By Bro. Michael Dimond, O.S.B.
Read more of Benedict XVI’s Recent Heresies
Benedict XVI, Ecumenical Message to Schismatic Patriarch of Constantinople, Nov. 26, 2005: “This year we commemorate the 40th Anniversary of 7 December 1965, that day on which Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, dissatisfied with what had occurred in 1054, decided together at Rome and Constantinople ‘to cancel from the Church’s memory the sentence of excommunication which had been pronounced.’ That momentous event became the basis of a renewed relationship marked by reciprocal respect and reconciliation… I renew to Your Holiness my fraternal love and send you my warm greetings in the embrace of peace.” (L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 7, 2005, p. 4.)
In the year 1054, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, broke communion with the Catholic Church and the Pope of Rome. Cerularius rejected the supreme authority of the Pope, closed Roman Rite churches in Constantinople and declared the Roman Rite of Mass invalid because it implemented unleavened instead of leavened bread. Cerularius was promptly excommunicated by Pope St. Leo IX and the Great Schism of the East was formalized. Fr. John Laux describes it.
Fr. John Laux, Church History, pp. 295-296: “Cerularius himself closed the churches of the Latins in Constantinople and impiously ordered the Blessed Sacrament to be cast out and trodden under foot as invalid… Pope St. Leo IX sent three legates to Constantinople, but Cerularius obstinately refused to receive them. Thereupon they laid the document containing his excommunication on the altar of St. Sophia… It was the 16th of July, 1054.”
Thus, what “occurred in 1054,” mentioned by Benedict XVI above, refers to the excommunications leveled by the Catholic Church against those who followed Michael Cerularius into schism and into a rejection of the Papacy. Paul VI “lifted” these excommunications at the end of Vatican II, and John Paul II praised and commemorated the lifting of them many times. Now we see that Benedict XVI is following John Paul II’s example and also commemorating the event.
All of this simply means that Paul VI, John Paul II and now Benedict XVI have attempted to overturn the Papacy as a dogma which must be believed under pain of heresy and excommunication. Vatican I declared many times and in many ways that those who reject the dogma of the Papacy are anathematized, cut off from the Faith. Hence, to attempt to overturn the excommunications against those who still reject the Papacy is simply to boldly reject the teaching of Vatican I. It is formal heresy and schism signified in word and deed.
Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 4, Chap. 3, ex cathedra:
“We renew the definition of the Ecumenical Council of Florence, by which all the faithful of Christ must believe that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold primacy over the whole world, and 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… This is the doctrine of Catholic truth from which no one can deviate and keep his faith and salvation.”