The St. Benedict Center’s heretical and schismatic positions are very hostile to the Faith
By Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.
Some of our readers are familiar with the St. Benedict Center in New Hampshire. Since the St. Benedict Center is holding their annual conference next week, we felt it opportune to quickly remind readers why their positions are hostile to the Faith, adding a few important insights along the way.
THE ST. BENEDICT CENTER IS IN COMMUNION WITH MANIFEST HERETICS
The St. Benedict Center accepts as Catholics the manifest heretic Benedict XVI and his apostate “bishops,” who hold that non-Catholics should not be converted, that Jews can be saved, that non-Catholics can receive the sacraments, etc., etc. They have seen the heresies of Benedict XVI and the facts proving that heretics cannot be popes, but their leadership obstinately rejects these truths and has rejected them for years – even as the Vatican II sect deteriorates further and further into such a notoriously bad joke of apostasy that it makes the Protestant sects look conservative.
Since the St. Benedict Center is obstinate in this regard, they are heretics for professing communion with manifest heretics. Even at this late stage in which the facts in favor of the sedevacantist position are so well known, formidable and overwhelming, they show their profound bad will by banning from their conferences those who would even discuss the obvious fact that the Vatican II sect cannot be the Catholic Church. (I will not repeat all of the proof that Benedict XVI and his “bishops” are manifest heretics here; see the rest of our website and our videos for the undeniable facts.)
CONSIDERING THEIR DEMAND THAT ALL ACCEPT THE HERETIC BENEDICT XVI, THE ST. BENEDICT CENTER’S INDEPENDENT POSITION IS DEFINITELY SCHISMATIC
In addition to being heretical, the St. Benedict Center is also schismatic; for while they profess communion with Benedict XVI (and condemn those who do not so profess), they actually remain independent of his “hierarchy” for no reason whatsoever (as we will see). The St. Benedict Center admits on their website that they are not in regular communion with the hierarchy of Benedict XVI. On their website they even feature a letter from a Novus Ordo diocese which states that their “community has no official recognition within the Church.” Wait a second. If they declare that Benedict XVI is the pope, and that his “bishops” constitute the hierarchy, why are they not under their authority and working in full communion with them? If they recognize Benedict XVI as the pope they are bound under pain of schism to operate within his “hierarchy.”
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Trallians, (A.D. 110): “He that is within the sanctuary is pure; but he that is outside the sanctuary is not pure. In other words, anyone who acts without the bishop and the presbytery and the deacons does not have a clean conscience.” (Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1:50)
St. Jerome, Commentaries on the Epistle to Titus, (A.D. 386): “Between heresy and schism there is a distinction made, that heresy involves perverse doctrine, while schism separates one from the Church on account of disagreement with the Bishop. (Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2:1371a)
But they remain permanently independent (and thus outside) of communion with the hierarchy they profess to accept.
THIS GETS EVEN WORSE WHEN CONSIDERING THEIR POSITION ON VATICAN II AND THE NEW MASS
But it gets even worse… much worse. I recently noticed that on their website the St. Benedict Center has some questions and answers about their positions on Vatican II, the New Mass, etc. Look at these answers:
St. Benedict Center, NH: “Q. Does this mean you think the New Mass is invalid or sinful to attend? A. No, it does not. The necessary form for the consecration of the sacred Body and Blood of our Lord are present in the Missa of Paul VI. Therefore we cannot deny its inherent validity as a sacramental rite. Neither do we have the authority to "forbid" any lay person from attending it, nor to determine that a rite approved by the Church is sinful to attend.”
The statement that the New Mass has the sufficient form of consecration is a lie, but that’s not what I want to focus on here. Notice that they hold that one cannot be forbidden to attend the New Mass. Keep this in mind as we further consider their independent community, which “has no official recognition within the Church.”
St. Benedict Center, NH: “Q. What about Vatican II and the conciliar popes? Are they real popes? Was that council a genuine ecumenical council?... John Paul II is the presently reigning Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. His predecessors (Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul I) were also validly elected popes who retained their pontifical offices….The Second Vatican Council was a true ecumenical council since it took place under the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff.” (See Question 7 for more on Vatican II.)
Notice that they hold that Vatican II was a legitimate council of the Catholic Church. Keep this in mind as we consider their independent status.
St. Benedict Center, NH: “Q. Back to Vatican II: Didn't it teach heresy? We do not have the authority to judge the decrees of an ecumenical council. Ultimately, it is left to the authority of the Church — that is, the pope — to separate the wheat from the chaff in the confusing, long, often tortuous (and torturous) documents of that Council.”
Notice that they claim to have no right to say that Vatican II taught heresy! Now, let’s think about this for a minute. If Vatican II is a true council, as they say; if they cannot even say that it taught heresy; if they say that the New Mass may be attended, and that no one is forbidden to attend a rite approved “by the Church,” THEN WHY ON EARTH IS THIS HERETICAL GROUP INDEPENDENT OF ANTIPOPE BENEDICT XVI AND HIS “BISHOPS”?! They are independent solely because they are a renegade group which personally prefers – even though they accept Vatican II, agree with the Novus Ordo “bishops” that it’s not heretical, and agree with them that the New Mass can be attended, and hold the Novus Ordo “bishops” to be Catholic – to be on its own.
Even though they recognize the Novus Ordo “bishops” as Catholic, they remain independent because they don’t feel like putting themselves under the hierarchy they claim to recognize. They want to do their own thing, to be subject to no one, like Protestants. They enjoy being able to have their conferences, schools, chapels, etc. without any scrutiny of a hierarchy, including the one they claim is the Catholic hierarchy. This is an incredible outrage, totally hypocritical and utterly schismatic. The fact that people actually buy this outrageous and schismatic position, after years and years, is about as outrageous as their position itself. People really need to wake up and start to be honest.
CONTRARY TO WHAT SOME THINK, THE ST. BENEDICT CENTER DOESN’T EVEN BELIEVE THAT OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION IS A DOGMA WHICH MUST BE ACCEPTED BY ALL WHO ARE PART OF THE CHURCH
While the St. Benedict Center claims to adhere staunchly to the dogma Outside the Church There is Absolutely No Salvation, the fact of the matter is they don’t. The fact is that the current St. Benedict Center doesn’t even believe that Outside the Church There is No Salvation is a dogma which must be accepted by all to be part of the Catholic Church. This is proven by the fact that they accept Benedict XVI and his “bishops” as part of the Catholic Church, and it is well known that Benedict XVI and his “bishops” so thoroughly reject this dogma that they state that Protestants and schismatics don’t even have to accept Vatican I!
“Cardinal” Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1982), pp. 197-198: “On the part of the West, the maximum demand would be that the East recognize the primacy of the bishop of Rome in the full scope of the definition of 1870 [Vatican I] and in so doing submit in practice, to a primacy such as has been accepted by the Uniate churches… As regards Protestantism, the maximum demand of the Catholic Church would be that the Protestant ecclesiological ministers be regarded as totally invalid and that Protestants be converted to Catholicism… none of the maximum solutions offers any real hope of unity.”
Thus, it is a fact that the St. Benedict Center doesn’t believe that Outside the Church There is No Salvation is a dogma which must be accepted by all to be part of the Church. They accept as part of the Church – and demand that others similarly accept – people who undeniably and obstinately reject this dogma! So let no man say that the St. Benedict Center staunchly defends the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation. They don’t. In fact, at the St. Benedict Center’s conferences they frequently invite speakers who are heretical on the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation. This year, for example, their conference will be featuring “Fr.” Nicholas Gruner. “Fr.” Gruner publicly and vigorously endorses the book The Devil’s Final Batttle, which teaches heresy on the salvation dogma:
The Devil’s Final Battle, compiled and edited by “Fr.” Paul Kramer, publicly endorsed and promoted by Gruner, p. 69: “This teaching must not be understood to preclude the possibility of salvation for those who do not become formal members of the Church if, through no fault of their own, they do not know of their objective obligation to do so… only God knows whom He will save (in some extraordinary manner) from among the great mass of humanity which has not exteriorly professed the Catholic religion.”
This is completely heretical. It is particularly pernicious, in fact, because this book pretends to uphold the dogma Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation and it will be read in “traditional circles” – all the while rejecting the dogma. The above statement is a denial of Papal Infallibility and a repudiation of the divinely revealed truth that God will only save Catholics and those who become Catholics. The heretical statement above literally means that we just don’t know if what God has revealed is true or not. And it shows again how prevalent and virulent the Objective-Subjective heresy is, finagling its way into all kinds of places. The truth remains, however, that the Catholic Church teaches that Church membership is necessary for salvation. It nowhere teaches what the modern heretics love to say: that Church membership is objectively necessary for salvation.
Since Gruner is well known and popular in certain “traditionalist” circles, this is more important to the St. Benedict Center than the fact that he is heretical on the salvation dogma and/or doesn’t agree with them. Thus, they compromise the dogma in order to have him speak. They don’t stand for the dogma or Our Lord; they are sell-outs and heretics.
In fact, on their website the St. Benedict Center features another letter from a diocesan official in the Novus Ordo Church. Apparently the St. Benedict Center is proud of this letter, which states that “proponents of a strict interpretation of the doctrine should be given the same latitude for teaching and discussion as those who would hold more liberal views.” In other words, some years ago some diocesan official wrote a letter which stated that if one wants to hold the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation as it has been defined, that’s okay; but it’s also okay to hold the other “liberal version” which utterly rejects its truth. Since the St. Benedict Center holds that Outside the Church There is No Salvation is merely just a nice opinion to have – not a dogma which all must accept under pain of expulsion from the Church – they are proud to promote this letter which merely enunciates one’s “right” to hold the dogma, even though the very same letter denies that it is a truth which must be held by all.