Catholic Family News
A Monthly Journal Preserving our Catholic Faith and Heritage
Special Feature
Tony Palmer, RIP

Protestant Tony Palmer Receives
Catholic Requiem Mass
Report: Pope Francis Insists he be “Buried as a Bishop”
By John Vennari
          “Father David told us that because Tony [Palmer] was not a Roman Catholic he had to ask his bishop’s permission to celebrate the requiem and though Tony’s wife and children are Roman Catholics, permission still had to be given for the requiem. The bishop agreed but said that Tony could not be buried as a bishop as he was not a Roman Catholic bishop. However, Pope Francis said he should and could be buried as a bishop, and so that put an end to that little bit of ecclesiastical nonsense!”[1]
            The above was written on August 6 by Michael Daly, CJ, a member of the “non-denominational Franciscan” group called the Companions of Jesus, based in the UK. 
           Michael Daly attended the Requiem Mass celebrated at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in the city of Bath by Canon David Ryan.
            Tony Palmer was an evangelical, Pentecostal Episcopalian “bishop” who was a close friend and collaborator with Pope Francis. Palmer was killed in a head-on motorcycle accident on July 20 of this year.[2]
            This past February the Catholic world was stunned to see a YouTube video, recorded by Tony Palmer on his iPhone, of Pope Francis in which the Pope calls the protestant Palmer “my brother, a bishop-brother,” and sends a special note of encouragement to a large interfaith Pentecostal gathering sponsored by Kenneth Copeland Ministries.
            Palmer is connected to the “Holy Laughter” Toronto Pentecostals run by John and Carol Arnott. The Toronto “Holy Laughter” Pentecostals believe that Holy Ghost manifests Himself by making the Pentecostal bark like a dog, oink like a pig, and roll around on the ground in a “Holy Laughter”. (I’ve been both to the Toronto Pentecostal gathering and I saw the “Holy Laughter” Pentecostals at
Celebrate Jesus 2000 conference in June 2000 in St. Louis, MO,  sponsored by Franciscan University at Steubenville. It was a horrifying spectacle).[3]
            “Bishop” Tony Palmer says in his February video that he has worked closely with Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, all who have encouraged his work as a Protestant Pentecostal preacher. He was especially close with Cardinal Bergoglio, and says that he had even greater access to Bergoglio since his election to the Papacy than when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
            Palmer called his work a “convergence movement,” between Protestants and Catholics, but the convergence he envisions is an undefined future unity wherein neither Protestants nor Catholics convert to each other’s denomination. This also appears to be the vision of Pope Francis.
            According to the
Boston Globe, then-Cardinal Bergoglio had been a “spiritual father” to the Protestant Palmer. “At one point, when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, Bergoglio advised against conversion for the sake of the mission. ‘We need to have bridge-building’ the Cardinal told him.”[4]
            Palmer promotes the modern non-doctrinal unity in diversity, the type of well-meaning sentimentalism one finds at Pentecostal gatherings, and from modern “Catholic” ecumenists.
            In his video, for example, Palmer says, “There is nothing higher than the torn Body of Christ on the Cross, and that’s what makes us one, not our doctrines, not our traditions, the Body of Christ … when we prohibit the unity of Christians, we are rejecting the work of the Cross.”
            Palmer goes on to run his video of Pope Francis, which requires a further explanation that we will provide.
            Part of Francis’ words are, “I am here with my brother, my bishop brother, Tony Palmer. We've been friends for years ... He told me about your conference, about your meeting. And it's my pleasure to greet you. A greeting both joyful and nostalgic (yearning). Joyful because it gives me joy that you have come together to worship Jesus Christ the only Lord, and to pray to the Father and to receive the Holy Spirit. This brings me joy because we can see that God is working all over the world. Nostalgic (yearning) because … we are kind of, permit me to say, separated … Let's give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work that he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.”
            The key to Francis’ words is provided by Palmer who says in the same video, “In my last meeting with Pope Francis we made a short video on my iPhone. He wanted to greet all the non-Roman Catholic brothers and sisters and call us all to put an end to the separation of Catholic Christians and all other Christians’. It was his [Pope Francis’] desire to speak to us by video ... and to give us a personal call to unity;
a unity which he told me was not uniformity but a meeting of diversity. In fact, he said to me ‘no one is coming home we are journeying, we are pilgrimaging towards each other and we will meet in the middle.’ He was adamant in making it clear to me that ‘no one is coming home, but we are meeting in the middle, we are journeying toward each other.’ And in his video, Pope Francis tells us that the miracle of unity has begun.”
            In a speech also on the video, Palmer further says, “I have come to understand that diversity is Divine. It is division that is diabolic.”[5]
             These words tell us everything we need to know about Pope Francis’ ecumenical mindset.
            “Coming home” is code for the old (and true) Catholic principle that the non-Catholics must convert to the Catholic Church for salvation. Francis insists to Palmer that “no one is coming home;” in other words, no one needs to convert to Catholicism for “unity”. As we will demonstrate at length, this defies the infallible Catholic doctrine of the centuries.
            Palmer, who had been a ‘spiritual son’ of Bergoglio for years, who had many intimate conversations with Bergoglgio, and whom Bergoglio encourages to preach to non-Catholics, gives the same ecumenical message: diversity is Divine, division is diabolic. Catholic and Protestants attain unity not by conversion, but by an undefined convergence.
            Or as Francis says, “no one is coming home,” but we “meet in the middle”.
            Pope Francis’ non-Catholic plan for unity is similar to what we heard from his fellow Jesuit, Father Roberto Tucci, in 1968. It was three years after the close of Vatican II. Father Tucci was the first Catholic to address the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches.
            During this speech, Father Tucci told the delegates at Uppsala that the formerly rigid attitudes of the Catholic Church had been recast by Vatican II and were undergoing even further rethinking.
            Tucci went on to say that the Catholic Church no longer speaks of a “return to Rome” as the aim of ecumenism, but rather of “restoring unity” in dynamic terms, rather than in terms of capitulation of one group to another. (i.e, “no one is coming home"). Father Tucci boasted that the Catholic Church now acknowledges officially its own constant need for purification and renewal. He told the World Council of Churches Assembly that unity “cannot be the victory of one Church over another, but the victory of Christ over our divisions.”[6]
            Tucci received a standing ovation, and was thus elevated to the status of a star Jesuit. This was 1968. In 1969, the young Jesuit Father Jorge Bergoglio was ordained to the priesthood. It is not unreasonable to conclude that the Vatican II/World Council of Churches/Roberto Tucci version of Christian Unity was a component in young Jorge Bergolio’s Jesuit formation.
            Now, 46 years later, we witness unprecedented madness and scandal as the Council’s ecumenism continually plays itself out: a non-Catholic “bishop” (who most-likely never received valid Orders) receiving encouragement by Papa Bergoglio to preach his Protestant-style of Christian unity, and after whose tragic death received Requiem Mass, with Pope Francis insisting (according to Michael Daly CJ) that Palmer be “buried as a bishop”.
            We knew the revolution would accelerate to full romp under Papa Bergoglio. We now see our fears justified.
Defies Catholic Doctrine
            The new ecumenism that emanated from Vatican II, and that is fostered by Pope Francis, is a head-on-collision with the Catholic doctrine and practice of the past.
[7] The Catholic Faith is not the personal plaything of the Pope that he can remold at will to accommodate the ecumenical spirit born of Protestantism. He is bound to teach the consistent doctrine of the centuries without change. To do otherwise is to be unfaithful, irresponsible and unpastoral.
            Our post-Conciliar leaders, no matter how highly placed, do not have a leg on which to stand when they attempt to reorient the Church to the new ecumenical path.
            In the face of this latest aberration from Pope Francis, we will take the time to cover some necessary ground: we will repeat the Papal teaching that the only true union is the return of non-Catholics to the Catholic Church; the warnings of sharp-eyed theologians just prior to Vatican II; the Council’s new ecumenical program that is a rupture with the past; the Papal condemnations of religious indifferentism; the Masonic roots of today’s ecumenism; and a brief litany of quotes from Saints, Popes and Councils on the necessity of converting to Christ’s true
ecclesia for salvation.
On True Unity
            We are bound to speak the truth to Catholics and non-Catholics alike that there is only one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation; and that all religious efforts towards non-Catholics must be to guide them into the one true Church of Christ.
            Pope Pius XI and Pius XII reinforced this plain teaching.
            Pius XI taught in his encyclical “On Fostering True Christian Unity, “…unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief, one Faith of Christian …
There is but one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by fostering the return to the one true [Catholic Church] of Christ of those who are separated from it.”[9]
            Likewise Pope Pius XII taught in his 1949 Instruction on the Ecumenical Movement: “
True reunion can only come about by the return of dissidents to the one true Church of Christ [the Catholic Church].”[10]
            It is worth noting that neither one of these uncompromising Papal Directives are mentioned or footnoted in Vatican II’s
Decree on Ecumenism, or in any of the Council’s sixteen documents. As Father Edward Hanahoe warned in 1962, a tactic of modern “Catholic” ecumenists is to shroud inconvenient Catholic truths with ‘significant silence’, and to “pretend the magisterium has not spoken” on certain doctrinal issues that conflict with the new ecumenical program.[11]
            Yet right on the eve of the Council, there were clear-sighted theologians who saw the ecumenical propensities among the “new theologians,” and warned that Catholics must not compromise with the new ecumenical spirit.
            Dominican theologian
Father David Greenstock, cautioning against the modern trends in ecumenism he saw in 1963, stated that true Christian unity can only have one meaning: to “Bring back to the unity of the true Church those who are presently outside of it.”[12]
            Father Greenstock further taught, “
Reunion to a Catholic must mean unity in [Catholic] faith and worship. To imply the opposite is to destroy the truth and betray Christ.”[13]
Father Edward Hanahoe, a Thomistic Graymoor Friar and expert on the Ecumenical Movement, forcefully reiterated in 1962 that the only definition of ecumenism a Catholic can accept is that of “an enterprise which seeks reconciliation of dissidents with the Church.”[14]
            Father Hanahoe also warned of the danger of the contemporary interfaith movement.  He noted that modern ecumenism has the effect of
perpetuating the state of separation, serving rather to keep people out of Church than to bring them into it.”[15]
            The great Thomistic theologian
Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, in the years leading up to Vatican II, repeatedly sounded the alarm that so-called “well-respected” theologians (such as Fathers Hans Kung, Yves Congar and others), were subverting the Catholic doctrine of “outside the Church there is no salvation” to accommodate the new ecumenical approach.
            Fenton reiterated in 1962, “Now the statement
‘There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church’ or, as the Fourth Lateran Council puts it, the declaration: ‘No one at all is saved outside’ the Church, is most definitely a Catholic dogma. Time after time, the magisterium of the Catholic Church has insisted on this fact.”[16]
            Fenton went on to warn that the denial of this truth is prevalent in our time, yet this does not change the truth of the doctrine.
            “In every age of the Church,” Fenton writes, “there has been one portion of Christian doctrine which men have been especially tempted to misconstrue or to deny. In our own times, it is the part of Catholic truth which was brought out with a special force and clarity by St. Peter in his first missionary sermon in Jerusalem. It is somewhat unfashionable today to insist, as St. Peter did, that those who are outside the true Church of Christ stand in need of being saved by leaving their own positions and entering the
ecclesia [Catholic Church]. Nevertheless, this remains a part of God’s own revealed message.”[17]
            A hundred years prior to Vatican II, Blessed Pope Pius IX thundered against Catholics who have absorbed the false tenet that salvation is possible in any religion (thus, members of those false religious groups need not convert). Pius IX writes:
“We must mention and condemn again that most pernicious error which has been imbibed by certain Catholics who are of the opinion that those people who live in error and have not the true faith and are separated from Catholic unity, may obtain life everlasting. Now this opinion is most contrary to the Catholic faith, as is evident from the plain words of Our Lord, (Matt 18:17; Mark 16:16; Luke 10:16; John 3:18) as also from the words of Saint Paul (2 Tit. 52:11) and of Saint Peter (2 Peter 2:1) To entertain opinions contrary to this Catholic faith is to be an impious wretch.”[18]
The New Program
            It is beyond dispute that the Second Vatican Council effectively promoted a “new understanding” of the “Church as Mystery”, that somehow includes members of non-Catholic sects. This has been demonstrated repeatedly in the pages of Catholic Family News. For now we will remind the reader of the liberal peritus (theological “expert”) at Vatican II who celebrated the new approach.
            In his 1966 book
Theological Highlights of Vatican II, the theologian rejoices at the Council’s new concept of Christian Unity that claims non-Catholics need not convert to the Catholic Church for unity and salvation. He said,A basic unity – of churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church – must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it.”[19] In the new Conciliar system, conversion is an option, not a necessity.
            The theologian who celebrated this new approach was a young Father Joseph Ratzinger.
            Cardinal Walter Kasper, who was President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Christian Unity from 1999 to 2010 (6 years under John Paul II, 5 years under Benedict XVI) years under Pope Benedict) was only reiterating Father Ratzinger’s exposition of Vatican II when he made his now-infamous 2001 statement “... today we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and return to being ‘Catholics’. This was expressly abandoned at Vatican II.”[20]
            Pope John Paul’s countless ecumenical activities never reminded non-Catholics of their duty to convert to the Catholic Faith.
            Though many see Pope Benedict as some sort of traditional Catholic (and in certain areas he is more traditional than many other prelates), it must be recognized that he too was fully imbued with the ecumenical spirit.
            In an ecumenical meeting in Cologne, Germany in August, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI spoke in such a way to imply that the new ecumenism does not consist of a call for non-Catholics to return to the one true Church for salvation. Benedict said,
“... this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith history. Absolutely not! It does not mean uniformity in all expressions of theology and spirituality, in liturgical forms and in discipline. Unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity ... To this end, dialogue has its own contribution to make”.[21]
            Pope Francis, following this new ecumenical line more boldly, says: “no one is coming home," receives “blessings” from Protestant “Bishops”, tells Protestants he has no intention of trying to convert them, and now goes so far as to call a Protestant leader a “brother bishop” and, if Michael Daley is correct, insists that this Protestant receives a Catholic Requiem Mass and be buried as a Bishop.
            The entire ecumenical program, as exemplified by the Conciliar Popes, is nothing more than a manifestation of the religious indifferentism condemned consistently by the Popes throughout history. As such, Conciliar ecumenism is a
rupture with our Catholic past, a break with continuity.
            The acceptance of this new system is based on the modernist notion that there can be “some transformation of the dogmatic message of the Church over the course of the centuries,” a false belief that is Modernist, as well as a component of Liberal Catholicism.[22]
The “Lethal System” of Religious Indifferentism
            The Popes throughout the centuries, and especially since the time of the French Revolution, condemned the false notion that non-Catholics need not convert to the Catholic Church for salvation. Here we will recount the teaching of four consecutive Popes against religious indifferentism – a series of magisterial statements that reflect true continuity with perennial Catholic teaching. We quote solemn pronouncements from Popes Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI and Blessed Pius IX.
            Religious indifferentism is one of the many reasons for the Papal condemnations of Freemasonry, since Masonry places all religions on the same plain. Pope Leo XII taught in his inaugural Encyclical,
Ubi Primum:
“A certain sect, certainly known to you, [Freemasonry] and wrongfully arrogating the name of philosophy for itself has stirred up from the ashes the disorganized collections of almost all the errors. ... it teaches that ample liberty has been granted by God to every man to join any sect or to adopt any opinion which may be pleasing to him according to his own private judgment, without any danger to his salvation ... it would be really impossible for the completely truthful God, who is Sovereign Truth itself, the best and most wise Provider, and Rewarder of the good, to approve of all sects that are teaching dogmas that are false and frequently opposed and contradictory to one another and to bestow eternal rewards upon the men who join these sects ...”[23]
            Pope Pius VIII forcefully condemned this error in the encyclical
Traditi humilati nostrae:
“And this is the lethal system of religious indifferentism, which is repudiated by the light of natural reason itself. In this light we are warned that, among many religions which disagree with one another, when one is true, anther must necessarily be false, and we are further admonished that there can be no association with light and darkness. Against these repeaters of ancient errors, the people must be assured, Venerable Brethren, that the profession of the Catholic Faith is alone the true one, since the Apostle tells us that there is one Lord and one baptism. As Jerome says, the man who eats the Lamb outside of this house is profane, and the man who is not in the ark of Noah is going to perish in the deluge. Neither is there any other name apart form the Name of Jesus given to men by which we must be saved. He who believes will be saved, and he who shall not have believed will be condemned.”[24]
            Pope Gregory XVI likewise condemned this error in his
Mirari vos arbitramur:
“Now we come to another very fertile cause of the evils by which, we are sorry to see, the contemporary Church being afflicted. This is indifferentism, or that wicked opinion which has grown up on all sides through the deceit of evil men. According to this opinion, the eternal salvation of the soul can be attained by any kind of profession of faith, as long as a man’s morals are in line with the standard of justice and honesty. You must drive out from the people entrusted to your care this most deplorable error on a matter so obviously important and so completely clear. For, since the Apostle has warned that there is one God, one faith, one baptism, those who pretend that the way to [eternal] beatitude starts from any religion at all should be afraid and should seriously think over the fact that, according to the testimony of the Savior Himself, they are against Christ because they are not for Christ; and that they are miserably scattering because they are not gathering with Him; and that consequently, they are most certainly going to perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith and keep it whole and inviolate”.[25]
            Pope Gregory XVI here is restating the essential truth contained in the 4th Century Athanasian Creed, thus demonstrating the continuity of Catholic truth throughout the ages. The Creed begins:
“Whosoever wishes to be saved must, first of all, hold the Catholic faith, which, unless a man shall have held it whole and inviolate, he will most certainly perish forever.”
            It concludes:
“This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man shall have believed it faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”
            Sadly, these are statements we never hear from post-Conciliar Vatican leaders.
            Blessed Pope Pius IX specifically condemned religious indifferentism in his magnificent 1864
Syllabus of Errors:
It is an error to believe, “ Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.”
            • It is an error to believe, “Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation.”
It is an error to believe, “Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church.”[26]
            The Second Vatican Council’s ecumenical orientation is a departure from consistent papal condemnations of religious indifferentism.
“Pouring Forth from our Masonic Lodges”
            Apart from ecumenism’s obvious foundation on indifferentism, it has an even darker aspect. Freemasons boast that ecumenism is born of Freemasonry, and that the ecumenical spirit of the Council “poured forth” from the Masonic lodges.
            Yves Marsaudon of the Scottish Rite, in his book
Ecumenism Viewed by a Traditional Freemason praised the ecumenism nurtured at Vatican II. He said, “Catholics ... must not forget that all roads lead to God. And they will have to accept that this courageous idea of freethinking, which we can really call a revolution, pouring forth from our Masonic lodges, has spread magnificently over the dome of St. Peter’s.”[27]
            The same Yves Marsaudon would go on to write approvingly, “One can say that ecumenism is the legitimate son of Freemasonry ... In our times, our brother Franklin Roosevelt claimed for all of them the possibility of ‘adoring God, following their principles and their convictions.’ This is tolerance, and it is also ecumenism. We traditional Freemasons allow ourselves to paraphrase and transpose this saying of a celebrated statesman, adapting it to circumstances: Catholics, Orthodox, Protestant, Israelites, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, freethinkers, free‑believers, to us, these are only first names; Freemasonry is the name of our family.”[28]
            It is no wonder that St. Maximilian Kolbe rightly decried ecumenism as the enemy of the Blessed Mother. Saint Maximilian said, “
There is no greater enemy of the Immaculata and her Knighthood than today’s ecumenism, which every Knight must not only fight against, but also neutralize through diametrically opposed action and ultimately destroy.”[29]
            Finally, we will give a brief list of quotations from Saints, Popes and Councils concerning the one true Church of Christ.
Extra Ecclesiam
            The doctrine “outside the Church there is no salvation” is an immutable dogma of the Catholic Church, defined three times by the extraordinary magisterium. The most forceful of the three is found at the Council of Florence, which defined infallibly “Pagans, Jews, heretics and schismatics” are “outside the Catholic Church,” and as such, “can never be partakers of eternal life,” unless “before death” they are joined to the one true Church of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church.[30]
            This doctrine can never be changed or “updated” to mean something different from what the Church always held. This is not only a point of common sense – since objective truth cannot change – but is taught infallibly at Vatican Council I. Here we read: “Hence, that meaning of the sacred dogmas must always be retained which holy mother the Church has once declared, and
we must never abandon that meaning under the appearance or in the name of a higher understanding.”[31]
            Vatican I further taught on the subject of Papal Infallibility, that not even a Pope may change doctrine or introduce a new doctrine (such as the “new insights” of “ecumenical theology”) that eclipses previous Church teaching. Vatican I decreed: “
The Holy Spirit was not promised to the successor of Peter that by the revelation of the Holy Spirit they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the Apostles and the Deposit of Faith, and might faithfully set it forth.” [32]
            From the earliest days of the Church, the Popes, Fathers and Doctors taught without the compromise the truth that non-Catholics must abandon their heretical creeds and join Christ’s one true Church for salvation.
Saint Augustine and the other bishops of Africa taught at the Council of Zirta (# 412), “Whosoever is separated from the Catholic Church, however commendable in his own opinion his life may be, he shall, for the very reason that his is separated from the Union of Christ, not see life, but the wrath of God abidth on him. (John 3:36).”[33]
Saint Cyprian taught, “He who has not the Church for his mother cannot have God for his Father ... As all who were not in the Ark of Noah perished in the waters of the deluge, so shall all perish who are out of the true Church.”[34]
Saint Francis of Assisi is now wrongly presented as a kind of ecumenical pioneer, but he was nothing of the sort. In one of his oldest Admonitiones [“Admonitions”] to the Brothers in his Order, Saint Francis said the following regarding those who do not accept Catholic truth:
“All, who have seen Jesus in the flesh, but have not seen Him after the Spirit, and in His Divinity and have not believed that He was really the Son of God, are doomed. Also those are doomed who see the Sacrament of the Body of Christ, which is consecrated with the words of the Lord on the altar, and by the hand of the priest, in the form of bread and wine, but do not see it in the Spirit and Divinity and have not believed that it really is Our Lord Jesus Christ’s most holy Body and Blood.”[35]           
            St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Bishop and Doctor of the Church, likewise taught:
 “Outside the Church there is no salvation ... therefore in the symbol (Apostles Creed) we join together the Church with the remission of sins: ‘I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins’... For this reason the Church is compared to the Ark of Noah, because just as during the deluge, everyone perished who was not in the ark, so now those perish who are not in the Church.”[36]
            Saint Robert Bellarmine further defines what is meant by the word “Church”. His formula is recognized as the most precise scholastic definition of the Church to this day.[37] Saint Robert explained that Christ’s one true Church is the Catholic Church, which is a Perfect Society:
“The Church is one, not twofold, and this one true [Catholic] Church is the assembly of men united in the profession of the same Christian faith and in the communion of the same sacraments, under the rule of legitimate pastors, and in particular, that of the one Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff.”[38]
            Bellarmine makes it clear that
union of belief (uniformity of doctrine) is necessary for the true Church; that it is impossible to have a conception of “Church” in which some members accept defined doctrines (such as Papal Primacy or Transubstantiation) and others do not. Bellarmine’s definition further demonstrates that the Catholic Church is a visible, hierarchical society that does not need to go outside of itself for anything.
            It should also be noted that St. Robert Bellarmine's precise definition of the Church was included in the original documents of Vatican II drawn up by Cardinal Ottaviani, but the liberal theologians and bishops at the Council removed the Bellarmine definition as it did not square with their new ecumenical program.[39]
Blessed Pope Pius IX firmly reiterated the dogmatic veracity of "extra Ecclesiam" when he taught in his encyclical Singulari quadum, “It must be held by faith that outside of the apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved.”[40]
Pope Pius XII restated this doctrine within the context of a prayer to the Blessed Virgin: “O Mary, Mother of Mercy, Seat of Wisdom! Enlighten the minds enfolded in the darkness of ignorance and sin, that they may clearly recognize the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Church to be the only true Church of Christ, outside of which neither sanctity nor salvation can be found.”[41]
            We could continue for another hundred pages demonstrating the consistent teaching of the Church throughout the ages concerning the necessity of non-Catholics converting to the Catholic Church for salvation, but I think the point is made.
            Once again, we quote Father David Greenstock’s sober warning, “
Reunion to a Catholic must mean unity in [Catholic] faith and worship. To imply the opposite is to destroy the truth and betray Christ.
            No one is “coming home?” and we all “meet in the middle”? Bury a Protestant clergy-person with a Catholic Requiem Mass? Unity in diversity? All of these notions destroy the truth and betray Christ.
            Modern Church leaders who wish to steer the Church into a new ecumenical orientation have no Catholic foundation for their interfaith follies. Their system is false, sentimental, modernist and detrimental to souls both inside and outside the Church.
            Yet the confusion they cause is colossal.
            Concerned Catholics must reaffirm their commitment to the Catholic Faith of all time. We must increasingly study the rich Catholic heritage of our past, explain the traditional Catholic Faith to those with whom we have influence, pray a great deal for the Holy Father, and publicly resist the destructive ecumenical program now revved up to unprecedented absurdity under Papa Bergoglio’s radical pontificate.


[1] “A  few thoughts from the Requiem Mass Celebrating the Life of Rt. Rev Anthony Palmer.  4th Feb 1966 – 20th July 2014,” Michael Daly, CJ Blog, Aug. 6, 2014,
[2] Of course we offer prayers for his soul and condolences to his family.
[3] I wrote about this in the summer of 2000 in
Catholic Family News.
[4] “Pope’s Protestant Friend Dies, but Push for Unity Lives”,
Boston Globe, Aug. 7, 2014.
[5] See video at:
[6] Quoted from
The Ecumenical Revolution, Robert McAfee Brown, [Garden City: Doubleday, 1969]. pp. 402-403.
[7] Vatican II was a pastoral Council, not a dogmatic Council, and is not unconditionally binding on the faithful. At the close of Vatican II, the bishops asked the Council's Secretary General, Archbishop Pericle Felici, for that which theologians call the "theological note" of the Council, that is, the doctrinal "weight" of Vatican II's teachings. Felici replied: “We have to distinguish according to the schemas and the chapters those which have already been the subject of dogmatic definitions in the past; as for the declarations which have a novel character, we have to make reservations..” [Quoted in Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre,
An Open Letter to Confused Catholics (Kansas City: Angelus Press, 1992), p. 107]. After the close of Vatican II, Paul VI gave this explanation: There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions engaging the infallibility of the ecclesiastical Magisterium. The answer is known by whoever remembers the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964: Given the Council's pastoral character, it avoided pronouncing, in an extraordinary manner, dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility. . . “ [Paul VI, General Audience of January 12, 1966, in Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. 4, p. 700, in Atila Sinke Guimaraes, In the Murky Waters of Vatican II (Metairie: MAETA, 1997; TAN, 1999), pp. 111-112]. Catholics may "make reservations" and even resist any teachings or orientations from the Council that would conflict with the perennial Magisterium of the centuries.
[8] I wish to make it clear (since there is always seems to be at least one person who asks me about this) that everything I say about “
extra ecclesiam” in this article presumes the inclusion of the Council of Trent’s “in voto”: Trent’s Session 7 Canon 4 on “The Sacraments in General” reads: “If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation, but that they are superfluous; and that men can, without the sacraments or the desire of them, obtain the grace of justification by faith alone, although it is true that not all the sacraments are necessary for each individual, let him be anathema.”
Mortalium Animos, Encyclical on Fostering True Christian Unity, Pope Pius XI from, (Tan, 1999) 299-301. Emphasis added.
Instructio, (The Instruction from the Holy Office on the Ecumenical Movement, Dec. 20, 1949). Entire English translation published in The Tablet (London) March 4, 1950.
[11] See “Ecclesiology and Ecumenism”, Part II, Father Edward Hanahoe,
American Ecclesiastical Review, Nov. 1962.
[12] “Unity: Special Problems, Dogmatic and Moral”, Father David Greenstock, p. 605.
Vatican II: The Theological Dimension, Edited by Father Anthony D. Lee, [Washington: The Thomist Press, 1963], p. 599.
[13] Ibid., p. 605.
[14] “Ecclesiology and Ecumenism”, Part I, Father Edward Hanahoe
, American Ecclesiastical Review, October, 1962.
One Fold: Essays and Documents to Commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Chair of Unity Octave, 1908-1958 edited by Edward F. Hanahoe, S.A., S.T.D., and Titus F. Cranny, S.A., S.T.D., M.A. [Graymoor: Chair of Unity Apostolate, 1959], p. 121.
[16] “Two Statements About the Necessity of the Catholic Church for the Attainment of Eternal Salvation”, Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton,
American Ecclesiastical Review, June, 1962, p. 402.
[17] Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton,
The Catholic Church and Salvation, Newman Press, 1958, p. 145
[18] Quoted from
The Catholic Dogma by Father Michael Muller (Benzinger Brothers, 1888), p. xi. Emphasis added.
Theological Highlights of Vatican II, Joseph Ratzinger, (Paulist Press, New York, 1966), pp. 65-66.
Adisti, Feb. 26, 2001. English translation of Kasper quoted from “Where Have They Hidden the Body?” by Christopher Ferrara, The Remnant, June 30, 2001 [emphasis added].
[21] Apostolic Journey to Cologne, On the Occasion of the XX World Youth Day.
Ecumenical Meeting, Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Cologne - Archbishop’s House: Friday, 19 August 2005. On Vatican webpage at: [emphasis added].
[22] See “The Components of Liberal Catholicism,” Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton,
American Ecclesiastical Review, July 1958.
[23] Pope Leo XII,
Ubi Primum, May 3, 1824
[24] Pope Pius VIII,
Traditi humilati nostrae, May 24, 1829.
[25] Pope Gregory XVI,
Morari vos arbitramur, August 15, 1832
[26] Blessed Pope Pius IX,
Syllabus of Errors, December 8, 1864.
[27] Quoted in Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre,
An Open Letter to Confused Catholics (Kansas City: Angelus Press, 1992), p. 89.
[28] Yves Marsaudon,
Oecumènisme vu par un Maçon de Tradition (pp. 119-120). English translation cited from Peter Lovest Thou Me? (Instauratio Press, 1988), p. 170. Except for the first line "One can say ..." which was translated into English by S.M. Rini.
[29] Entry of Diary dated April 23, 1933. Cited from
The Immaculata Our Ideal, Father Karl Stehlin [Warsaw: Te Deum, 2005], p.37. - [4] Entry of Diary dated April 23, 1933. Cited from The Immaculata Our Ideal, Father Karl Stehlin [Warsaw: Te Deum, 2005], p.37
[30] The full quote reads: “The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire ‘which was prepared for the devil and his angels,’
(Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this Ecclesiastical Body, that only those remaining within this unity can profit from the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, almsdeeds, and other works of Christian piety and duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”- Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Feb. 4, 1442.
[31] Vatican I, Session III, Chap. IV,
Dei Filius.
[32] Ibid. The eminent theologian Msgr. Fenton employs this text to explain that “Catholic dogma is immutable ... the same identical truths are always presented to the people as having been revealed by God. Their meaning never changes", We Stand With Christ, Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, (Bruce, 1942) p. 2.
[33] Quoted from A Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine, Father Michael Muller (C.SS.R.), [New York: Catholic Publication Society, 1875], p. 89.
[34] Ibid.
Admonitio Primo, De Copore Christi (Quaracchi edition, p. 4) quoted in Johannes Jorgensen, St. Francis of Assisi, (New York, Longmans, Green and Co, 1912), p. 55.
[36] From
The Apostolic Digest.
[37] For a superb theological treatise that demonstrates this comprehensively, see “The Scholastic Definitions of the Church”, by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, (Parts I-III) published in
American Ecclesiastical Review (Washington, D.C.) July, August, September, 1944.
De Controversiis Christianae Fidei adversus Huis Temporis Haereticos, Tom. 1, (Ingolstadt, 1586). Quartae Controversia Generlist Liber Terisus, De Ecclesia Militante, cap. 2, col 1263. English translation cited from “Scholastic Definitions of the Church”, Part II, by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, American Ecclesiastical Review, August, 1944.
[39]  This is recounted in
Theological Highlights of Vatican II, Joseph Ratzinger, p. 65. Unfortunately, Father Ratzinger approved of the discarding of the Bellarmine definition.
[40] From
One Fold, p. 137, Denz., 1647.
The Raccolta, Benzinger Brothers, Boston, 1957, No. 626. (Emphasis added).

Posted August 9, 2014. This article will be included in the September 2014 CFN.

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