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Pope Paschal II vs Cardinal Siri: Two Choices

"For a just man shall fall seven times, and shall rise again:
but the wicked shall fall down into evil."

(PROVERBS 24:16)

Question: Can the case of the Pope Paschal (Pascal) II be considered a historical precedent which could be applied to Cardinal Giuseppe Siri?

Answer: No, these are two incomparable cases, and therefore not difficult to prove at all.

First of all, I want to emphasize that there was never a single concrete evidence that Siri was ever elected pope on the conclave of October 26, 1958. Therefore, all his actions can only be studied and analyzed as the actions of a bishop, not a Pope, who have committed the sin of public heresy.

But since some people are trying to vest Cardinal Siri in papal vestments, referring to the historical "precedent" of Pope Paschal II, I will prove that these are two completely different cases that have nothing in common.

Pope Paschal II was a true Pope from 1099-1118.
(1050-1118) birth-death.
(13 August 1099 - 21 January 1118) Papacy.

Cardinal Siri was never Pope.
(1906-1989) birth-eath
From 1928-1958, he was a true Catholic priest and bishop; i.e. the only years he was a true Catholic.
1953-1958 – a Cardinal created by Pope Pius XII; i.e., years he was true Cardinal.
1958-1989 - a Novus Ordo bishop, i.e., years he was a Novus Ordo bishop.

The Church never questioned the Papal Authority of Pope Paschal II.

The "papacy" of Cardinal Siri was built on unconfirmed guesses and assumptions of self appointed “experts”.

The main "argument" of those "experts" was white smoke, pouring for five minutes from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on October 26, 1958. But if they base their arguments on smoke, then other "experts" might as well say that anyone except Siri could be elected Pope. Why not?

Moreover Siri himself never publicly claimed the Papacy. (See my article “The Siri Thesis is a Smoke Thesis").

If we discuss about Pope Paschal II sin, he completed material sin only in one matter, when he permitted to the king to give investiture to the bishops and abbots.

As for Cardinal Siri’s sin, he completed formal sin in many matters, publicly supporting and promoting all kinds of the Vatican II heresies.

Of all the public acts and statements of Pope Paschal II, it was clear that he never consented to the ugly actions of the secular ruler internally. In spite of all the deadly threats from the king, a few years later, Pope Paschal annulled his permission.

However, giving consent to the sinful actions of the secular ruler by the Pope can be interpreted as nothing more than temporary lack of bravery to confront the arrogant king.

Moral Theology distinguishes between formal and material sin:

Concept. Sin is the free transgression of a divine law.

Every law is, in a sense, a derivation from the divine law; therefore, the transgression of any law is sinful.

The requisites for every sin are: a) the transgression of law, at least a putative law, b) the knowledge of the transgression; a confused knowledge suffices, c) free consent.

Differing from formal sin just defined is material sin, i.e., the violation of a law without knowledge or consent; God never imputes a material sin as a fault. Before a civil court, however, one is held responsible in some cases. (1)

When Cardinal Siri's advocates called Pope Paschal II a heretic, they didn’t know that heretics are those who obstinately and deliberately deny one or more of the truths revealed by God or those who hold some of the doctrines revealed by God, and therefore obstinately and deliberately deny others.

Pope Paschal II never denied a single truth revealed by God.

As for Cardinal Siri, he obstinately and deliberately, and publicly promoted all the anti-Catholic doctrines of Vatican II during thirty-one years, and thus, obstinately and deliberately had denied many of the truths revealed by God.

Pope Paschal II publicly repented of his cowardice and died as true Pope.

Cardinal Siri never repented publicly of his public spreading of the Vatican II heresies, and died as a public obedient servant of four false popes.

From the approved Catholic sources "THE LIVES AND TIMES OF THE ROMAN PONTIFFS" By the CHEVALIER ARTAUD BE MONTOR, and “THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, VOLUME XI” it is clear that Pope Paschal II did not lose the Papal Authority for one very simple reason - he was never a heretic.

The only fault of the Pope was that for a period of time, he allowed an emperor to confer ecclesiastical benefices to the bishops and abbots.

The king of Germany, Henry IV, crowned as emperor by an intruder, rose up against Pope Paschal II three antipopes, Albert, Theodoric, and Maingualfe. But Pope Paschal II took severe canonical actions against those impostors.

He ordered to arrest Albert and Theodoric, and they were sent to the monasteries where they died. Maingualfe was compelled to fly from Rome, fell into frightful misery, and died in exile, in apparent sentiments of penitence.

Henry V, successor to King Henry IV, repaired to Borne for the purpose, as he said, of being crowned emperor. The Pope refused, unless the prince first disclaimed the pretension which had been condemned by Pope Gregory VII that, namely, the right of an emperor to confer ecclesiastical benefices.

Pope Paschal IIm also demanded that before coronation, the prince should confirm the donations made to the Holy See. But Henry V followed the evil practice of his father, Henry IV, and continued to persecute Pope Paschal II and all the bishops.

After fifty-five days of cruel imprisonment, Pope Paschal II, who resolved to suffer even unto death, felt grieved at the misery of his companions-bishops, rather than for his own.

He therefore permitted King Henry V, without violence and without simony, to give investiture to the bishops and abbots of his kingdom with the ring and the crozier, provided that the election was free, and possession given without simony.

But some time later Pope Pashal II repented of his compliance, condemned it, and subjected himself to an austere penance. Regretting this concession, he desired to abdicate the Pontificate, but was unable to do so.

In 1116, in a council assembled at Saint John Lateran, Pope Paschal II renewed the decree of Pope Gregory VII against all seculars who conferred, and against all ecclesiastics who accepted the investitures.

If you look into the biography of Cardinal Siri, you can see the remarkable contrast and difference. At a certain time, he decided to submit to the false popes, and until the end of his life he was quite comfortable in his new status, occupying a high position in the Novus Ordo hierarchy.

Catholic biography:

  • Birth. May 20, 1906, Genoa, Italy.
  • Education. Seminary of Genoa, Genoa; Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.
  • Priesthood. Ordained, September 22, 1928, Genoa.
  • Further studies, 1928-1930.
  • Faculty member of Seminary of Genoa and pastoral work in Genoa, 1930-1944.
  • Episcopate. Elected titular bishop of Liviade and appointed auxiliary of Genoa, March 14, 1944.
  • Consecrated, May 7, 1944, Genoa, by Cardinal Pietro Boetto, S.J., archbishop of Genoa.
  • Promoted to metropolitan see of Genoa, May 14, 1946.
  • Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest, January 12, 1953; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria della Vittoria, January 15, 1953.
  • Papal legate to 4th centennial celebration of death of Saint Ignatius, Loyola, July 19, 1956;
  • Papal legate to religious celebrations of International Exposition of Brussels, Belgium, July 24, 1958.
  • Participated in the conclave of 1958.

Non-Catholic (Novus Ordo) biography:

  • Attended “Vatican II Council”, 1962-1965;
  • Member of its board of presidency, 1963-1965.
  • Participated in the “conclave” of 1963.
  • Attended I Ordinary Assembly of the World Synod of “Bishops”, Vatican City, September 29-October 29, 1967;
  • II Ordinary Assembly of the World Synod of “Bishops”, Vatican City, September 30-November 6, 1971;
  • III Ordinary Assembly of World Synod of “Bishops”, Vatican City, September 27-October 26, 1974.
  • Participated in the “conclave” of August 25-26, 1978.
  • Participated in the “conclave” of October 14-16, 1978.
  • Attended I Plenary Assembly of “Sacred College of Cardinals”, Vatican City, November 5-9, 1979;
  • II Extraordinary Assembly of the World Synod of “Bishops”, Vatican City, November 24-December 8, 1985; special guest.
  • Lost right to participate in the “conclave” when turned 80 years of age, May 20, 1986.
  • Resigned “pastoral government” of “archdiocese”, July 6, 1987.
  • Died as a high-ranking minister of the non-Catholic church, May 2, 1989, Villa Campostano, Albaro.
  • Buried, St. Lorenzo metropolitan cathedral, Genoa.

Listing and analyzing all these milestones of Cardinal Siri’s life, without, in any way, attempting to offend the memory of the bishop who had to endure both ups and downs.

Catholics cannot be glad in the spiritual ruin of a Catholic priest, and their hearts cannot rejoice in it.

Unfortunately, honest investigation of all the actions of Cardinal Siri since October 26, 1958 shows us the real picture where we can see that after the very first serious fall, a once good Catholic bishop, couldn’t find in his heart the fortitude to resist the evils of the Vatican II, to repent and rise again to the heights from which he fell down.

Conclusion:

Therefore the case (choice) of Pope Paschal II cannot be considered a historical precedent which could be applied to the case (choice) of the former Catholic Cardinal Giuseppe Siri.

Fr. Valerii

Here the quotations follow:

THE LIVES AND TIMES OF THE ROMAN PONTIFFS
By the CHEVALIER ARTAUD BE MONTOR:

"PASCAL II., originally named Renier, son of Crescentius and Alfatra, was born at Bieda, near Viterbo. He was a canon-regular, and then a monk of the order of Cluny. Gregory VII named him cardinal-priest of Saint Clement.

Cardinal Renier was elected pope against his will, in the church of Saint Clement, on the 13th of August, 1099, and consecrated and crowned on the 14th. Judging that he would be elected to the pontificate, he fled from Rome, but being soon recognized, he was taken back, in spite of himself, to the sacred councils, where he was received with cries of - Saint Peter wishes you as his successor."

"The reign of Pascal II was prosperous up to the year 1101. But from that time the unfortunate pontiff knew nothing but pains and torments, which rendered his life only one continual martyrdom.

The king of Germany, Henry IV, crowned as emperor by an intruder, raised up against Pascal three antipopes; but he suffered all with an apostolical courage.

Henry IV being dead, it was to be expected that his son would continue to be an enemy to the Church. There seemed no end to the question of investitures. Pascal retired to France to implore the protection of King Philip, who was restored to the Catholic communion. That pope assembled several successive councils, where decrees were made concerning investitures and simoniacs.

We notice here what was said at the conferences of Chalons. The archbishop of Treves spoke in the name of Henry IV, defending the right which he attributed to an emperor of giving investiture by the crozier and ring. When the archbishop had expressed this opinion, the bishop of Placentia replied, in the name of the pope:

"The Church, redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, must no more be enslaved; and she would be the slave of princes could she not choose a prelate without consulting the emperor. It is a crime against God for a prince to give the investiture by the ring, the cross, and the pastoral staff; and the prelates discredit their anointing, if they submit their hands, consecrated by the body and blood of our Lord, to the hands of laymen reeking with blood" * (* Fleury, iv., p. 405.)

In 1108, the Holy Father quitted France to return to Borne. At a council at Benevento, the decrees relating to the investitures were renewed. Henry V, successor to King Henry IV, repaired to Borne for the purpose, as he said, of being crowned emperor. But Pascal refused, unless the prince first disclaimed the pretension which had been condemned by Gregory VII that, namely, of the right of an emperor to confer ecclesiastical benefices. Pascal also demanded that previous to the coronation, the prince should confirm the donations made to the Holy See.

Henry, in a burst of passion, ordered the arrest of the pope, as well as of several cardinals, bishops, and nobles, attached to the Holy See, and they were closely and harshly confined. Then no German bishop repaired to the king, excepting Conrad, archbishop of Salzburg.

After fifty-five days of cruel detention, that is to say, from the 12th of February to the 9th of April, 11, the pope, who resolved to suffer even unto death, felt grieved at the misery of his companions, rather than for his own.

He therefore permitted Henry, without violence and without simony, to give investiture to the bishops and abbots of his kingdom with the ring and the crozier, provided that the election was free, and possession given without simony. Pascal has been sharply reproached.

Baronius replies: "There is no heresy in making the reserved concession to which Pascal consented. But to maintain that that is of right, and to declare that laymen ought to give investiture - which Pascal never did - would be heresy; in such wise a false dogma would be introduced into the Church, repugnant to recognized customs, to the sacred institutions of the Fathers, and to the opinion of many pious writers who have defended Pascal."

Henry, satisfied with what Pascal had yielded, which only constituted him an agent of the Holy See, returned to Home with the Holy Father, and was crowned emperor.

Pascal, however, regretting this concession, desired to abdicate the pontificate, but was unable to effect his purpose.

In 1116, in a council assembled at Saint John Lateran, Pascal renewed the decree of Gregory VII against all seculars who conferred, and against all ecclesiastics who accepted, the investitures. Henry repaired to Rome.

The pope retired to Albano, and thence to Monte Cassino, that useful refuge of the Benedictine pontiffs. He then set out for Benevento, where he hoped to be in greater safety. The Normans, then faithful feudatories of the Holy See, offered an asylum.

At that moment, there were renewed complaints against the pope, who, it was said, should rather have suffered death than yield such a privilege to a secular power. Other theologians, attentively reading the rigorous conditions which the pope had imposed, maintained his cause with great warmth. Pascal was his own severe judge. He repented of his compliance, he condemned it, and he subjected himself to an austere penance.

The Holy Father, whose history we are writing, approved the order of Fontenrault, founded by Robert of Arbrissel, who had given it the rule of Saint Benedict. Pascal also established a bishop at Bethlehem, the presence of the victorious Crusaders affording him an opportunity to do so.

In 1115, he made Bourges an archbishopric. The See had been founded in the third century, and had for its first bishop Saint Ursinus, who had eighteen saints as successors.

In 1117, Pascal again left Rome, fearing that it would not protect him from the snares of the Emperor Henry. From Benevento he went to Anagni, where he fell ill, but he recovered and returned to Rome. After celebrating the Christmas holidays, he again fell ill, and died on the night of the 21st of January, 1118. He was interred in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.

Pascal governed the Church eighteen years, five months, and eight or eleven days.

The Holy See remained vacant three days.

Under his reign there were three antipopes Albert, Theodoric, and Maingualfe.

Albert, cardinal-deacon, was named to replace Clement III; but on the very day of his election, that intruder was arrested and confined in the monastery of Aversa. Theodoric, after a hundred and five days of pretended pontificate, was sent to the monastery of the Trinity de la Cava.

Maingualfe, abbot of Farfa in 1102, took the name of Sylvester IV; but he was compelled to fly from Rome, fell into frightful misery, and died in exile, in apparent sentiments of penitence. (2)

THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, VOLUME XI:

"Paschal laboured vigorously by synods and journeys through Italy and France to keep alive the crusading spirit. Of more vital importance was the Investiture Conflict. It was fortunate that the antipope, Guibert (Clement III), died a few months after the elevation of Paschal. Three other antipopes, Thcodoric (1100), Aleric (1102), and Maginulf, who took the name of Sylvester IV (1105), were offered by the imperialistic faction; but the schism was practically ended. Two of these pretendants were sent by Paschal to do penance in monasteries; the third had little or no following. Henry IV, broken by his previous conflicts, had no desire to renew the struggle. He obstinately refused to abjure his claim to imperial investitures, and, consequently, was again excommunicated, and died at Liege, 7 Aug., 1106.

His death and the accession of his son were of dubious advantage to the papal cause; for although he had posed as the champion of the Church, he soon showed himself as unwilling as his father had been to relinquish any of the pretensions of the crown. Since the pope continued to denounce and anathematize lay investitures in the synods over which he presided, the chief of which were at Guastalla (1106) and Troyes (1107), and since Henry persisted in bestowing benefices at pleasure, the friendly relations between the two powers soon became strained. Paschal decided to change his proposed journey to Germany, and proceeded to France, where he was received enthusiastically by King Philip (who did penance for his adultery and was reconciled to the Church) and by the French people. Henry resented the discussion of a German question on foreign soil, though the question of Investitures was one of universal interest; and he threatened to cut the knot with his sword, as soon as circumstances permitted his going to Rome to receive the imperial crown. In August, 1110, he crossed the Alps with a well-organized army, and, what emphasized the entrance of a new factor in medieval politics, accompanied by a band of imperialistic lawyers, one of whom, David, was of Celtic origin. Crushing out opposition on his way through the peninsula, Henry sent an embassy to arrange with the pontiff the preliminaries of his coronation. The outcome was embodied in the Concordat of Sutri. Before receiving the imperial crown, Henry was to abjure all claims to investitures, whilst the pope undertook to compel the prelates and abbots of the empire to restore all the temporal rights and privileges which they held from the crown.

When the compact was made public in St. Peter's on the date assigned for the coronation, 12 Feb., 1111, there arose a fierce tumult led by the prelates who by one stroke of the pen had been degraded from the estate of princes of the empire to beggary. The indignation was the more intense, because the rights of the Roman See had been secured from a similar confiscation. After fruitless wrangling and three days of rioting, Henry carried the pope and his cardinals into captivity. Abandoned as he was by everyone, Paschal, after two months of imprisonment, yielded to the king that right of investiture against which so many heroes had contended. Henry's violence rebounded upon himself. All Christendom united in anathematizing him. The voices raised to condemn the faint-heartedness of Paschal were drowned by the universal denunciation of his oppressor. Paschal humbly acknowledged his weakness, but refused to break the promise he had made not to inflict any censure upon Henry for his violence. It was unfortunate for Paschal's memory that he should be so closely associated with the episode of Sutri. As head of the Church, he developed a far-reaching activity. He maintained discipline in every corner of Furope. The greatest champions of religion, men like St. Anselm of Canterbury, looked up to him with reverence. He gave his approval to the new orders of Citeaux and Fontevrauld. On his numerous journeys he brought the papacy into direct contact with the people and dedicated a large number of churches. If it was not given to him to solve the problem of Investitures, he cleared the way for his more fortunate successor." (3)

References:

(1) Moral Theology
by Rev. Heribert Jone, O.F.M. CAP., J.C.D., by Rev. Urban Adelman, O.F.M. CAP., J.C.D.
The Mercier Press Limited, Cork, Ireland
Nihil Obstat: PIUS KAELIN, O.F.M. CAP, Censor Deputatus
Imprimi Potest: VICTOR GREEN, O.F.V. CAP., Provincial, July 2, 1955
Nihil Obstat: RICHARD GINDER, S.T.I., Censor Librorum
Imprimatur: JOHN FRANCIS DEARDEN, D.D., Bishop of Pittsburg, August 15, 1955
SIN IN GENERAL, p. 46.
Copyright 1929 and 1951
Printed in the United states of America

(2) THE LIVES AND TIMES OF THE ROMAN PONTIFFS
FROM ST. PETER TO PIUS IX.
By the CHEVALIER ARTAUD BE MONTOR,
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH
EDITED BY REV. DR. NELIGAN. Vol. I
NEW YORK: PUBLISHED BY D. & J. SADLIER & CO.,
31 BARCLAY STREET.
1867.
Approbation. WE APPROVE OF THE PUBLICATION, BY D. & J. SADLIEB & Co.,
OF ARTAUD'S 'LIVES OF THE POPES'
+ JOHN, ARCHBISHOP of NEW YORK. NEW YORK, March 30th, 1865.
pp. 321, 324-327

(3) THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
AN INTERNATIONAL WORK OF REFERENCE
ON THE CONSTITUTION, DOCTRINE, DISCIPLINE,
AND HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
EDITED BY CHARLES G. HERBERMANN, Ph.D., LL.D.
EDWARD A. PACE, Ph.D., D.D. CONDE B. PALLEN, Ph.D., LL.D.
THOMAS J. SHAHAN, D.D. JOHN J. WYNNE, S.J.
ASSISTED BY NUMEROUS COLLABORATORS
IN FIFTEEN VOLUMES
VOLUME XI
New York
ROBERT APPLETON COMPANY
Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1911
REMY LAFORT, CENSOR
Imprimatur + JOHN M. FARLEY
ARCHBISHOP OP NEW YORK
Copyright, 1911
By ROBERT APPLETON COMPANY
p. 515

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