Una Cum Masses Exposed and the Te Igitur Prayer Controversy Explained

Una Cum masses refers to masses in which the priest would mention the name of a person he considers to be his leader, such as John Paul II, Benedict XVI or, currently, Francis, in the first prayer of the Canon.

These Masses are sometimes referred to as “una cum Masses,” because the Latin phrase into which the name of a reigning pope is inserted reads: una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. (together with Thy servant N., our Pope)

The Te Igitur prayer of the Mass is the first prayer of the Canon. It is the passage in this prayer which requires the priest to pray for the reigning pope and bishop of the diocese in which the Mass if offered: “...which in the first place we offer up to Thee for Thy holy Catholic Church, that it may please Thee to grant her peace, to protect, unite and govern throughout the world, together with Thy servant N. our Pope, N. our Bishop, and all true believers and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.” In Latin the phrase together with is rendered by una cum. Because the rubrics instruct the priest to leave out the name of the pope or bishop if the see is vacant, i.e., when a pope dies and the new pope is not elected, the mention or non-mention of the name by the priest is a litmus test for the priest’s position about John Paul II, Benedict XVI or, currently, Francis and the New Vatican II Church. If he thinks that John Paul II, Benedict XVI or Francis is the true Pope, successor of Saint Peter, then he must place his name in the Canon. If, on the other hand, he does not hold him to be a true Pope, but a false one, then the priest must not mention his name in the Canon. So this little phrase in the Mass, una cum, says it all: is he or isn’t he the Pope?

Now, those of us who have arrived at a correct understanding of the actual situation in the Church — so-called “sedevacantists” (see sedevacantism) — affirm that Bergoglio/Francis is a heretic and an apostate and therefore no true pope. So, on the face of it, it makes no sense whatsoever for us to participate in a Mass where, a few moments before the consecration, the priest proclaims that Bergoglio is Papa nostro — “our pope.”

See: Anti Pope Francis’ Heresies, The Apocalypse & The End of the World

In many parts of the world, however, the only traditional Latin Mass available may be one offered by a priest (Motu Proprio, FSSP, Society of St. Pius X or independent) who puts the false pope’s name in the Canon. Faced with choosing this or nothing, a sedevacantist layman is sometimes tempted to assist at the Mass anyway. Why could he not simply overlook the name, and “just go for the Mass”?

To answer this question, we must turn to the writings of pre-Vatican II liturgists, canonists and theologians, as well as to various papal pronouncements and decrees. This is where we priests or laymen are supposed to look for answers, rather than just relying on gut or personal opinion.

To answer the question: No, you can’t just “overlook” a false pope’s name in the Canon of a traditional Mass if you are a sedevacantist. His name there affirms that he is a true pope, and by actively assisting at such a Mass, you participate in that false affirmation. Since you know he’s not the pope, this is sinful. For the same reason, neither can you assist at Mass or receive the sacraments from any other heretical priest or society. Since you know the priest is not Catholic, and that the “Church” or society is a non-Catholic sect, this is clearly sinful and against the teaching of the Church.

1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 823: “Mass may not be said in churches of heretics or schismatics, even though they were in the past properly consecrated or blessed.”

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

Council of Carthage: “One must neither pray nor sing psalms with heretics, and whoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, whether clergy or layman: let him be excommunicated.”

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium animos (# 10), January 6, 1928: “So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics.”

Read more: About Receiving the Sacraments From Heretics and Prayer in Communion With Heretics

Recently, the supposedly “traditional” Ratzinger has been replaced by Bergoglio, and his crazy antics have started to make the previously unthinkable thought of sedevacantism quite thinkable for a lot of people. I thought it would be a good idea to provide the evidence in a short article here, in order to help these Catholics reason out the practical conclusions that flow from an understanding that the post-Vatican II popes are no true popes at all.

Warning: As a side note of caution to the reader, just because a man or group holds the sedevacantist position does not mean they are Catholic. If they hold or practice any heresy then they are not Catholic. Many of those who hold the sedevacantist position are not Catholic and are the pre-Vatican II heretics that led to the Great Apostasy. Many are also ambitious rebellious heretics, who have taken advantage of the vacant sees.

Most people who hold that no one may attend any “una cum” Masses believe that you may attend the Masses of other heretical sedevacantist priests. But I would ask them: “Why do you believe that you may go to a priest who is himself a heretic, as long as he doesn’t pray for a heretic (Benedict XVI, or Francis)?” In order to help people answer this question truthfully, the following catechism question will be provided: “How does a Catholic sin against faith? A Catholic sins against Faith by Apostasy, heresy, indifferentism and by taking part in non-Catholic worship.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent, Catechism [attributed to] Pope St. Pius X and The Baltimore Catechism)

If you have believed in heresy or schism, have you publicly abjured in writing? If you have been in communion with public heretics or schismatics, have you abjured your association with them? If you have been in communion with those who are in communion with public heretics or schismatics (the Society of St. Pius X, and the independent chapels who pray one with (una cum) Antipope John Paul II, Benedict XVI or, currently, Francis) or any other heretics, have you removed yourself from them and abjured? If not, then why have you not? Did you know that the denial of one dogma would place you outside the Catholic Church and in damnation?

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: “… can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? – without separating himself from the Church? – without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching? For such is the nature of faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept some things and reject othersBut he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honor God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith.”

Did you know that the committing of one mortal sin of immorality, if un-confessed, would send your soul to hell if you did not have perfect contrition with a desire for confession? If you have committed these mortal sins, against either the Catholic faith or morals the Church demands that you take specific actions to get back into a state of grace. Have you sincerely attempted to take the appropriate steps that the Holy Catholic Church requires to get back into a state of grace?

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Suppl. Part, Q. 8, Art. 6, Reply to Objection 3: “… the sacramental power of Penance consists in a sanctification pronounced by the minister, so that if a man confess to a layman, although he fulfills his own part of the sacramental confession, he does not receive sacramental absolution. Wherefore his confession avails him somewhat, as to the lessening of his punishment, owing to the merit derived from his confession and to his repentance, but he does not receive that diminution of his punishment which results from the power of the keys; and consequently he must confess again to a priest [whenever he can do so].”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Suppl. Part, Q. 8, Art. 5: “If, however, he were bound to confess again, his first confession would not be useless, because the more priests one confesses to, the more is the punishment remitted, both by reason of the shame in confessing, which is reckoned as a satisfactory punishment, and by reason of the power of the keys: so that one might confess so often as to be delivered from all punishment.”

Consequences of Attending “Una Cum” Masses

What Does the “Una Cum” Prayer Mean?

There are two ways of looking at this phrase: its linguistic meaning (What do the grammar, terms and context mean?) and its theological meaning (What doctrines does it express?).

(a) Linguistically. From this perspective, putting Bergoglio’s name into the una cum in the Canon affirms that he is a true pope (“our pope”). Obviously, sedevacantists reject that.

Recognition of the Head of the Church. In a Bull addressed to Eastern Rite Catholics, this was one of the meanings that Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) assigned to the mention of the pope’s name in the Sacred Liturgy:

Benedict XIV, Ex Quo (# 12), March 1, 1756: “It suffices Us to be able to state that a commemoration of the supreme pontiff and prayers offered for [the pope] during the sacrifice of the Mass is considered, and really is, an affirmative indication which recognizes him as the head of the Church, the vicar of Christ, and the successor of blessed Peter…”

Profession of Communion with the Pope. This was yet another meaning that Pope Benedict XIV attached to the practice of mentioning the name of the pope in the Mass.

Benedict XIV, Ex Quo (# 12), March 1, 1756: “[This commemoration of the pope is, moreover] the profession of a mind and will which firmly espouses Catholic unity. This was rightly noticed by Christianus Lupus in his work on the Councils: ‘This commemoration is the chief and most glorious form of communion’….”

It also affirms that Bergoglio is a member of the true Church, because his name is mentioned in the prayer for the Church.

Profession of Communion with the True Church. This is the conclusion one draws from the teaching of Pope Pelagius I (556–61) in a letter of rebuke to schismatics:

How can you believe that you are not separated from communion with the universal church if you do not mention my name within the sacred mysteries, as the custom is?” (Epistola 5, PL 69:398)

And further, according to the commentary on the Mass by Canon Croegaert:

To pray for the Pope is to give witness that you live in communion with the Head of the true Church.” (Les Rites et les Priéres du Saint Sacrifice de la Messe, 2:106)

The very basis of sedevacantists’ position is the teaching of canonists and theologians that loss of membership in the Church effects the automatic loss of the pontificate in a heretical pope. Heresy in a pope puts him outside the Church and thus out of office.

See: The Catholic Church teaches that a Heretic Would cease to be Pope, And that a Heretic couldn’t be Validly Elected Pope

(b) Theologically (Doctrinally). When we plug Bergoglio’s name into the prayer and apply these meanings to that phrase, here is what results:

  • The heretic/false pope Bergoglio is “the head of the Church, the vicar of Christ, and the successor of blessed Peter.”

  • The acknowledgment of the heretic/false pope Bergoglio in the Canon is “the chief and most glorious form of communion” with him, “the profession of a mind and will which firmly espouses Catholic unity.”

  • The inclusion of the name of the heretic/false pope Bergoglio in the Canon specifies him as “the principle of unity.”

  • Mentioning the name of the heretic/false pope Bergoglio in the Canon is a sign that you “are not separated from communion with the universal church.”

  • The mention of the name of the heretic/false Pope Bergoglio in the Canon “is a proof of the orthodoxy of the offerer.”

  • The heretic/false pope Bergoglio is the “ruling Pontiff, the visible pastor and the authorized intermediary with almighty God for the various members of his flock.”

Since we sedevacantists are logical about the situation in the Church — that Bergoglio is a heretic and no pope — these propositions are ridiculous.

Yet they are what results when a priest professes in the Canon that he offers the traditional Mass una cumtogether with Thy servant Francis, our Pope.

Participation in a Sin. More than that, Maurice de la Taille S.J. (1872-1933), French priest and theologian, maintains that mentioning a heretic by name in any liturgical prayer is also a sin:

“Moreover, since today neither in the commemoratio pro vivis nor in any other part of the Mass does the Church commend by name any living person except such a one as is considered to be in communion with her, today it would also appear sinful to mention by name in any liturgical prayer whatever, an infidel, a heretic, a schismatic, or an excommunicated person. This privation of the common suffrages of the Church is by no means confined to the excommunicati vitandi alone, as may be seen from the Code of Canon Law (can. 2262, parag. 1).” (De la Taille 2:318.)

The pope [Gelasius] made every effort to urge the Latin-speaking bishops of Illyria to erase the hated name of Acacius from their diptychs.” (Leo Donald Davis, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, p. 211.) As we can see, it was very important for bishops, etc. to remove the names of heretics and schismatics from their diptychs (the ancient equivalent of the Te Igitur prayer).

Recognition of a Usurper. In prohibiting common worship with heretics and schismatics, one of the Church’s motives was to deny recognition to those who had usurped or intruded themselves into Church offices. Thus in 1791, after the revolutionary government of France established a schismatic Constitutional Church and appointed to diocesan sees and parishes bishops and priests of its choosing, Pope Pius VI forbade Catholics to assist at services conducted by these intruders:

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

In 1753, when the Holy Office issued a prohibition against common worship with Greek heretics and schismatics, the first reason given was “especially because they commemorate the Patriarch of Constantinople.” (Holy Office, Decree Mission. Tenos In Peloponneseo (10 May 1753), Fontes 4:804.)

In addition to the other dangers to the faith posed by worshipping with heretics and schismatics, Archbishop Francis Kenrick (Archbishop of Baltimore, 1851–1863) likewise pointed to the recognition of a usurper as another reason for avoiding such services:

“It is not allowed to communicate in divinis with heretics or schismatics:…all admit it is wrong whenever it carries with it… the recognition of a usurped office.” (F. Kenrick, Theologia Moralis, 2:366)

By the fact that he assists at an una cum Mass, the sedevacantist recognizes as pope someone he would otherwise say is a usurper.

Sin of Scandal. The Church legislation that forbade Catholics to participate actively in worship with heretics and schismatics invariably mentioned scandal as one of the reasons for the prohibition. Heretics and schismatics would conclude that a Catholic who worshipped with them approved of their errors or rebellion. Thus the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith warned in 1729:

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

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

In the case at hand, when a sedevacantist who is known as such attends an una cum Mass (or any other traditional Mass presided over by a heretical priest), those present will assume either that he (1) consents to naming Francis as a true pope, (2) or that he regards the practice of doing so as morally indifferent, (3) or that he agrees with the priest’s schism or heresy. They can then draw the general conclusion that the identity of the Roman Pontiff (Is Francis a true pope or not?) or (in the case of SSPX) actual subjection to him is a matter of no practical consequence to a Catholic. They could then therefore rightly say of such a person: “Not even a sedevacantist acts as if it meant anything!” Such, obviously, is an occasion of “spiritual ruin.”

Can’t I “Withhold My Consent”?

The priest at an una cum Mass, of course, is the one who utters the objectionable phrase. Couldn’t the sedevacantist in the pew who objects to it simply “withhold his consent” from that part of the Canon, but still assist at the Mass otherwise with heretics in order to fulfill his obligation or obtain sacramental graces?

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

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

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

The laity who assist actively at Mass, in so doing, manifest their consent and moral cooperation with the priest as he offers the sacrifice. Indeed, moral unity with the priest is required to fulfill the Sunday obligation.

Furthermore, the Fathers of the Church, Pope Innocent III, and indeed Pope Pius XII himself in the Encyclical Mediator Dei, teach specifically that the faithful who actively assist at Mass ratify, assent to and participate in the prayers of the Canon that the priest recites, even though they do not vocally recite these prayers themselves.

Pope Innocent III (1198–1216), De Sacro Altaris Mysterio, 3.6: “Not only do the priests offer the sacrifice, but also all the faithful: for what the priest does personally by virtue of his ministry, the faithful do collectively by virtue of their intention.”

In Mediator Dei, his great encyclical on the Sacred Liturgy, Pius XII treats at great length the role that the laity play in offering the Holy Sacrifice.

Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei (# 93), November 20, 1947: “The people unite their hearts in praise, impetration, expiation and thanksgiving with the prayers or intention of the priest, even of the High Priest himself, so that in the one and the same offering of the victim and according to a visible sacerdotal rite, they may be presented to God the Father.”

Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei (# 84), November 20, 1947: “Moreover, the rites and prayers of the Eucharistic sacrifice signify and show no less clearly that the oblation of the Victim is made by the priests in company with the people. For not only does the sacred minister, after the offering of the bread and wine when he turns to the people, say the significant prayer: ‘Pray brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Father Almighty;’ but also the prayers by which the divine Victim is offered to God are generally expressed in the plural number: and in these it is indicated more than once that the people also participate in this august sacrifice inasmuch as they offer the same.”

Thus there is no way for the sedevacantist to avoid it. The same active assistance at Mass required for fulfilling your Sunday obligation also inextricably joins you to the action of a priest at the altar. So, when the priest proclaims during the Canon that he offers the sacrifice together with Thy servant Francis, our Pope — the arch-heretic and false pope Bergoglio, the priest’s prayer is your prayer.

What is Wrong with Participating?

If you have become a sedevacantist — concluded that Bergoglio is not a true pope — but actively assist at an una cum Mass nevertheless, this means that you:

  1. Tell a pernicious lie.

  2. Profess communion with heretics.

  3. Recognize as legitimate the Ecumenical, Vatican II One-World Church.

  4. Implicitly profess a false religion.

  5. Condone a violation of Church law.

  6. Participate in a sin.

  7. Offer Mass in union with the heretic/false pope Bergoglio.

  8. Recognize the usurper of an ecclesiastical office.

  9. Offer an occasion for scandal.

  10. In the case of Masses offered by “resistance” clergy (SSPX, its affiliates, and many independent clergy) participate in gravely illicit Masses and condone the sin of schism.

Such acts are not ones you want to have on your conscience.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 13; "Sacraments" (1912): “The care of all those sacred rites has been given to the Church of Christ. Heretical or schismatical ministers can administer the sacraments validly if they have valid Orders, but their ministrations are sinful (see Billot, op. cit., thesis 16). Good faith would excuse the recipients from sin [that is, only if they didn’t know it was heretics they approached or that it was wrong to approach them.]

And of course, those people who have been made aware of these facts can of course never claim ignorance or excuse themselves, because “whoever neglects to have or do what he ought to have or do, commits a sin of omission.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Prima Secunda Pars, Q. 76, Art. 2: “Now it is evident that whoever neglects to have or do what he ought to have or do, commits a sin of omission. Wherefore through negligence, ignorance of what one is bound to know, is a sin; whereas it is not imputed as a sin to man, if he fails to know what he is unable to know. Consequently ignorance of such like things is called "invincible," because it cannot be overcome by study. For this reason such like ignorance, not being voluntary, since it is not in our power to be rid of it, is not a sin: Wherefore it is evident that no invincible ignorance is a sin. On the other hand, vincible ignorance is a sin, if it be about matters one is bound to know; but not, if it be about things one is not bound to know.”

Truly, one is bound to know the Catholic Faith well enough to be able to spot heresy when it is presented. So then – in accordance with the Angelic Doctor – if we know that our priest, bishop, etc. is heretical or schismatical, but we adhere to him anyway, then we indeed share in his sin of heresy or schism, whereby we would then be labouring OUTSIDE the true religion. Invincible ignorance on the other hand – ignorance that is not able to be overcome by any well ordered human effort – is a different matter, and is totally excusable, unless we are speaking about the essential mysteries (the Trinity and the Incarnation), and the natural law, which must be known explicitly by everyone above the age of reason in order to have salvation. When people break the natural law it is always a sin, and cannot be excused, since this law is written by God on every man’s heart. Ignorance of the Trinity and the Incarnation, however, is not a sin in itself, but God withholds this knowledge of the essential mysteries from many people since He foreknew that they would reject His offer of salvation.

Pope St. Pius X, Acerbo Nimis (# 2), April 15, 1905: “And so Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: ‘We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.’”

Communion with Heretics In the Una Cum Masses and the Te Igitur Prayer

The greatest problem with the una cum declaration is that it is a sin against the profession of the Faith.

As much as it is necessary for the Catholic priest to mention the name of the reigning pontiff as a sign of his communion with him and the Catholic Church as a whole, it is equally necessary for him to avoid mentioning the name of anyone who is not in communion with the Catholic Church. When schismatics were reconciled to the Catholic Church, they had to omit, as part of their sign of adherence, the names of their schismatic Patriarchs from the canon of the Mass. In his Bibliotheca, Fr. Ferraris cites the case of a schismatic bishop who was reconciled to Rome. The papal legates reassure the pope that, during the course of the Mass, no name was mentioned which was odious to the Catholic Faith:

“Finally the legates of [Pope] Hormisda recount to the Pope with these words what happened to them during the reconciliation of the bishop of the city of Troili Scampina: We confess, they said, that it would be hard to find in another people so much devotion to you Holiness, so much praise to God, so many tears and so much joy. Nearly all the people received us into the city, both the men and the women with candles, and the soldiers with crosses. Masses were celebrated, and no name which is loathsome to religion was mentioned but only that of Your Holiness.”

He also mentions that it is licit to pray for the conversion of infidels, heretics and schismatics in the Memento of the living, since it is a private and not a public prayer, thereby implying that it would not be licit to mention them publicly:

“The priest should be warned however [with Azor. lib X, cap. 22, quæst. 3,] that he can correctly pray in the Memento for the conversion of infidels, heretics and schismatics, since this is a private and not public prayer.” (op. cit., p. 51)

Benedict XIV (March 1675 – 3 May 1758) himself ordered the Italo-Greeks to mention the name of the Pope and local bishop, lest there be any suspicion of schism among them, and furthermore forbade from mentioning the name of a schismatic Patriarch:

“The second part of the same warning follows in which, as was noted above, the Greek priest is enjoined, during the Mass, after he has prayed for the Roman Pontiff, to pray also for his own bishop, and for his Patriarch, provided that they be Catholic; for if one or the other or both were a schismatic or a heretic, he would not be permitted to make a mention of them.” (Ex Quo, § 18)

Pope Benedict, in fact, makes frequent warning of the necessity not to mention the name of anyone who is a schismatic or a heretic:

“...but let him carefully avoid making mention of the names of schismatics or heretics.”

“Nor is he [the Greek priest] generally prohibited, in the often cited Monitum, from making mention of the Patriarch, but only in the case where the Metropolitans or Patriarchs should be schismatics or heretics...” (ibid., § 22)

The general prohibition against naming heretics and schismatics is repeated in the 1756 Bull of Pope Benedict XIV already cited above:

Benedict XIV, Ex Quo (# 9), March 1, 1756: “…‘Therefore where commemorations are customarily made in the sacred liturgy, the Roman Pontiff should be first commemorated, then one’s own Bishop and Patriarch, provided they are Catholic. But if either of both of them are schismatics or heretics they should by no means be commemorated’.”

He then cites three cases in which priests were specifically forbidden by the Holy Office to mention the name of schismatic prelates, in 1673, 1674 and 1732 respectively. The one in 1673 is of special interest, since the priest’s motive in mentioning the name of the schismatic was to attract the schismatics to the Catholic Church. The answer was it is absolutely forbidden.

Pope Benedict XIV states that the reason for this prohibition is that heretics and schismatics are excommunicates, and it is not licit to pray publicly for excommunicates: “The Sacred Canons of the Church prohibit praying for excommunicates... And although there is nothing wrong with praying for their conversion, this must not be done by pronouncing their names in the solemn prayer of the Sacrifice. This observance is in accordance with the traditional discipline...” (ibid., § 23) He furthermore quotes St. Thomas: “One can pray for excommunicates, although not in those prayers which are offered for the members of the Church.” (In 4 Sent. dist. 18. quæst. 2. art. 1)

HOLY OFFICE DECREES THAT UPHOLD THE DOGMA THAT COMMUNICATING IN SACRED THINGS WITH HERETICS AND SCHISMATICS IS FORBIDDEN AND BY DIVINE AND CATHOLIC FAITH

First Rev. Szal begins with questions asked the Holy Office concerning the attendance at the Masses of schismatics. On Dec. 5, 1668, the Holy Office ordered a bishop to instruct his people not to go to Mass or other Divine offices in the churches of schismatics or heretics, and to warn them that THEY WERE NOT BOUND BY THE PRECEPT OF HEARING MASS WHEN THERE WAS NO CELEBRATION OF A CATHOLIC MASS, which means that if there is no Catholic Mass available (a Catholic rite said by a Catholic priest), 1) one cannot attend a non-Catholic Mass, and 2) one is not held to the precept of hearing Holy Mass. (Collectanea S. Congregationis de Propaganda Fidei seu Decreta Instructiones Rescripta pro Apostolicis Missionibus [hereafter Col.]. Ex Typographia Polyglotta, Roma, 1907. Vol. I, p. 54, n. 171 (1668))

Another reply from the Holy Office on April 10, 1704 concerning active participation in schismatic rites brought the following response from the Holy See:

“Pope Clement XI (1700-1721) decreed that it was not licit on the principal feasts of the year for converts, in order to avoid persecution, to go to the churches of schismatics, especially during divine services…” (Ibid., Rev. Ignatius J. Szal)

On August 7, 1704, The Holy Office also stated that:

“The decree which prohibited Catholics from being present at the Masses and prayers of schismatics APPLIED ALSO IN THOSE PLACES WHERE THERE WERE NO CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND WITH REFERENCE TO SUCH PRAYERS AS CONTAINED NOTHING CONTRARY TO FAITH AND THE CATHOLIC RITE.” (Ibid., Rev. Ignatius J. Szal)

This means that the Holy See again decreed that when there is no Catholic priest to offer Mass Catholics are forbidden to approach schismatic churches in order to hear Mass even if there is nothing contrary to the Faith, and that when there is no Catholic priest available, they are not held to the precept of hearing Mass. (Col., vol. I, p. 54, n. 171 (1668); Col., vol. I, p. 91, n. 267, 1 (1704))

In a 1729 the Vatican Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith decreed:

“… There is hardly any rite among the heterodox that is not stained with some error in faith… especially where a commemoration is made of living Patriarchs and Bishops — schismatics and heretics — who are proclaimed preachers of the Catholic faith. For this reason, any Catholics who come together under circumstances like this to celebrate a rite of prayer and worship cannot excuse themselves from the sin of evil common worship, or at least, from the sin of pernicious scandal.” (SC de Prop. Fide, Instruction (Pro Mission. Orient.), 1729, Fontes 7:4505)

By actively assisting at an una cum Mass, the sedevacantist participates in this sin — one made all the worse because it is committed seconds before the Spotless Victim is brought down upon the altar.

“Moreover, since today neither in the commemoratio pro vivis nor in any other part of the Mass does the Church commend by name any living person except such a one as is considered to be in communion with her, today it would also appear sinful to mention by name in any liturgical prayer whatever, an infidel, a heretic, a schismatic, or an excommunicated person. This privation of the common suffrages of the Church is by no means confined to the excommunicati vitandi alone, as may be seen from the Code of Canon Law (can. 2262, parag. 1).” (De la Taille 2:318.)

On two other occasions, May 10, 1753, and April 17, 1758, the Holy See again forbade Catholics to participate in the masses of schismatics.

Continuing his assay of Holy Office pronouncements, Szal lists further decisions concerning Holy Communion. On June 17, 1839, The Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith forbade the reception of Holy Communion from an heretical priest. A general prohibition against receiving any sacraments from schismatics was issued by Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605). Benedict XIV (1740-1758) also forbade the use of the services given by schismatics for the conferring of the sacraments. Rev. Szal gives this stunning summary of these decisions as follows:

“From the nature of the response which the Holy Office gave to questions concerning the reception of absolution and Extreme Unction from schismatics on the part of persons who are in danger of death, IT SEEMS TO BE THE MIND OF THE CHURCH THAT VIATICUM SHOULD NOT BE RECEIVED FROM SCHISMATICS UNDER ANY CONDITIONS.” (Ibid., Rev. Ignatius J. Szal)

In 1729 the Holy Office decreed that it is perverse to come together with schismatic and heretical ministers in unity of prayer, in unity of cult, in unity of veneration and worship. (Col., vol. I, p. 100, n. 311 (1729))

In 1729 and 1764 the Holy Office decreed that communicatio in divinis [communicating in divine things] with schismatics and heretics is constantly and uniformly forbidden. (Col., vol. I, p. 99, n. 311 (1729); Col., vol. I, p. 293, n. 455 (1764))

In 1669 the Holy See forbade a deacon to sing out the names of heretics in the liturgy. (SO Decree Mesopotamia, 28 August 1669, Fontes 4:740.)

In 1673 the Holy See forbade a priest to name the Patriarch of the Armenians (both a heretic and a schismatic) in the prayers of the Mass. (The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, Rev. Ignatius J. Szal, Pp. 182–183.)

On June 22, 1859, the Holy Office declared the following:

Communication with heretics can be either in a condemned doctrine, or in rites and other signs indicative of adherence to a false [non-Catholic] sect, with the accompanying scandal of the faithful, to whom the Church therefore forbids this communion, lest the faith be lost or endangered. Whence St. John the Evangelist strictly commands: ‘if anyone comes to you and does not bring this (i.e., the Catholic) doctrine, do not receive him into the house, or say to him, Welcome. For he who says to him, Welcome, is sharer in his evil works.’ II John 20. These words evidently imply that everything is forbidden that is expressed by a welcome, in so far as it constitutes liturgical actions instituted to signify ecclesiastical unity. Wherefore we read that a law was enacted by the Fathers of the Council of Carthage ‘against praying or singing with heretics’ as is cited by Benedict XIV. It is therefore illicit to invite heretics to a choir during sacred services, to sing alternately with them, to give them peace or sacred ashes and other such tokens of external worship [with or in front of them], which are rightly and reasonably regarded as signs of interior bond and agreement. This is to be done neither in the active sense, namely by giving them such things, or in the passive sense, by accepting from them [such as receiving the sacraments from them] in their sacred services.” (SO Instruction Communicatio, 22 June 1859, in Collectanea S. Cong. de Prop. Fide 1:1176.)

In 1864 the Holy Office decreed that Catholics cannot contribute to the building of heretical churches and that heretics cannot sing in our churches nor serve at the altar at Mass. (Col., vol. I, p. 692, n. 1257 (1864))

In 1817 the Holy Office decreed that it is not licit to receive the nuptial blessing from a non-Catholic minister. (Col., vol. I, p. 420, n. 717 (1817))

In 1841 the Holy Office decreed that a Catholic bishop is forbidden to go to a schismatic Greek church to chant the doxology. (Col., vol. I, p. 519, n. 921 (1841))

In 1789, 1803, and 1864 the Holy Office decreed that Catholics are forbidden to be godparents at the baptisms of schismatics and heretics. (Col., vol. I, p. 371, n. 600, 1 (1789); Col., vol. I, p. 405, n. 672, 2 (1803); Col., vol. I, p. 692, n. 1257, 1 and 4 (1864))

In 1789 the Holy Office decreed that Catholics are forbidden to give stipends for a Mass offered by a schismatic priest since this would be a form of support of false worship and confirming the schismatic priest in his error by financial support. (Col., vol. I, p. 371, n. 600, 2 (1789))

In 1753 the Holy Office decreed that Greek Rite Catholics, when they do not have their own church, cannot go to the Greek rites said by heretics and schismatics. (Col., vol. I, p. 231, n. 389, ad 2 (1753))

In 1636 the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith decreed that Catholics are not only banned from singing an acclamation for the schismatic Patriarchs of Constantinople but added that since the Patriarchs were also heretics they deserved to be cursed instead. The Sacred Congregation instructed the bishop to repel from his church the Greeks who sang these acclamations, if indeed he could effectively do so, for the Patriarchs of Constantinople are deserving rather of imprecation. (Rev. Szal, Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, CUA Canon Law Studies 264, Washington, CUA 1948, p. 182.)

The Holy Office also decreed that Catholic missionaries are forbidden under pain of suspensio a divinis ipso facto [automatic suspension in divine things] to invite schismatic government officials, offer them blessed water when they enter, and to exhibit any kind of honor when some feast is celebrated. (Col., vol. I, p. 230, n. 388, 5 (1753))

And the Holy Office decreed that Catholic priests are entirely forbidden to offer Holy Mass in the private houses of and in places frequented by schismatics and heretics. (Col., vol. I, p. 230, n. 388, 1 and 2 (1753))

Finally, in 1888 the Holy Office decreed that Catholics must avoid all communicatio in sacris [communion in sacred things] with schismatics and heretics. (Col., vol. II, p. 233, n. 1696, 7 (1888))

NO COMMUNION WITH HERETICS

It is also of divine law and not only a disciplinary law that Catholics can only be in communion with other Catholics and that they may never worship with people who are heretics, schismatics, or infidels. To knowingly enter into a religious house that is heretical or schismatical is of course to profess religious unity outwardly in a way that is completely unacceptable. The scandal this provokes in the eyes of true Catholics is easy to understand. For every person that sees you entering a “church” where the priest is a heretic or schismatic, will assume that you agree with his heresy or schism. The unity of faith that must exist between people who call themselves Catholic and who worship God is one constant that can never be changed according to Catholic teaching. This is called divine law. Without the unity of faith, there is only darkness and eternal hell-fire, as Pope Leo XIII and the following quotes makes clear, for “It is impossible for us [Catholics] to hold communion after their death with those [heretics, schismatics and excommunicated] who have not been in communion with us during their life.” (Pope Innocent III, chapter xii, de sepulturis, lib. III, tit. xxviii):

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 10), June 29, 1896: “For this reason, as the unity of the faith is of necessity required for the unity of the Church, inasmuch as it is the body of the faithful, so also for this same unity, inasmuch as the Church is a divinely constituted society, unity of government, which effects and involves unity of communion, is necessary jure divino (by divine law).”

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 13), June 29, 1896: “For this reason Jerome addresses Damasus thus: “My words are spoken to the successor of the Fisherman, to the disciple of the Cross… I communicate with none save your Blessedness, that is with [Catholics in communion with] the chair of Peter. For this I know is the rock on which the Church is built.” (Ep. xv., ad Damasum, n. 2).”

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 22): “As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered – so the Lord commands – as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.”

Pope St. Clement I, 1st Century: “If any man shall be friendly to those with whom the Roman Pontiff is not in communion, he is in complicity with those who want to destroy the Church of God; and, although he may seem to be with us in body, he is against us in mind and spirit, and is a much more dangerous enemy than those who are outside and are our avowed foes.”

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

Pope Pius IX, Etsi Multa, #26, Nov. 21, 1873: “Therefore, by the authority of Almighty God, We excommunicate and hold as anathema Joseph Humbert himself and all those who attempted to choose him, and who aided in his sacrilegious consecration. We additionally excommunicate whoever has adhered to them and belonging to their party has furnished help, favor, aid, or consent. We declare, proclaim, and command that they are separated from the communion of the Church. They are to be considered among those with whom all faithful Christians are forbidden by the Apostle [2 John 10-11] to associate and have social exchange to such an extent that, as he plainly states, they may not even be greeted.”

The above quote is very relevant to our situation today in that many priests and adherents of those priests would fall under this very same condemnation. First let’s learn a little history about the above condemnation of Joseph Humbert and all his adherents: "A surprisingly large number of German priests and laymen rejected the First Vatican Council’s solemn teaching on the papacy. In September 1870, nearly 1,400 Germans who called themselves 'Old Catholics' signed a declaration that renounced the conciliar teaching. In September 1871, 300 delegates met in Munich to organize a new church. Unable to find a Catholic bishop who would renounce Catholic dogma and join them, the Old Catholics turned to the Jansenist Bishop Heykamp of Devetner in the Netherlands of the schismatic Little Church of Utrecht. He ordained Father Joseph Humbert Reinkens a bishop in August 1873."

Pope Pius IX, Graves ac diuturnae (#'s 1-4), March 23, 1875: “… the new heretics who call themselves 'Old Catholics'... these schismatics and heretics... their wicked sect... these sons of darkness... their wicked factionthis deplorable sect… This sect overthrows the foundations of the Catholic religion, shamelessly rejects the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council, and devotes itself to the ruin of souls in so many ways. We have decreed and declared in Our letter of 21 November 1873 that those unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church.”

Here, Pope Pius IX gives an explicit confirmation that people must consider heretics or schismatics to be outside the Church and that there is no need for a further declaration to decide this. But who can deny the fact that Vatican II also is a “new church”, and that all the validly ordained bishops and priests left in this “new church” also would fall under the same condemnation as Joseph Humbert? Therefore, without a doubt, you may not approach any of the validly ordained Novus Ordo priests for the sacraments of Confession or the Eucharist at all, as the heretics and schismatics teach.

Another striking fact is that almost all of the validly ordained priests left in the entire world (both traditional “Catholic” priests and Novus Ordo priests alike), also reject Vatican I and papal infallibility, by obstinately denying infallible Catholic dogma. The old “Catholics” was excommunicated for this very reason, and one were not even allowed to greet them, and anyone who would adhere to them (for example, receive the sacraments from them) was to be excommunicated just like them.

We have decreed and declared in Our letter of 21 November 1873 that those unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church.” (Pope Pius IX, Graves ac diuturnae (#'s 1-4), March 23, 1875)

Therefore, without a doubt, neither may you approach any of the validly ordained traditional “Catholic” priests left in the world for the sacraments, if they obstinately deny or reject even a single Catholic dogma or hold to even a single heresy, as Pope Leo XIII makes clear:

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9): “No one who merely disbelieves in all can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single heresy he is not a Catholic.”

CONCLUSION

It is evident, therefore, that the mention of Francis’ name in the Canon (a) is an explicit declaration of ecclesial communion with a heresiarch; (b) is an explicit declaration of the identity of the Roman Catholic Church with the Novus Ordo Church, for where Peter is, there is the Church; (c) causes intrinsic and insoluble problems — ecclesiological nightmares — for the traditional priest, since it places himself and his Mass outside the Church and makes it schismatic, since he is setting up altar against altar.

Since the una cum phrase is a statement of communion, the following things are true:

• The una cum Mass is therefore the equivalent of having Antipopes John Paul II, Benedict XVI or, currently, Francis in your sanctuary during the Mass, and of showing him the external signs of being the Pope, such as incensations, genuflections, etc. Of course you would have to give him Holy Communion, for if the priest saying the una cum mass is in communion with the Pope, this means he must commune sacramentally with him if possible. Where Peter is, there is the Church.

• The una cum Mass is the equivalent of singing the Oremus pro Pontifice, a hymn sung to pray for the Pope: Let us pray for our Holy Father John Paul II, Benedict XVI or Francis. May God preserve him, and give him length of days, and make him blessed upon earth, and not deliver him into the hands of his enemies.

• The una cum Mass identifies John Paul II, Benedict XVI or Francis and the local Novus Ordo bishop with all the orthodox and the maintainers of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith. This is absurd. It is a lie. To lie in the Canon of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass cannot be pleasing to God.

And if they are the orthodox, and the maintainers of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, then, by God, let us be with them and not against them. But if they are not the orthodox, and the maintainers of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, then, by God, let us be against them, and not with them.

Where Peter is, there is the Church:

where the Church is, there is eternal life.

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