority stems also from natural law.” (Dialogus de Potestate Papae)
It would be “unlawful to allow him to act in such a fashion”, without any resistance, and “likewise to obey him.” There is “a duty to prevent him, and likewise an obligation to oppose him and resist him.” As he has papal power only to build up the Church and not to destroy it, it is “lawful to oppose him.” He is to be “resisted and the fulfilment of his commands prevented.” “Open resistance” is a right and a duty.
The theologian Tommaso Cardinal de Vio Gaetani Cajetan O.P. († 1534) declared: “It is imperative to resist a pope who is openly destroying the Church.” (De Comparata Auctoritate Papae et Concilio). Such a pope must be resisted, his policies opposed and prevented and true Catholic Faith and practice maintained. Resistance must be established and advanced.
The canonist and theologian, Fr. Francisco de Victoria, O.P. († 1546) told us the same.
“According to natural law, violence may lawfully be opposed by violence. Now, through the acts permitted and the orders of the kind under discussion, the Pope does commit violence, because he is acting contrary to what is lawful. It therefore follows that it is lawful to oppose him publicly.
Cajetan draws attention to the fact that this should not be interpreted as meaning that anybody whosoever can judge the Pope, or assume authority over him, but rather that it is lawful to defend oneself even against him. Every person, in fact, has the right to oppose an unjust action in order to prevent, if he is able, its being carried out, and thus he defends himself.” (Obras, pp. 486-7)
All of the Faithful have the right to oppose the actions of a corrupt pope and to try to prevent his harmful policies from being carried out. It is “lawful to oppose him publicly.”
The theologian, Francisco Suarez S.J. († 1617), said likewise.
“If the pope gives an order contrary to right customs, he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it will be lawful to resist him; if he attacks by force, by force he can be repelled, with a moderation appropriate to a just defence.” (De Fide, Disp. X, Sec. VI, N. 16)
The Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J. († 1621), wrote a treatise on the Papacy which was used as a basis for the definition of the limits of papal infallibility which was made at Vatican I. He wrote as follows:
“Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed.” (De Romano Pontifice, Lib. II, Ch. 29)
A pope “who attempts to destroy the Church” is not to be obeyed but “it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed.”
Council Vatican I (1870) defined that a pope has no power or right to come out with new doctrines or to change the Faith which has been handed down from the Apostles but only to maintain and preach it.
“For the Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles.” (Pastor Aeternus, cap. 4)
A pope has the right to do nothing but to maintain the true Catholic Faith, exactly as it has been received. If he attempts to do otherwise, he is to be denounced and opposed along with all the doctrinal innovations he attempts to impose on the Faithful.
Summary and recap of perennial teaching
We have seen that tradition instructs us that the global episcopate can fall away from the Faith and that true Catholics can be reduced to a handful. Popes can defect from the Faith and “teach” heresy in their decrees. They can destroy the Church with their acts. Then we must not obey but must openly resist the pope and the hierarchy and try to stop their policies from being implemented.
Further, St. Paul publicly resisted Pope St. Peter to his face because he was endangering the Faith. The Fathers and Doctors of the Church emphasised that we should “boldly” resist superiors, including the Pope, “without fear”, when we are defending the Faith; a pope who errs from the Faith must be resisted openly and publicly because of the danger which exists for the Faithful to be corrupted and led into error.
Popes have told us that a pope can “wither away into heresy” and “not believe” the Faith; that “it is beyond question” that a pope can “err in matters touching the Faith”, he can “teach heresy” in decrees; and that “many Roman Pontiffs were heretics”; that a pope may be a heretic and “teach […] contrary to the Catholic Faith”, in which case we are to follow the instruction, “do not follow him”; and that papal heresy “renders lawful the resistance of subordinates to their superiors, and their rejection of the latter's pernicious teachings.”
*Novus Ordo Watch is "sede fundamentalism" at its finest. Leo XIII was in fact FOR the recognize and resist position.
Here is their impotent article for reference
TradCatKnight Radio: Recognize and Resist