"No Pope - No Church. And, therefore, the Pope must be always, even if he is hidden for a long period of time and the Church does not know where he is and who he is."
Let's see if this thesis makes even the slightest sense.
At first let me say a few words about the "Siri Thesis".
According to this thesis, a “hidden pope” from October 26, 1958 till May 2, 1989 was Giuseppe Cardinal Siri, who took the name "Gregory XVII" at the conclave on October 26, 1958.
But after the conclave Cardinal Siri was the archbishop of the Novus Ordo diocese of Genoa. He was a subject to four antipopes for 31 year (far too long) till his death on May 2, 1989, said novus ordo “masses”, thus publicly preaching all the heresies of the Vatican II, and in his spare-time he performed the duties of the “hidden pope”. Such tale is preached by the proponents of this thesis.
They pretend that Cardinal Giuseppe Siri never compromised with Novus Ordo. But there are some photos of the Cardinal saying the n.o. "mass" in different cities of his N.O. Archdiocese (in 1986 united with the N.O. diocese of Bobbio-San Colombano), in Udine, Bobbio, Genoa. He concelebrated with antipope “John Paul II” at an outdoor N.O. "mass" said in Genoa during the "papal" visit in 1985.
There are some photos showing how joyfully and amicably Cardinal Giuseppe Siri dealt with the Vatican II "popes". No serious person can consider these attitudes of Cardinal Siri as those of a prisoner kidnapped from his “pontificate” and deprived of it by force or some strong moral pressure. Instead, the photos show the public activities of the Archbishop of Genoa, accepting without any difficulty the antipopes as his superiors.
According to the "Siri Thesis", there was a vacancy of the "holy see" for two years. And since the “conclave” hold on May 2nd and 3rd, 1991 till nowadays, March 2019, the office of the “hidden pope” has been performed by self-exiled “Gregory XVIII”, whose real name nobody knows, and who “feeds” the sheep online through some websites.
The doctrinal nuances of the “hidden pope” church already have been analyzed in my previous articles: “The Perpetual Sacrifice of the Cross”, “AQUA BENEDICTA”, “Catholics cannot support heresies and superstitions”, “Good Shepherd and “hidden pope””.
So, answering the question “Whether the tale of the "hidden pope" makes even the slightest sense”, let's turn to the Holy Scripture and the Doctrine of the Catholic Church about the Communion of Saints.
“The Communion of Saints
74. Are only the faithful on earth united together as one Church?
No; with the faithful on earth are also spiritually united the saints in Heaven and the souls in Purgatory.
The faithful on earth who are members of the Catholic Church constitute the Church Militant; the souls in Purgatory, the Church Suffering; and the Saints in Heaven, the Church Triumphant; yet these three Churches are, strictly speaking, but one in different states.
75. What is this spiritual union called?
The Communion of Saints.
76. In what does this spiritual union consist?
This spiritual union consists in this: that all are members of one body, whose head is Christ Jesus, and that therefore the different members participate in one another's spiritual goods.
"As in one body we have many members, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one member one of another" (Rom. xii. 4, 5). "He [Christ] is the Head of the body, the Church" (Col. i. 18)
77. Why are all the members of this Communion styled ‘Saints’?
Because all are called to be Saints (1 Thess. iv. 3), and have been sanctified by baptism; and many of them have already arrived at sanctity.
78. What benefit do we reap, from the communion with the Saints in Heaven?
We partake of the merits which they acquired while here below and are assisted by their intercession with God in our behalf.
79. But does not death dissolve all union between the living and the dead?
No; no more than it dissolves their union with Christ, their Head.
80. What benefit do the souls in Purgatory receive from our communion with them?
We come to the assistance of these our suffering brethren, in order that their pains may be mitigated and shortened.
81. By what means can we assist the poor souls in Purgatory?
By prayers, alms-deeds, and other good works, especially by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the application of Indulgences.” (1)
So, does the Church Militant die when a Vicar of Christ, a Visible Head of the Church Militant, dies?
No, the Church Militant never dies, because Jesus Christ Our Lord, the Invisible Head of the whole Church, Militant, Suffering, Triumphant, never dies, and “all are members of one body, whose Head is Christ Jesus”.
Therefore, when the Vicar of Christ dies, the Church Militant lives, and we can say that the death of the Visible Head of the Church Militant can neither stop nor cancel the communion of Saints.
We can also say that the communion of Saints is based on the Love of God. And love never dies, as St. Paul the Apostle says, nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God”.
“For I am sure that neither death, not life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Roman 8:38-39)
Also, you will not find such a statement in the history of the Catholic Church: "No Pope - No Church". After the death of a Pope, a vacancy of the office of the Visible Head of the Church Militant began and lasted until the election of a new Pope. But no one could even think about a "vacancy" of the office of the Invisible Head of the Church, because this would mean that he wants to say: "No Pope - No Church."
To say that with the death of the Visible Head of the Church Militant the Church also dies, it is like cutting off a part of a photo on which there were three persons, and after cutting it, only one remains to be present on it.
If you do not know how a real photo should look like, you can easily be deceived.
When you look at the part of the photo that shows you only one person, you think this is a real photo. And if you have been looking at such photo for a long time, gradually, little by little, imperceptibly for yourself you begin to believe in a lie.
But when someone who possesses a genuine photo, on which three persons are present, shows it to you, you cannot believe that you look at a true photo, because for too long you believed in a falsified photo. And you are faced with a choice - to accept the truth, or to continue believing in a lie.
You have the same choice now, when you are looking at the true image of the Church of Christ. Now you know that with the death of the Visible Head of the Church Militant, the Church itself does not die, because It is an integral part of the whole the Church of Christ, which has two more parts, the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant. We “all are members of one body, whose Head is Christ Jesus”.
Now let us look at the two Canons promulgated on July 18, 1870 in the 4th Session of the Holy Ecumenical Vatican Council (1869-1870).
1. On the Institution of the Apostolic Primacy in Blessed Peter
“If anyone, therefore, shall say that Blessed Peter the Apostle was not appointed the Prince of the Apostles and the visible head of the whole Church militant, or that the same directly and immediately received from the same our LORD JESUS CHRIST a primacy of honour only, and not of true and proper jurisdiction; let him be anathema.” (2)
[CANON] Si quis igitur dixerit, beatum PETRUM Apostolum non esse a Christo Domino constitutum Apostolorum omnium principem et totius Ecclesiae militantis visibile caput; vel eundem honoris tantum, non autem verae propriaeque iurisdictionis primatum ab eodem Domino nostro Iesu Christo directe et immediate accepisse: anathema sit.(*)
2. On the Perpetuity of the Primacy of Blessed Pete in the Roman Pontiffs
“For none can doubt, and it is known to all ages, that the holy and Blessed Peter, the Prince and chief of the Apostles, the pillar of the faith and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind, and lives, presides, and judges to this day, always in his successors the Bishops of the Holy See of Rome, which was founded by Him and consecrated by His Blood. Whence, whosoever succeeds to Peter in this See does by the institution of Christ Himself obtain the primacy of Peter over the whole Church….
“If, then, anyone shall say that it is not by the institution of CHRIST the LORD, or by divine right, that Blessed Peter has a perpetual line of successors in the primacy over the universal Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of Blessed Peter in this primacy; let him be anathema.“(3)
[CANON] Si quis ergo dixerit, non esse ex ipsius Christi Domini institutione seu iure divino, ut beatus PETRUS in primatu super universam Ecclesiam habeat perpetuos successores; aut Romanum Pontificem non esse beati PETRI in eodem primatu successorem: anathema sit.(**)
This Canon was directed against heretics who taught that St. Peter’s special power from Christ died with him and was not passed along to his successors, the Popes.
You can see that the English translation has the word "line" between “perpetual” and “successors”, while in the Latin this word is absent. But in both cases, the meaning of this part of the Canon remains the same - Blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal, i.e. Catholic Church Militant, and the Roman Pontiff is the successor of Blessed Peter in this primacy. Anyone who claims the opposite is excommunicated.
Every Roman Pontiff during his pontificate is the perpetual successor of Blessed Peter in this primacy. To date, Pope Pius XII is yet the last in the line of the perpetual successors. But he is not the last Roman Pontiff and the Visible Head of the Church Militant. That is, he did not complete the line of the perpetual successors. Since his death on October 9, 1958, a very long vacancy of the Holy See began, and the line is still open for almost 61 years.
No matter how long the vacancy of the Holy See lasted between previous Pope and a new Pope, the perpetual line of the successors is uninterrupted. Therefore, every new Pope is the perpetual successor of Saint Peter.
Void and null elections of anti-popes or “hidden popes” during the vacancy of the Holy See don’t interrupt the perpetual line of the successors as well.
It is important to note that Canon Law does not set a certain time by which a new Pope must be elected. In the history of the Catholic Church the vacancy of the Holy See many times lasted from few days to several years.
Questions and answers
Why is the Holy See yet vacant?
1.The head of the Church Militant, i.e. the Pope, cannot be hidden or invisible; he must be the Visible Head.
2. All those men, who occupy the Holy See in Rome since the death of Pope Pius XII, are not true Catholic popes, because they are public heretics.
They cannot be true Catholic popes because it is impossible that the Vicars of Christ give to the Catholic Church false doctrines, false liturgical practices, and false disciplines. They are the members of the Novus Ordo “hierarchy” and are not true Catholic popes nor true Catholic bishops, and do not possess the authority to rule, for they are the authors (in the current “hidden pope” case – he is a propagator) of the doctrinal, disciplinary and liturgical abominations.
Therefore, due to the aforementioned reasons, the only logical explanation of the situation may be the vacancy of the Holy See.
Some say that in the first centuries of Christianity, up to the Emperor Constantine, the Church and the Popes were in the catacombs, i.e. they were hidden and invisible.
This is not entirely correct opinion. The early Church was persecuted by the Roman pagan emperors, and was prohibited to preach the Christian Faith publicly. A huge number of Popes-martyrs confirm that even during very cruel persecutions they were visible both for the Church and for the world. If the early Catholic Church was invisible, there would not be millions of martyrs of every state: laymen, priests, bishops, Popes.
Some say that we do not recognize the Bull of the Pope Boniface VIII “Unam Sanctam” that says "there is One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside of which there is neither salvation nor remission of sins" and “Indeed we declare, announce and define, that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
We fully recognize this Papal Bull, which was issued against the French king Philip IV, who demanded all clergy to pay tribute and tithing to him. That proud layman did not recognize the authority of the priests, bishops and the Pope himself over him. He even wanted the Pope to obey him.
"At the jubilee of the year 1300 there was an immense concourse of pilgrims. Boniface ordained that to obtain the benefits of the jubilee the Romans should visit Saint Peter's and Saint Paul's thirty times and the pilgrims only fifteen times. In 1301, the differences between Philip the Fair and the Pope were still further envenomed because the Pope confirmed the bull by which he forbade ecclesiastics to pay anything to laymen without the apostolical authorization. Philip then confirmed a former decree, prohibiting the sending of any money to Rome. One of the king's partisans, William of Nogaret, a fiery magistrate, accused the Pope of simony, magic, and atheism; and the bishops, theologians, and doctors who would not embrace the party of the king were exiled. Philip even went so far as to forbid all the prelates of his kingdom to attend a council about to be held in Italy. The Pope, being at Rome on the 6th of November, is said to have published there the celebrated constitution Unam Sanctam in which, in order to re-establish the Papal authority, oppressed by the councillors of the king, he declared it to be heretical to say that any Christian is not subject to the Pope; and he excommunicated those who had prohibited the prelates from going to Rome." (4)
King Philip IV's retort to this bull was to send a French force to Italy to arrest the Pope and bring him back a prisoner. Boniface VIII would not budge, even when French soldiers broke into his palace. He was only saved when the local populace arose and drove out the foreign invaders. But the Pope died of shock a month later, on October 11, 1303.
How long the current vacancy of the Holy See will last?
This question is difficult to answer. God alone knows. Every Catholic is obliged to offer fervent prayers to the Invisible Head of the whole Church, that the Visible Head of the Church Militant will be elected as soon as possible.
Everyone must do penance, because God punishes even his people for grave sins already in this life. This can be seen in the example of the Israel of the Old Testament.
Israelites of the Old Testament were in Egyptian slavery for four hundred years, and for the sin of the sensuality they had to be combated by many trials. Idolatry was another sin to which Israelites were prone. Under the leadership of Moses, the Israelites left Egypt and wandered in the desert for forty years. Under Josue they entered the Promised Land, but had to fight under their Judges for over three hundred years, against their enemies. After Solomon's death the kingdom was divided into two parts, forming the kingdom of Israel in the north and Juda in the south. The kings of Israel and Juda led the people into idolatry. Both kingdoms fell away from the true God, and were in consequence destroyed, and their inhabitants led away into captivity. Israel had nineteen kings, who led the people into idolatry in spite of the efforts of the prophets. At last, Salmanasar destroyed the kingdom and carried the people away into the Assyrian captivity; the fall of the Assyrian power brought the exiles under the dominion of the Babylonians and under that of the Persian king Cyrus. The kingdom of Juda had twenty kings, and held out longer, but was finally reduced by Nabuchodonosor; the people were led away into captivity and Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed.
But God's Promise of the Redeemer always remained in force.
Before the arrival of the Redeemer God permitted that mankind should experience the deepest misery, in order to rouse it to a longing for a Redeemer.
While Israel and Juda were occupied by pagan Rome, God in due time fulfilled His Promise when the true sacrifice of the Old Testament was offered in the Temple of Jerusalem.
Nowadays, the most of the Catholic people are captured by the neo-pagan Rome (the synthesis of the Egyptian slavery and the Babylonian captivity).
The more Catholics will participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the sooner God will allow to elect a new Visible Head of the Church, that will help to preach the Gospel to the whole world, and to convert to God many souls and even nations.
Also, in order fulfill this purpose, all the laymen must put aside their pride and cease to consider themselves to be all-wise theologians, who think they can teach priests and bishops, what they should do. In another word, they must cease to consider themselves to be a “French kings”.
Why do you say the Holy Masses and administer all the Sacraments during the vacancy of the Holy See?
The Church is obliged to do this always, because it is the order of Divine Law of the New Testament. And in Canon Law there is neither explicit nor implicit prohibition to say the Holy Masses and administer all the Sacraments during the vacancy of the Holy See.
At all the times of the vacancy of the Holy See the bishops and priests validly and lawfully administered the Sacraments in accordance with Divine Law of the New Testament: "Do this for a commemoration of me" (St. Luke 22:19) and "Going therefore teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever l have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." (St. Matthew 28:19-20)
“Mass will be celebrated until the Day of Judgment (1 Cor, XI, 26). Not any or all of the adversaries of the Church, not Antichrist himself, will be able to suspend the offering of the holy sacrifice. The last Mass said will be on the last day of this world's existence. This is what Our Lord meant when He said: “I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Matt. xxviii, 20)".(5)
In the absence of the lawgiver, i.e., a true Pope, one may reasonably presume that it is the will of the Church, and therefore lawful and even required of the faithful, especially the clergy, to carry on the mission of the Church to save souls. And since this can only be done by the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the administration of Sacraments, it is required that the clergy make every effort to accomplish this end.
During the vacancy of the Holy See, the Church celebrates the Holy Masses and administers all the Sacraments in accordance with the following canonical principles:
"Divine laws oblige more strictly than human laws".
"In a conflict of obligations the higher one takes precedence.
Duties conflict when two laws apparently oblige simultaneously and only one can be observed.
As matter of fact only the more important one actually obliges.
Thus, the natural law takes precedence over the positive law.
Among the laws of nature a law that prohibits precedes a law that commands.
Divine positive law takes precedence over human legislation.”(6)
What happens to those who refuse to participate in Holy Mass and receive Holy Communion?
Our Lord Jesus Christ says that such people will not have life in themselves.
"I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: how can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed: He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me." (St. John 6:51-58)
1. Propagandists of the “hidden pope” thesis stay with error and heresy.
2. "No Pope - No Church" - it is a false thesis. (See Appendix)
3. With the death of the Visible Head of the Church Militant, the Church itself does not die, because It is an integral part of the whole the Church of Christ, which has two more parts, the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant. We “all are members of one body, whose Head is Christ Jesus”.
4. The Church is obliged to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and administer all the Sacraments even during the vacancy of the Holy See, because it is the order of Divine positive Law of the New Testament.
5. During the vacancy of the Holy See, the Church celebrates the Holy Masses and administers all the Sacraments in accordance with the following principles:
Divine laws oblige more strictly than human laws.
In a conflict of obligations the higher one takes precedence.
Divine positive law takes precedence over human legislation.
6. “Mass will be celebrated until the Day of Judgment (1 Cor, XI, 26). Not any or all of the adversaries of the Church, not Antichrist himself, will be able to suspend the offering of the holy sacrifice. The last Mass said will be on the last day of this world's existence.”
7. "Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you."
“The Church therefore is a society that is essentially monarchical. But this does not prevent the Church, for a short time after the death of a pope, or even for many years, from remaining deprived of her head. Her monarchical form also remains intact in this state.…
“Thus the Church is then indeed a headless body.… Her monarchical form of government remains, though then in a different way — that is, it remains incomplete and to be completed. The ordering of the whole to submission to her Primate is present, even though actual submission is not…
“For this reason, the See of Rome is rightly said to remain after the person sitting in it has died — for the See of Rome consists essentially in the rights of the Primate. These rights are an essential and necessary element of the Church. With them, moreover, the Primacy then continues, at least morally. The perennial physical presence of the person of the head, however, is not so strictly necessary.” (7)
The quotes from the Holy Scripture taken from: THE HOLY BIBLE PUBLISHED WITH THE APPROBATION OF THE CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS OF IRELAND. The Douay Version of the Old Testament of 1609, and with the Rhemish Version of the New Testament of 1582, Given at Dublin, May 4th, 1857.
(1) A COMPLETE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF THE REV. JOSEPH DEHARBE, S.J.
BY THE REV. JOHN FANDER
SIXTH AMERICAN EDITION
EDITED BY THE REV. JAMES J. FOX, D.D.
AND THE REV. THOMAS McMILLAN, C.S.P.
NEW YORK SCHWARTZ, KIRWIN & FAUSS 42 BARCLAY STREET
Nihil Obstat: Very Rev. Edmund T. Shanahan, D.D. Censor deputatus
Catholic University of America Washington, D. C. April 16, 1908
Imprimatur: +John M. Farley Archbishop of New York April 21, 1908
Copyright, 1912, by Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss p. 150, 151
(2) (3) THE DECREES OF THE VATICAN COUNCIL
Edited WITH AN INTRODUCTION
by the REV. VINCENT McNABB, O.P.
NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO
BENZIGER BROTHERS Printers to the Holy Apostolic See 1907
Imprimi potest FR LAURENTIUS SHAPCOTE, O.P., S.T.L. Prior Provincialis
Imprimi potest + GULIELMUS Episcopus Arindelensis Virarius Generalis
Westmonasteril die 19 Oct. 1906
First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ. pp. 36-39
(4) 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. p.476
(5) The Catechism Explained
From the original of Rev. Francis Spirago, Professor of Theology,
Edited by Rev. Richard F. Clarke, S.J.
Nihil Obstat: Thos. L. Kinkead, Censor Librorum,
Imprimatur: + MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York.
New York, August 8, 1899.
Copyright 1899, by Benzinger Brothers,
New York, Cincinnati, Chicago p. 536.
(6) 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
Cessation of Obligation of a Law. pp.29,30.
The Efficacy of the Sacraments. p. 309.
Copyright 1929 and 1951
Printed in the United states of America
(7) DORSCH, A. Insitutiones Theologiae Fundamentalis. Innsbruck: de Ecclesia 2:196–7. Rauch 1928.
(*) (**) HENR. DENZINGER ET CLEM. BANNWART S.J.
ENCHIRIDION SYMBOLORUM DENIFITIONUM ET DECLARATIONUM
DE REBUS FIDEI ET MORUM
EDITIO DECIMA QUARTA ET QUINTA QUAM
QUAM PARAVIT IOANNES BAPT. UMBERG S.J.
Fribugri Brisgoviae MCMXXII
HERDER & Co.
TYPOGRAPHI EDITORES PONTIFICI
BEROLINI, CAROLSRUHAE, COLONIAE, MONACHII, VINDOBONAE, LONDINI S. LUDOVICI MO.
Imprimi potest: Bern. Bley. S.J. Praep. Prov. Germ. Inf.
Coloniae, die 4 Ianuarii 1922
Imprimatur: Dr. Mutz, Vic. Gen.
Fribugri Brisgoviae, die 1 Februarii 1922
Typis Herderianis Fribugri Brisgoviae,
Printed in Germany