Pope Michael (David Bawden) Beliefs, Heresies and Practices Exposed (vaticaninexile.com)

David Allen Bawden (born September 22, 1959 in Oklahoma City) is a self-professed Traditionalist Catholic recognized as Pope Michael I by a small group of conclavists based in Delia, Kansas, USA. He was "elected" by a group of six lay sedevacantists, which included himself and his parents, as they felt the Vatican II Church, which purports to be Catholic, had departed too far from the teachings of the Catholic Church, and that the Vatican II claimants elected since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958 were all invalid as they were modernists.

Conclavists and some sedevacantists believe that if the College of Cardinals will not or cannot elect a valid pope, lay Catholics can do so, under the principle of "epikeia" (equity).

Unlike other papal claimants, David Bawden's election did not involve any previously ordained clergy. Bawden attended two seminaries run by the Society of Saint Pius X, but did not receive orders from either.

Other conclavist "claimants" to papacy

  • Mirko Fabris (Pope Krav I) (1978-2012), elected in Zagreb, Croatia, died in 2012.

  • Pope Michael (1990). In 1990, Teresa Stanfill-Benns and David Bawden of Kansas in the USA, called for a conclave to elect a pope. They publicised their request around the world, but only six people participated in the election. On July 16, 1990, the six gathered in Belvue, Kansas, and elected Bawden who took the name Pope Michael.

  • Pope Linus II (1994). Another conclave, this time held in Assisi, Italy, elected the South African Victor von Pentz, an ex-seminarian of the Society of St Pius X, as Pope Linus II in 1994. Linus took up residence in Hertfordshire, England.

  • Pope Pius XIII (1998-2009). In October 1998, the U.S.-based "true Catholic Church" elected Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher as Pope Pius XIII. He died November 30, 2009. No successor has been named since.

  • Pope Leo XIV (2006-2007). On 24 March 2006 a group of 34 episcopi vagantes elected the Argentine Oscar Michaelli as Pope Leo XIV. On his death on 14 February 2007, he was succeeded by Juan Bautista Bonetti, who took the name of Pope Innocent XIV, but resigned on 29 May 2007. He was succeeded by Alejandro Tomas Greico, who took the name of Pope Alexander IX.

"Mysticalists"

Technically distinct from the above conclavist antipopes is the category of "popes" (sometimes called "mysticalists") whose claims to the papacy derive from alleged divine revelations or apparitions. In these cases, there is no "conclave" process, and hence the term "conclavism" is arguably inappropriate.

As can be seen, several of these individuals have styled themselves Peter II, a name that is normally considered taboo for a Pope and which has apocalyptic connotations in Catholic circles.

  • The leaders of the Palmarian Catholic Church: Clemente Domínguez y Gómez (Pope Gregory XVII, 1978-2005), Manuel Alonso Corral (Pope Peter II, 2005-2011), and Sergio Maria (Pope Gregory XVIII, since 2011). Their group was the first post-Vatican II antipope to come to wide public notice.

  • Pope Emmanuel, the Italian Gino Frediani (1913–1984), a priest of Gavinana, who asserted his claim in 1973.

  • Pope Peter II, Chester Olszewski of Pennsylvania, a former Episcopalian priest, who asserted his claim in 1977 or 1980

  • Pope Gregory XIX, the American Reinaldus Michael Benjamins, who asserted his claim in 1983.

  • Pope Peter II, born Maurice Archieri, living in Paris or Le Perreux, France, who asserted his claim in 1995.

  • Pope Peter Romanus II, born William Kamm of Cologne, Germany, a convicted sex offender currently in prison in Australia. Kamm, who is known as the "Little Pebble", apparently does not currently pretend to the papacy, but is claimed to be the next pope in waiting.

  • Pope Peter II, born Aime Baudet, of Brussels, Belgium.

  • Pope Peter II, born Julius Tischler, a German, about whom little is apparently known.

  • Pope Peter-Athanasius II, who lives, according to different sources, in Brussels or in Canada.

  • Pope Leo XIV, of Angoulême, France.

  • Pope Joseph I, of Lucerne, Switzerland.

  • Pope Gregory XVII, the Québécois successor to "Clement XV" (Michel Collin).

Alleged divine appointment was also the basis for the pre-Vatican II (1950) claim of Michel Collin to the papacy as Clement XV. Colin's sect survives, divided into different factions, to this day.

What is Sedevacantism?

Sedevacantism is a theological position held by traditional Catholics who recognize the Novus Ordo Church as a non-Catholic modernist religion, officially brought into being at the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and the leaders of that sect to be Antipopes, leaving the seat of St. Peter (who is regarded by Catholics as the first Bishop of Rome) vacant at the present time. Most proponents of the position regard the current antipapacy to have been in place since 1958 until the present time (there have been others in history).

There have been 260 valid popes in Catholic history, and more than 40 antipopes (i.e., men who posed as popes but had not been truly elected). There have been more than 200 papal vacancies (periods without a pope).

Sedevacantist should be applied only to those who believe that there is at present no reigning pope, but it is frequently used to include groups, known as conclavists, who have attempted to elect popes (or antipopes) of their own. By definition, sedevacantists oppose conclavism.

Sedevacantism and Sede Vacante Explained

The word sedevacantism is derived from the Latin phrase sede vacante, which means "seat vacant," or "with the see (chair) being vacant" and is used in Vatican documents in the interval between the death or abdication of a pope and the election of a successor.

A sede vacante period occurs between the death or resignation of a Pope and the election of his successor, when the See of Peter is vacant, and is called the Interregnum. This Latin term means between the reign (of one Pope and another). It is a period governed by papal law, which admits of no changes to Church governance, or to the spiritual or material patrimony of St. Peter, save the election of his successor.

That the seat of St. Peter is currently vacant is the position held by traditional Catholics who believe that the Papal Seat, the Holy See, has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. Sedevacantists believe that the subsequent claimants to the papal office — John XXIII (1958–1963), Paul VI (1963–1978), John Paul I (1978), John Paul II (1978–2005), Benedict XVI (2005–2013) and currently Francis I (since 2013) — have been neither true Catholics nor true, legitimate popes.

The longest period without a Pope in the last 250 years (before the Vatican II apostasy) was the approximately half year from the death in prison of Pius VI in 1799 and the election of Pius VII in Venice in 1800.

The death of Clement IV in the 13th century was followed by the longest interregnum that the papacy had ever known, lasting thirty-three months (2 years 10 months) from November 29, 1268, to September 1, 1271. In fact, it lasted longer than that because, while papal reigns are calculated from the date of election, on that date the newly elected Tedaldo Visconti was only a deacon and was in the holy land on crusade. He was unable to return to Rome and was not ordained priest and consecrated bishop until late March of 1272. The long interregnum was due largely to the conflict between the French and Italian parties in the conclave and was prolonged in spite of the stern measures taken by the municipality of Viterbo, where the election occurred. Cardinals were even imprisoned.

Sedevacantism owes its origins to the rejection of the theological and disciplinary changes implemented following the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). Sedevacantists reject this Council and all its decrees, most notably its documents on ecumenism and religious liberty, which contradicts the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church and denies the unique mission of Catholicism as the one true religion, outside of which there is no salvation. Sedevacantists also reject the New Mass of Paul VI, promulgated on 3 April 1969, as invalid since it has changed the words of consecration and deviated from the tradition of the Church.

Pope Michael (David Allen Bawden)

Background

Bawden and his family joined the Society of St. Pius X in 1980. Bawden attended the seminary of Marcel Lefebvre in Ecône, Switzerland and Kansas. He was asked to leave both schools.

In December 1983 Bawden wrote a letter to a group of friends outlining his belief that Rome no longer had authority. This was followed in November 1985 by the paper, "Jurisdiction, During the Great Apostasy", written in response to the writings of the self-professed traditionalist Roman Catholic priest Lucian Pulvermacher, who was later elected by a small conclavist group as the antipope Pius XIII; this expanded on Bawden's views that Rome no longer had jurisdiction, and was distributed worldwide.

In the early 1980s Teresa Benns wrote an article asking "all Catholics" to join together to hold an election, which was published in a small so-called Traditionalist Catholic newsletter. In 1990 Benns and Bawden published "Will the Catholic Church Survive the Twentieth Century" in order to state their claim that a Papal conclave was necessary to fill the perceived vacancy in the Holy See, as well as to refute the many heresies they ascribed to Traditionalists. Benns and Bawden claim to have invited all "orthodox" Catholics to join, but they received only six respondents.

The conclave was held on July 16, 1990 in Belvue, Kansas in the United States in a store owned by the Bawden family. There were six electors: David Bawden himself, his parents Mr. Kennett Bawden and Mrs. Clara Bawden, a Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hunt, and Teresa Benns, who had been the main motivator of the conclave. They then formed the conclave which elected Bawden, who took the regnal name Michael. He said that his motivation came from Pope Leo XIII's decision to institute the Invocation of St. Michael the Archangel and to add it to every low Tridentine Mass. However, Antipope Paul VI did not include that invocation in the new, invalid, modern Mass of Paul VI (or Novus Ordo) which he brought into being alongside the traditional form after the Second Vatican Council.

Benns, one of the original six electors, has since withdrawn her support of Bawden, and she published a series of writings on the internet in 2007 questioning the canonical status of his election as "pope". The central thesis of Benns' opposition to Bawden is the claim that the laity cannot under any circumstance participate in the election of a pope, and that a mere layman cannot be elected Pope. Bawden condemned Benns' manuscript as heresy. In 2009 his long-serving "papal secretary", the East Indian Lucio Mascarenhas was replaced at his own request by Phil Friedl, a young American who is studying for the "priesthood" under Bawden.

Bawden's claim to the papacy

Bawden's position is that the elections of John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis I were invalid because they are all modernists.

Pope Pius X had in Lamentabili sane exitu (supplementary to the general Syllabus of condemned errors issued by Pope Pius IX), condemned Modernism as heresy, and in 1907 had issued Praestantia Scriptura in which he imposed automatic excommunication upon all Modernists who remained within the church, stating:

We declare and determine that if anyone (which God forbid) should go forward so brazenly as to defend any proposition reprobated in either of these documents, he incurs by that very fact excommunication reserved to the Roman Pontiff.”

Bawden argues that because these previous "Popes" were heretics the papal position is vacant and in this case it is the duty of any good Catholic to put himself forward to lead the church.

Justification for electing a Pope

According to Catholic theology, the church possesses Popes in perpetuity (First Vatican Council, 1870), and it has always the right to supply itself with a Pope. The official process of election, through a papal conclave of the College of Cardinals, is not a divinely ordered process for selection but a method created by the Church to replace earlier methods. Conclavists and some sedevacantists argue that if the College of Cardinals will not or cannot elect a valid pope, lay Catholics can do so, under the principle of "epikeia" (equity).

The view of some sedevacantists is that none of the appointments made since 1958 to the College of Cardinals are valid, as the Popes who made them were themselves invalid. As there are no surviving members of the pre-1958 College of Cardinals, there is no college to do the electing, necessitating a new interim procedure to elect a new pope who would then fill the vacancies and so create a valid College of Cardinals.

Holy Orders

In October 2006 it was reported that Bawden hoped in the near future to obtain priestly ordination and episcopal consecration from a person prepared to acknowledge his papal claim and claiming episcopal orders in descent from the Old Catholic Arnold Harris Mathew. He was ordained December 9th, 2011, and consecrated the following day by an Old Catholic bishop, whom Bawden claimed to have reconciled to the Church.

David Bawden (aka Pope Michael) pre-election impediments

  • Denied the necessity of apostolic succession for valid election; was not a priest at all prior to election (and is not a licit priest after his ordination). Remember, Bawden claimed his Papacy began on July 16, 1990; and he was never ordained priest during all this time. It is claimed that he was ordained valid priest first on December 9th, 2011, and consecrated the following day by an Old Catholic bishop, whom Bawden claimed to have reconciled to the Church [his own Church?].

  • Denied the Church’s Divine law teaching that valid election can not be effected without the approval of lawful “ecclesiastical and canonical authority” (Council of Trent, Session 23, Canon 7, Denzinger 967).

  • Denied the teaching of Pope Pius XII's "Six ans se sont" concerning the inability of laymen elected pope (by the proper ecclesiastical authority) to accept the election unless and until they are determined by positive proofs to be fit for ordination and free of any impediments.

Bawden also espouses the belief that non-Catholics can be saved outside the Church. He also believes in Baptism of Desire and Blood and calls it heresy to affirm the Church’s ancient teaching that Baptism of Water is absolutely necessary for salvation.

Antipope Michael, 54 Years That Changed The Catholic Church, pp. 78-80: “[On Baptism of desire and Blood] There are some who claim the name of Catholic who pronounce all who have not been baptized with water are damned for all eternity. At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe in Apocatastasis, or the eventual salvation of all. Both propositions are heretical, because the truth is to be found in the middle. … this doctrine [or middle way] is presented as Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire. … To deny the doctrines of Baptism of Blood and Baptism of desire is heretical, as the Holy Office determined in the case of Fr. Leonard Feeney. Fr. Feeney took the position that Baptism of Water is absolutely essential for salvation. … [On Salvation Outside the Church] Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus of Errors condemned the proposition: “We must have at least good hope concerning the eternal salvation of all those who in no wise are in the true Church of Christ.” [Antipope Michael comments:] There is hope, but the difficulty of saving oneself out of the Ark of Salvation is great, however it is not impossible [if this answer by Antipope Michael is supposed to mean that one can be saved outside the Church while remaining outside the Church and as a non-Catholic, although not easily, then it is heretical. Pius IX condemns hoping for their salvation, but Pius does not say anywhere in this condemnation that we can hope for them to be saved]… Speculation about what has happened to others is a fruitless waste of time. What we must do is pray for them. If they are in Heaven, the prayers will be redirected to those in need. If they are in Hell, the prayers will be redirected to those in need. Purgatory, they greatly need our prayers.”

Concerning the objection on Fr. Leonard Feeney and the heretical, unapproved Holy Office decree, see:

For the objections and statements concerning Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire and Salvation Outside the Church, see:

Will the Catholic Church Survive the 20th Century?

Will the Catholic Church Survive the 20th Century? is a book published in 1990 by T. Stanfill Benns and David Bawden (aka Pope Michael).

The entire thrust of the book, “Will the Catholic Church Survive…” is the mobilization of the laity ALONE to elect a pope. The Catholic Church condemns the idea that the laity ALONE can provide “lawful ministers” without first being approved and sent by the proper “ecclesiastical and canonical authority” and that “those who are called and instituted only by the people, or by the civil power or magistrate, and proceed to exercise these offices, and that those who by their own temerity take these offices upon themselves, are not ministers of the Church, but are to be regarded as "thieves and robbers, who have not entered by the door" [cf. John 10:1; can. 8].”

Council of Trent, Session 23, Chapter 4, July 15, 1563: “The holy Synod teaches, furthermore, that in the ordination of bishops, priests, and of other orders, the consent, or call, or authority of the people, or of any secular power or magistrate is not so required for the validity of the ordination; but rather it decrees that those who are called and instituted only by the people, or by the civil power or magistrate and proceed to exercise these offices, and that those who by their own temerity take these offices upon themselves, are not ministers of the Church, but are to be regarded as "thieves and robbers, who have not entered by the door" [cf. John 10:1; can. 8].” (Denzinger 960)

Council of Trent, Session 23, Canon 7, July 15, 1563: “If anyone says that… those who have been neither rightly ordained nor sent by ecclesiastical and canonical authority, but come from a different source [such as by the mere authority of laymen or by heretics], are lawful ministers of the word and of the sacraments: let him be anathema [cf. n. 960].” (Denzinger 967)

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem fidei, Aug. 28, 1794: “The proposition which states "that power has been given by God to the Church, that it might be communicated to the pastors who are its ministers for the salvation of souls"; if thus understood that the power of ecclesiastical ministry and of rule is derived from the COMMUNITY of the faithful to the pastors,--heretical.” (Denzinger 1502)

The laity themselves, even in emergency conditions, cannot elect a pope without the approval of the clergy and the college of bishops, because without valid and licit Church hierarchy, there are none who can be elected according to the laws and teachings of the Church. Similarly, the laity cannot validly elect a layman as pope, because without valid and licit bishops, there are none who can ordain the pope elect layman a lawful bishop of the Church, or who can approve that the pope elect is lawfully “sent [or elected] by ecclesiastical and canonical authority” according to the divine laws and teachings of the Church. Even when no Catholic bishops are available, a Catholic may never knowingly be ordained a priest or consecrated a bishop by a heretic or schismatic. We live in the time predicted by the ancient Fathers, St. Francis de Sales, and others when the Church, for a time, would seemingly disappear. Only God can resolve this situation, when and in whatever manner He chooses.

All those consecrated by heretics or schismatics cannot exercise their orders lawfully since they lack the canonical mission which the Council of Trent dogmatically teaches to be necessary for a bishop to be a legitimate minister of the word and the sacraments: “If anyone say that those who have not been rightly ordained by ecclesiastical and canonical power and have not been sent [by the Church], but come from some other source [such as a heretical or schismatical source], are lawful ministers of the word and of the sacraments: let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, Session XXIII, Canon VII; Denzinger 967). Plainly no necessity, no claim of epikeia can override, even in an extreme need, an obligation derived, not from human law, but from Divine law infallibly proposed as such by the Church (such as the Divine Law that forbids Catholics to communicate in the sacraments with non-Catholics and heretics).

1917 Code of Canon Law: “Canon 2372. Reception of Orders from Unworthy Prelates: All persons who presume to receive orders from a prelate who has been excommunicated, suspended, or interdicted by a declaratory or condemnatory sentence, or from a notorious apostate, heretic, or schismatic, automatically incur suspension a divinis reserved to the Apostolic See. Any person who has been ordained in good faith by such a man, forfeits the right to exercise the order thus received until he obtains a dispensation from the prohibition.”

The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, Holy Orders: “[p. 103] Persons ordained by schismatic bishops were, upon a proper rectification or amendment in their status, to be reconciled and absolved. … Before the ordained persons could exercise their Orders, it was necessary for them to receive from the Holy See a dispensation from the irregularity which they had incurred.”

Other errors in the book included the heretical opinion that papal election of a layman by the laity alone automatically enrolls him in the clerical state. This implicitly contradicts Pope Pius XII’s election law, Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, and sidesteps Pope Pius XII’s statement in his 1957 address “Six ans se sont,” (see below) where he teaches that no layman, not fit for ordination may accept election (until such fitness is determined); and that “in the ordination [after he has been validly ordained]”, unless he has been approved and sent by a lawful and competent “ecclesiastical and canonical authority” are not to be regarded as “lawful ministers of the word and of the sacraments” but as “thieves and robbers, who have not entered by the door” (Council of Trent, Session 23, Canon 7, Denzinger 967; Council of Trent, Session 23, Chapter 4; Denzinger 960).

Pope Pius XII, Six ans se sont, Oct. 5, 1957: “Even if a layman were elected Pope, he could accept the election only if he were fit for ordination and willing to be ordained. But the power to teach and govern, as well as the charism of infallibility, would be granted to him from the very moment of his [valid and lawful] acceptance, even before his ordination.”

Alternate translation:

Pope Pius XII, Six ans se sont, Oct. 5, 1957: “If a lay person was to be elected pope, he would only be able to accept the election on condition of being fit to receive ordination, and willing to be ordained; the power to teach and to govern, as well as the charism of infallibility would be his from the moment of his [valid and lawful] acceptance, even before his ordination.”

The Catholic Encyclopedia explains:

Catholic Encyclopedia, “Papal Elections”, 1911, Vol. 11, p. 456: “A layman may also be elected pope, as was Celestine V (1294). Even the election of a married man would not be invalid (c. "Qui uxorem", 19, caus. 33, Q. 5). … Immediately on the canonical election of a [valid] candidate and his acceptance, he is true pope and can exercise full and absolute jurisdiction over the whole Church. A papal election, therefore, needs no confirmation, as the pontiff has no superior on earth.”

Errors also can be found in the book concerning how many laymen were elected to the papacy; the exaggerated number given is incorrect. These are the main errors contained in this work and as its primary author and creator.

Epikeia is needed for getting the next pope

When there is no pope and hence the Holy See is vacant, the current law decrees that cardinals must elect the next pope:

Constitutio of Pope Pius XII, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, December 8, 1945: “The right to elect the future Pope belongs solely to the Sacred College of Cardinals to the exclusion of any intervention by any other civil or ecclesiastical authority or dignity, or even by a General Council, which, if it is in session at the time, is ipso facto suspended on the death of the Pope until reconvened by the new Pope.” (AAS 38, 1946, p. 76.)

The law that decrees how the Catholic Church fills the vacant Holy See with a pope is a disciplinary law that can and has changed. By a past law a pope appointed his successor. And by another past law Catholic bishops, priests, and laymen elected the next pope:

Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope, 1907: “A brief historical review will show how the principle of election by the Roman Church has been maintained through all the vicissitudes of papal elections. St. Cyprian tells us in regard to the election of Pope St. Cornelius (251) that the comprovincial bishops, the clergy, and the people all took part in it: ‘He was made bishop by the decree of God and of His Church, by the testimony of nearly all the clergy, by the college of aged bishops [sacerdotum], and of good men’ (Ep. Iv ad Anton., n. 8). And a precisely similar ground is alleged by the Roman priests in their letter to Emperor Honorius regarding the validity of the election of Boniface I (A. D. 418; P. L., XX, 750).”

Therefore epikeia can be used in regard to the laws that govern the method by which the Catholic Church fills the vacant Holy See with a pope because they are disciplinary laws. During these days of the Great Apostasy, there are no cardinals. Consequently, the current law on electing the next pope is impossible to observe. If it were observed, there would be no way to fill the vacant Holy See with a pope because cardinals are required to elect the pope, and the pope is required to make cardinals. Hence epikeia must be used to get the next pope. In using epikeia, one must first seek an older law that can be observed and use that law to fill the vacant Holy See with a pope.

In regard to the current law, the dilemma of the possible loss of all the cardinals was addressed and the solution was to observe extinct laws by which the whole Church or the Roman clergy would then elect the next pope:

Francisco de Vitoria (1480-1546), De Potestate Ecclesiae: “If by any calamity, war or plague, all Cardinals would be lacking, we cannot doubt that the Church could provide for herself a Holy Father. Hence such an election should be carried by all the Church and not by any particular Church. And this is because that power is common and it concerns the whole Church. So it must be the duty of the whole Church.”

Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope, 1907: “Should the college of cardinals ever become extinct, the duty of choosing a supreme pastor would fall, not on the bishops assembled in council, but upon the remaining Roman clergy. At the time of the Council of Trent Pius IV, thinking it possible that in the event of his death the council might lay some claim to the right, insisted on this point in a consistorial allocution.”

During these days of the Great Apostasy when there are no cardinals, one way to get the next pope is by the Roman clergy electing the pope. Another way is by the Catholic clergy, gathered from around the world, electing the next pope. If there are no Catholic clergy, then only God Himself can choose the next pope in a miraculous way.

A HERETIC CANNOT BE A VALID POPE

St. Robert Bellarmine: “A pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.” (De Romano Pontifice, II, 30)

It is a proven fact that Bergoglio (Francis I) is a non-Catholic heretic. The Catholic Church infallibly teaches that a heretic cannot be validly elected Pope (see the Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio below), since a heretic is not a member of the Catholic Church. Jorge Bergoglio therefore is a non-Catholic Antipope whose election was utterly null and void.

Pope Paul IV, Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Feb. 15, 1559: “6. In addition, [by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity We enact, determine, decree and define:-] that if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy:

(i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless;

(ii) it shall not be possible for it to acquire validity (nor for it to be said that it has thus acquired validity) through the acceptance of the office, of consecration, of subsequent authority, nor through possession of administration, nor through the putative enthronement of a Roman Pontiff, or Veneration, or obedience accorded to such by all, nor through the lapse of any period of time in the foregoing situation;

(iii) it shall not be held as partially legitimate in any way

(vi) those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration, of all dignity, position, honour, title, authority, office and power….

10. No one at all, therefore, may infringe this document of our approbation, re-introduction, sanction, statute and derogation of wills and decrees, or by rash presumption contradict it. If anyone, however, should presume to attempt this, let him know that he is destined to incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul.

Given in Rome at Saint Peter’s in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1559, 15th February, in the fourth year of our Pontificate.

+ I, Paul, Bishop of the Catholic Church…”

With the fullness of his papal authority, Pope Paul IV declared that the election of a heretic is invalid, even if it takes place with the unanimous consent of the cardinals and is accepted by all.

Pope Paul IV also declared that he was making this declaration in order to combat the arrival of the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel, in the holy place. This is astounding, and it seems to indicate that the Magisterium itself is connecting the eventual arrival of the abomination of desolation in the holy place (Matthew 24:15) with a heretic posing as the pope – perhaps because the heretic posing as the pope will give us the abomination of desolation in the holy place (the New Mass), as we believe is the case, or because the heretical antipope will himself constitute the abomination of desolation in the holy place.

The Catholic Encyclopedia repeats this truth declared by Pope Paul IV by asserting that the election of a heretic as pope would, of course, be completely null and void.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, “Papal Elections,” 1911, Vol. 11, p. 456: “Of course, the election of a heretic, schismatic, or female [as Pope] would be null and void.”

In the Apocalypse, chapters 17 and 18, there is predicted that a whore will arise in the last days from the city of seven hills, which is Rome. This whore will tread upon the blood of the martyrs and saints. This whore is clearly contrasted with the immaculate bride of Christ, the Catholic Church. In other words, the whore of Babylon will be a false church from Rome that will appear in the last days. This Whore of Babylon is the Vatican II sect, a false bride which arises in Rome in the last days in order to deceive the Catholic Faithful.

In her appearance at La Salette, France, Sept. 19, 1846, the Blessed Mother predicted: “Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Anti-Christ… the Church will be in eclipse.”

See this article for more information: Is the Vatican II sect the Whore of Babylon Prophesied in the Apocalypse?

The Teaching of the Catholic Church on Heresy

To understand why Francis cannot be the Pope, one must understand heresy and apostasy. Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt by a baptized person of an article of divine and Catholic Faith. In other words, a baptized person who deliberately denies an authoritative teaching of the Catholic Church is a heretic. Pope Leo XIII proclaims this teaching in his encyclical Satis Cognitum.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: “The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium.”

Apostasy, on the other hand, is not merely the denial or doubt of one or more teachings of the Catholic Church, but a complete rejection of the Christian Faith altogether. In this article we have shown that Francis is both a heretic and an apostate.

As the teaching of Pope Leo XIII shows, a heretic is outside Catholic communion and alien to the Church. The same therefore goes for apostates, since all apostates are also heretics. The fact that a heretic is outside the Catholic Church is a defined dogma affirmed by many Popes. A heretic cannot be inside the Catholic Church, because by denying the faith he is automatically expelled from Her.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics…”

We see here that Pope Eugene IV defined infallibly that all heretics are outside the Catholic Church.

Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo, Dec. 18, 1208: “By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which we believe that no one is saved.”

We see in this solemn profession of faith of Pope Innocent III that the one true Church of Christ cannot include heretics.

In fact, so foreign are heretics to the Catholic Church that the Catholic Church has actually defined that heretics are the gates of hell.

Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, 553: “… we bear in mind what was promised about the holy Church and Him who said the gates of hell will not prevail against it (by these we understand the death-dealing tongues of heretics)…”

Pope St. Leo IX, Sept. 2, 1053: “The holy Church built upon a rock, that is Christ, and upon Peter… because by the gates of Hell, that is, by the disputations of heretics which lead the vain to destruction, it would never be overcome.”

Thus, it is infallible Catholic truth that a heretic cannot be a member of the Catholic Church. Many other authorities could be brought forward to further prove this point, but we will simply quote Pope Leo XIII again, who summarizes this dogmatic teaching of the Church quite well.

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

And because a heretic cannot be a Catholic or a member of the Catholic Church, it is a fact that a heretic cannot be a Pope, because a Pope is the head of the Catholic Church.

Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Sess. IV, Chap. 3: “… the Pontiff of Rome himself is the successor of the blessed Peter, the chief of the apostles, and is the true vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church…”

The Pope is the head of the whole Catholic Church. And we already saw that heretics cannot be members of the Catholic Church. Therefore, it is infallible that a heretic cannot be a Pope, because a heretic cannot be the head of that which he is not a member. This is why the Saints and Doctors of the Church consistently teach that if a Pope were to become a manifest heretic he would immediately lose the office of Pope.

St. Antoninus: “In the case in which the pope would become a heretic, he would find himself, by that fact alone and without any other sentence, separated from the Church. A head separated from a body cannot, as long as it remains separated, be head of the same body from which it was cut off. A pope who would be separated from the Church by heresy, therefore, would by that very fact itself cease to be head of the Church. He could not be a heretic and remain pope, because, since he is outside of the Church, he cannot possess the keys of the Church.” (Summa Theologica, cited in Actes de Vatican I. V. Frond pub.)

St. Alphonsus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church: “If ever a Pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he would at once fall from the Pontificate.” (Oeuvres Complètes. 9:232)

St. Francis De Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church: “Now when the Pope is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church…” (The Catholic Controversy, TAN Books, pp. 305-306)

St. Robert Bellarmine, Cardinal and Doctor of the Church: “This principle is most certain. The non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan himself admits. The reason for this is that he cannot be head of what he is not a member; now he who is not a Christian is not a member of the Church, and a manifest heretic is not a Christian, as is clearly taught by St. Cyprian, St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, St. Jerome and others; therefore the manifest heretic cannot be Pope.” (De Romano Pontifice, II, 30)

The testimonies of these great Catholic saints show that it is impossible for a heretic to be the head of the Catholic Church, because he is not a member of Her. This is not to say that a wicked man, who was not a heretic, could not be Pope. A wicked man who did not deny the faith could certainly be Pope, as Church history shows; but a heretic who denies the faith can never be Pope, because heresy places one outside the Church, while immorality without heresy places one in a state of mortal sin but not outside the Church.

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 23), June 29, 1943: “For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.”

We can see that it’s the teaching of the Catholic Church that a man is severed from the Church and Salvation by heresy, schism or apostasy.

Moreover, in judging that Francis is a heretic and is not the Pope (and is therefore an Antipope), one is not judging the Holy See; rather, as the teaching already quoted shows, one is correctly identifying that a manifest heretic is outside the Church and therefore cannot occupy the Holy See.

In two of his coronation sermons, Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) — considered one of the greatest canonists of his time — explained how a pope can “wither away into heresy” and “not believe” the Faith and that a pope who falls into the sin of heresy is already “judged.”

Pope Innocent III: “Without faith it is impossible to please God.’… And so the faith of the Apostolic See never failed, even in the most trying circumstances [turbatione], but always continued intact and undiminished, so that the privilege of Peter remained constant and unshaken. “To this end faith is so necessary for me that, though I have for other sins God alone as my judge, it is alone for a sin committed against faith that I may be judged by the Church. [propter solum peccatum quod in fide commititur possem ab Ecclesia judicari.] For ‘he who does not believe is already judged’.” (Sermo 2: In Consecratione, PL 218:656)

Pope Innocent III: “You are the salt of the earth… Still less can the Roman Pontiff boast, for he can be judged by men — or rather he can be shown to be judged, if he manifestly ‘loses his savor’ in heresy. [quia potest ab hominibus judicari, vel potius judicatus ostendi, si videlicet evanescit in haeresim.] For he who does not believe is already judged.” (Sermo 4: In Consecratione, PL 218:670)

Another translation of Sermon 4 reads:

Pope Innocent III, Sermon 4, 1198: “The Roman Pontiff has no superior but God. Who, therefore, (should a pope ‘lose his savor’) could cast him out or trample him under foot—since of the pope it is said ‘gather thy flock into thy fold’? Truly, he should not flatter himself about his power, nor should he rashly glory in his honor and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God. Still the less can the Roman Pontiff glory because he can be judged by men or rather, can be shown to be already judged, if, for example, he should wither away into heresy; because “he who does not believe is already judged.” (St. John 3:18) In such a case it should be said of him: ‘If salt should lose its savor, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under foot by men.’” (Sermo 4: In Consecratione, PL 218:670)

A pope who commits the sin of heresy, then, can indeed be “shown to be judged.”

St. Robert Bellarmine: “A pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.” (De Romano Pontifice, II, 30)

And the truth expressed by these saints, such as St. Robert Bellarmine, that a heretic cannot be the Pope, is not merely their fallible opinion, as some defenders of Francis have argued; rather, the teaching expressed by these saints is a dogmatic fact. It is rooted in the infallible dogma that heretics cannot be members of the Catholic Church, which is why Pope Innocent III taught that a Pope is “already judged, if, for example, he should wither away into heresy.”

Therefore, to hold the position that a heretic can be the Pope is heretical. So let no defender of Francis tell you that it does not matter whether or not he is a heretic, or that even if he is a heretic he can still be the Pope. No, this is not true, as we have proven. If Francis is the Pope, he cannot be a heretic. He must be a Catholic and a member of the Catholic Church. But, as we have shown, Francis is definitely neither a Catholic nor a member of the Catholic Church. Therefore, he absolutely cannot be its head.

Concluding Points

So the question that everyone professing to be Catholic must ask himself is this: Is Francis the head of my Church? Or is Francis part of a different religion?

If Antipope Francis is part of a different religion, and who would dare deny this, then he cannot be the head of the Catholic Church.

St. Francis De Sales, Doctor of the Church: “It would indeed be one of the strangest monsters that could be seen – if the head of the Church were not of the Church.” (The Catholic Controversy, p. 45)

This is why Pope Paul IV solemnly taught in his Feb. 15, 1559 Bull, cum ex Apostolatus officio, that it is impossible for a heretic to be validly elected Pope.

Furthermore, there are those who have rightfully acknowledged that the Vatican II Church is clearly not the Catholic Church, but they still maintain that Antipope Francis is the Pope. They hold that Antipope Francis can be a true Pope despite the fact that he is the head of a non-Catholic Church. To them we must say, in addition to what has been stated so far, that such a position separates Pope from Church, which is impossible.

Pope Leo XIII, Jan. 22, 1899: “Where Peter is, there is the Church.”

Therefore, to acknowledge the Vatican II Church as a false Church requires that one acknowledge its head, Antipope Francis, as a false Peter. On the other hand, to acknowledge Antipope Francis as a true Peter requires that one acknowledge his false Vatican II Church as a true Church.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (#15) June 29, 1896: “When the divine founder decreed that the Church should be one in faith, in government, and in communion, He chose Peter and his successors as the principle and center, as it were, of this unity.”

Moreover, to obstinately acknowledge Antipope Francis as a true Pope requires that you have the same faith as he does, and are in communion with his Vatican II Church.

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).”

And this is precisely why this issue is so important. Because to affirm that a particular person is your Pope, the head of your Church, means, by divine law, that you share communion and faith with that person and with his Church.

Pope Gregory XVI, on the Church and Papacy, May 17, 1835: “… Christ established this ecclesiastical power for the benefit of unity. And what is this unity unless one person is placed in charge of the whole Church who protects it and joins all its members in the one profession of faith…”

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (#9), on the unity of the Church: “… that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians.”

Pope Pius X, Encyclical, May 26, 1910: “… the Church remains immutable and constant, ‘as the pillar and foundation of truth,’ in professing one identical doctrine…”

St. Francis De Sales, Doctor of the Church: “The Church is a holy university or general company of men united and collected together in the profession of one same Christian faith…” (The Catholic Controversy, p. 161)

But to affirm that you profess the same faith as Antipope Francis, after seeing the facts that we have presented, is literally to deny the faith and break communion with the Catholic Church.

So, in order to profess the Catholic Faith whole and undefiled, and in order to declare that one is not part of a false Church, one must denounce Francis as a non-Catholic Antipope. A person cannot use the excuse that he does not have the authority to make this judgment about Antipope Francis either, because the judgment that a Catholic makes about Antipope Francis, is the exact same judgment, with the exact same authority, that a Catholic makes when he professes that he does not belong to the Lutheran, Calvinist, Presbyterian or Baptist sects; and that he is not in the same Church as those who deny Catholic teaching.

Catholics distinguish the true Church from the members of these countless sects, not by a specific declaration from Church authority about every single one of these people and their sects (which would be impossible for the Church to give), but rather by their open rejection of Catholic teaching, or by their open membership in a non-Catholic religious community, or by their open profession of a non-Catholic Faith. This has always been the way that the true Church has distinguished itself from heretical sects and the members of the true Church from the members of heretical sects.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: “The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, WHO WERE WONT TO HOLD AS OUTSIDE CATHOLIC COMMUNION, AND ALIEN TO THE CHURCH, WHOEVER WOULD RECEDE IN THE LEAST DEGREE FROM ANY POINT OF DOCTRINE PROPOSED BY HER AUTHORITATIVE MAGISTERIUM.”

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30: “… for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; BUT WHEN THEY SEE THAT SOMEONE IS A HERETIC BY HIS EXTERNAL WORKS, THEY JUDGE HIM TO BE A HERETIC PURE AND SIMPLE, AND CONDEMN HIM AS A HERETIC.”

Therefore, to say that you don’t feel that you have the authority to figure out the undeniable fact that Antipope Francis is a non-Catholic, and the head of a non-Catholic Church, means that you don’t have the authority to determine that any heretic is a non-Catholic and outside the Church. This means that you don’t have the authority to distinguish between the true Church and the countless heretical sects in the world. It means that you don’t have the authority to distinguish between the true Church and a faceless blob of baptized heretics.

Therefore, those who assert that Antipope Francis is the Pope, after seeing the facts that we have presented, are in communion with a non-Catholic sect, the non-Catholic Church of Antipope Francis. They are sharing faith with a non-Catholic heretic, Antipope Francis. They are asserting that a manifest heretic, Antipope Francis, is a member of the Catholic Church, which is a denial of Catholic dogma. They are asserting that Catholics have no authority to distinguish the true Church of Christ from a heretical sect or the members of the true Church of Christ from the members of heretical sects; and they are asserting that a true Pope can authoritatively promulgate false doctrines.

The truth, on the other hand, is that Antipope Francis is not a true successor of Peter; but rather, he is another one of the more than 40 Antipopes which the Church has had to deal with in her long history.

The truth is that none of the four men who foisted upon the world this new Vatican II religion were true successors of Peter, but Antipope revolutionaries, who tried to impose a new faith, a new Mass and a new Gospel.

The truth is that God has allowed a counterfeit Catholic Church to be set up in the times of the great apostasy, in which we are living. This counterfeit Church attempts to eclipse the true Church of Christ, which God allows as a punishment for sin in the greatest tribulation that the world has ever seen.

The truth is that when there is a true Pope he is the center of unity in the Church; however, it is also true that the Church can be without a true Pope for a long period of time. This period of time when the Chair of Peter is vacant occurs every time a Pope dies, and has lasted for as long as 3 1/2 years in Church history. This period of time when the Church is without a Pope is called a Papal interregnum, which, according to theologians, such as the 19th century Fr. Edmund O’Reilly, could easily last longer than 35 years. Thus, there is nothing incompatible with the promises of Christ to His Church for Him to leave the Church without a Pope for decades through the worst part of the great apostasy; in fact, it is in not having a true Pope to guide people through the great apostasy which makes this apostasy so devastating to so many.

The truth remains that the Catholic Church is the one Church founded by Christ to which all must belong in order to be saved, and that this Church still exists in a remnant of Catholics who maintain the infallible teachings of the true Popes throughout history.

St. Athanasius: “Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition were reduced to a handful, they would be the true Church.”

At one point in the Church’s history, only a few years before Gregory’s [Nazianz] present preaching (+380 A.D.), perhaps the number of Catholic bishops in possession of sees, as opposed to Arian bishops in possession of sees, was no greater than something between 1% and 3% of the total. Had doctrine been determined by popularity, today we should all be deniers of Christ and opponents of the Spirit.” (W.A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 39.)

If the Arian heresy was so bad that approximately 1% of the jurisdictional bishops remained Catholic and 99% became Arian, and the Great Apostasy preceding the Second Coming of Christ is predicted to be even worse – the worst apostasy of all time – then one should not be surprised by the fact that there are barely or any authentically Catholic priests in the world today and no fully Catholic jurisdictional (i.e., governing) bishops to speak of and that an Antipope is reigning from Rome (as predicted by Our Lady of La Salette) and heading a counterfeit Catholic Church of apostasy, as the foregoing has so clearly shown.

The truth is that God has not abandoned His Catholic Church; it remains the immaculate Bride of Christ, and the gates of hell will never prevail against this Church that Jesus founded upon Peter the Rock.

Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, 553: “… we bear in mind what was promised about the holy Church and Him who said the gates of hell will not prevail against it (by these we understand the death-dealing tongues of heretics)…”

Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo, Dec. 18, 1208: “By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which we believe that no one is saved.”

See the video “What Francis Really believes” and our website for more information about Francis’ apostasy and the true Catholic faith.

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