A VOICE CRYING IN THE
Antipope John Paul II’s “Canonization” of Josemaria Escriva
reveals Schism among many “traditionalists”
– by Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B. –
As we send out an advertisement for our new video, Why Antipope John Paul II Cannot Be the Pope, we felt that it was appropriate to alert you to a recent (and very serious) event which bears tremendous significance in proving that very point. On Oct. 6, 2002, Antipope John Paul II “solemnly canonized” Josemaria Escriva (b. 1902- d. 1975), the founder of Opus Dei and a promoter of the heresies of Vatican II, false ecumenism (i.e., religious indifferentism/salvation outside the Catholic Church) and the New Mass. Here is what Antipope John Paul II pronounced during the solemn ceremony at the Vatican:
Antipope John Paul II, Oct. 6, 2002, “Canonizing” Josemaria Escriva: “In honor of the Blessed Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and the growth of Christian life, with the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Our Own, after lengthy reflection, having assiduously invoked God’s assistance and taken into account the opinion of many brothers of ours in the episcopate, we declare and define Blessed Josemaria Escriva to be a Saint, and we enroll him in the Catalogue of the Saints, and we establish that in the whole Church he should be devoutly honored among the Saints. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
The language of Antipope John Paul II speaks for itself; it is extraordinary, solemn and definitive. The formula of canonization listed above, which was pronounced by Antipope John Paul in “canonizing” Escriva, is the same formula of canonization that was in use before Vatican II. When pronounced by a true Pope, it is without question infallible. Therefore, the point is simple: those who acknowledge John Paul II as the Pope must acknowledge Josemaria Escriva – the promoter of Vatican II, false ecumenism and the New Mass – as a canonized “Saint.” To refuse to do so (if one holds John Paul II to be the Pope) is to be a heretic and a schismatic.
St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Great Means of Salvation and Perfection, 1759, p. 23:“To suppose that the Church can err in canonizing, is a sin, or is heresy, according to St. Bonaventure, Bellarmine, and others; or at least next door to heresy, according to Suarez, Azorius, Gotti, etc.; because the Sovereign Pontiff, according to St. Thomas, is guided by the infallible influence of the Holy Ghost in an especial way when canonizing saints.”
A Catholic Dictionary by Donald Attwater defines CANONIZATION as follows: “A public and official declaration of the heroic virtue of a person and the inclusion of his or her name in the canon (roll or register) of the saints… This judgment of the Church is infallible and irreformable.” (A Catholic Dictionary, Rockford, IL: TAN Books, p. 72).
To reject the “canonization” of Josemaria Escriva, while holding that Antipope John Paul II is the Pope, is definitely heretical because it is contrary to Papal Infallibility, which is exercised when a true Pope pronounces the formula of canonization listed above. It is also schismatical for two reasons: 1) It is to separate yourself from the Communion of Saints observed by the Church you deem, albeit incorrectly, to be the Catholic Church (the Church of John Paul II); and 2) it is to deny the authority of John Paul II to declare Saints (the man you deem – quite wrongly – to be the Pope), which is a denial of the Papal Primacy.
So, what was the reaction to Antipope John Paul II’s “canonization” of Josemaria Escriva by the prominent “traditional Catholic” groups who still hold that he is the Pope? Did they accept this solemn “canonization” of Escriva by their “Pope,” John Paul II? Or did this act of Antipope John Paul II (we pray) finally prove to them that he is not the Pope? Or did they display the hypocrisy, heresy and schismatic mentality at the heart of their position, by continuing to affirm that he is the Pope and rejecting his solemn “canonization” of Escriva anyway? On Dec. 6, 2002, Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) addressed the issue in a letter from the Society of St. Pius X’s Seminary in Minnesota.
Bishop Richard Williamson of the SSPX, On “NewChurch Canonizations”, Dec. 6, 2002: “The October 6 ‘canonization’ of Msgr. Escriva de Balaguer, founder of the ‘Opus Dei’, like the September ‘beatification’ of Pope John XXIII, launcher of Vatican II, re-opens an old and hurtful wound – how can the Catholic Church do such things? And if it is not the Catholic Church that is doing them, what is it?
“For indeed it is clear beyond any doubt that the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II, when she was still essentially faithful to Catholic Tradition, would never have beatified the Pope who initiated the Council which devastated that Tradition, nor canonized the founder of ‘Opus Dei,’ an organization preparing the way for that Council.
“There is an abundance of quotes, proudly published by ‘Opus Dei’ itself, to prove that Msgr. Escriva shared and promoted key ideas of Vatican II….”
Let’s briefly interrupt the quotation from Bishop Williamson of the SSPX to bolster his point about Escriva. Escriva was an avid supporter of the religious indifferentism of Vatican II. (Quotations can be found at the website of Opus Dei: www.escrivaworks.org).
Msgr. Josemaria Escriva, Conversations, number 85: “The last occasion was here in Pamplona. A student came up to me. He wanted to greet me, ‘Monsignor, I’m not a Christian’, he said, ‘I’m a Mohammedan.’ ‘You are a son of God, as I am,’ I answered him. And I embraced him with all my heart.”
So much for John 1:12, “But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name.” The fact that the Muslim cannot be saved or be an adopted son of God unless he believes in Christ’s name and holds His one true faith was not part of Escriva’s heretical faith.
Here is what Escriva had to say when questioned about Vatican II’s heretical teaching on religious liberty, which was condemned in principle by at least seven different Popes, and caused a number of formerly Catholic nations to abandon their Catholic constitutions in favor of secular ones!: “With respect to religious freedom, from its foundation Opus Dei has never practiced discrimination of any kind… Our Work is the first Catholic organization which, with the authorization of the Holy See, admits non-Catholics, whether Christian or not, as cooperators… From the first moment this is the spirit which we have lived. You can understand, then, how the Council’s teaching on this subject could only make me happy.” (Msgr. Josemaria Escriva, On Vatican II’s teaching of Religious Liberty, Conversations, number 44). We continue with Williamson’s letter:
Bishop Richard Williamson of SSPX, Dec. 6, 2002: “Therefore, for Pope John XXIII to have been truly a Blessed, and for Msgr. Escriva to have been truly a Saint, the Second Vatican Council would have to have been a true Council, or a Council true to Catholic Tradition. Which is ridiculous, as at least regular readers of this Letter know. Yet are not Catholic canonizations infallible?”
“Indeed before Vatican II, Catholic theologians agreed that canonizations (not beatifications) of Saints were virtually infallible… But since Vatican II… there has followed such a flood of canonizations under John Paul II, that the whole process of canonizing has lost, together with its solemnity, any likelihood of infallibility. Indeed, how can John Paul II intend to do anything infallible, or therefore do it, when he so often acts and talks, for instance about ‘living tradition’, as though truth can change?
“So this or that Saint ‘canonized’ by John Paul II may in fact be in heaven, even Msgr. Escriva, God knows, but it is certainly not his ‘canonization’ by this Pope which can make us sure of that fact. Nor need we then feel obliged to venerate any of the post-Vatican II ‘Saints’…. Similarly Church infallibility does not mean that the Church’s teachers will never teach untruth by, for instance, dubious ‘canonizations’, only that, amongst other truths, the truth of the Christian sanctity will never be totally falsified or silenced… Obviously, Padre Pio was an entirely traditional Saint, and we need not doubt the worthiness of his canonization. However, it might be advisable not to profit by his Newchurch ‘canonization’ to venerate him officially or in public, insofar as that might be liable to give to other Newchurch ‘canonizations’ a credit which is not due to them.”
This position, dear reader, is heretical and schismatical, as stated above. It is actually the worst heresy that the SSPX has committed, besides its teaching that those who die in non-Catholic religions can achieve salvation (Arch. Lefebvre, Against the Heresies, pp. 216-218). In rejecting the authority and the infallibility of John Paul II’s solemn “canonizations” (while they profess that he is the Pope), the SSPX is rejecting the authority and the infallibility of the canonizations of all the Popes before Vatican II. It is equivalent to rejecting the canonization of St. Francis of Assisi by Pope Gregory IX or the canonization of Pope St. Pius V by Pope Clement XI or the canonization of St. Therese of the Child Jesus by Pope Pius XI, etc., etc., etc. It is equivalent to rejecting all of the dogmatic statements by Popes in the history of the Church, for if John Paul II had been the Pope, his “canonization” of Escriva (see the formula quoted already) would carry the same level of authority as all the dogmas defined by Popes in history.
Fr. Peter Scott, the former U.S. District Superior of the SSPX, who remains a leading voice in the group, also rejected Antipope John Paul II’s “canonization” of Escriva in a recent letter.
Fr. Peter Scott, Nov. 1, 2002, from SSPX’s Holy Cross Seminary in Australia: “THE ‘SAINTHOOD’ OF JOSEMARIA ESCRIVA- Numerous other issues presently demonstrate the rapid progression of the ‘auto-destruction’ foreseen even by the liberal Pope Paul VI thirty years ago. The worst is that it is becoming increasingly more obvious that this destruction is coming from the top down, from the Pope himself. A typical example of this was the shameful and highly questionable canonization of Msgr. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer last October 6. For due process was not followed. Not only was there no devil’s advocate, but the former members of Opus Dei who personally knew Msgr. Escriva and who attempted to register their objections, were not allowed to express their opinion. As a last resort, last September they were forced to write an open letter to the Pope, stating their position before the Truth Himself, Our Lord Jesus Christ: “…It is because we believe that the truth has been in large part hidden that we now give our testimony in order to avoid a danger for the Faith brought about by the unjustifiable reverence for the man that you have the intention of canonizing soon…’ They went on to explain that they include ‘people who have intimately known Msgr. Escriva and who can testify to his arrogance, to his evil character, to his improper seeking of a title (Marquise of Peralta), to his dishonesty, to his indifference towards the poor, to his love of luxury and ostentation, to his lack of compassion and to his idolatrous devotion towards Opus Dei’ (DICI, No. 61).
“After having pointed out that the process was uncanonical and dishonest, they had this to say: ‘It (the canonization) will offend God. It will stain the Church forever. It will take away from the saints their special holiness. It will call into question the credibility of all the canonizations made during your Papacy. It will undermine the future authority of the Papacy’. They were not traditionalists, and they were former members of his organization, but their supplication was not heard, and the ceremony took place as arranged on October 6. Their letter will certainly turn out to be prophetic, for in time they will be proven to be right in their assessment concerning Escriva as well as concerning Opus Dei that they so aptly compare to the liberal Sillon movement, rightly condemned by St. Pius X in 1910. This kind of last minute objection is unheard of in the history of the Church. How could Catholics possibly regard such a man as heroic in virtue, as an extraordinary model of Catholic spirituality, as a saint must be? For all the reasons that they give, we cannot possibly consider this ‘canonization’ as a valid, infallible Papal pronouncement. We trust that he is in heaven, but we cannot possibly regard as a Saint this herald of Vatican II, who preached naturalism and indifferentism as early as 1928.” (SOUTHERN SENTINEL – No. 3 – November 2002)
The letter speaks for itself. Like Williamson, Fr. Scott rejects the “canonization” of Escriva by John Paul II. Fr. Scott is not a Catholic, nor is anyone who holds the same indefensible position, which is now being taught and proclaimed publicly from the American and Australian Seminaries of the SSPX. Those who agree with the position of the SSPX, or those who donate to them (or any like-minded group), after being aware of these facts, partake in their schism and heresy and will place themselves on the road to damnation.
In fact, notice how Fr. Scott even goes so far as to refer to the words of the disgruntled Opus Dei members, who stated that Escriva’s “canonization” would “offend God,” “stain the Church forever” and “take away from the saints their special holiness,” as “prophetic”! What kind of Catholic agrees that a solemn canonization by the man he believes to be the Pope could “offend God,” “stain the Church forever” and “take away from the saints their special holiness”? None at all. Scott even calls John Paul II’s solemn “canonization” of Escriva – proclaimed with the solemn formula quoted already – “shameful”!
Fr. Scott attempts to justify this heretical and schismatical act by arguing that there was no devil’s advocate in Escriva’s “canonization” process. But the fact that there was no “devil’s advocate” in the process has no relevance, for it is not the presence of the “devil’s advocate” which makes a canonization infallible (as Scott should know), but the solemn declaration or approval by the Pope. In fact, it wouldn’t matter if there had been no process at all leading up to the “canonization” of Escriva (which there was), because the formula of canonization already cited is, in itself, infallible. If the SSPX believed in Papal Infallibility (which they don’t), they would know that the burning issue here is that God would never allow a true Pope to pronounce the formula of canonization over a candidate who was not deserving, such as Escriva. Those who don’t believe this are not Catholic, and don’t possess the true faith.
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Session 4, Chap. 4, ex cathedra: “So, this gift of truth and a never failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair, that they might administer their high duty for the salvation of all; that the entire flock of Christ, turned away by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nourished on the sustenance of heavenly doctrine, that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one, and relying on her foundation might stay firm against the gates of Hell.”
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Session 4, Chap. 4, ex cathedra: “Therefore, the bishops of the whole world, now individually, now gathered in Synods, following a long custom of the churches and the formula of the ancient rule, referred to this Holy See those dangers particularly which emerged in the affairs of faith, that there especially the damages to faith might be repaired where faith cannot experience a failure.”
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Session 4, Chap. 4, ex cathedra: “For, the Holy Ghost was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation 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. Indeed, all the venerable fathers have embraced their apostolic doctrine, and the holy orthodox Doctors have venerated and followed it, knowing full well that the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord the Savior made to the chief of His disciples: ‘I have prayed for thee [Peter], that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren (Lk. 22:32).’”
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Session 4, Chap. 4, ex cathedra: “Moreover, that by the very apostolic primacy which the Roman Pontiff as the successor of Peter, the chief of the Apostles, holds over the universal Church, the supreme power of the Magisterium is also comprehended, this Holy See has always held, the whole experience of the Church approves, and the ecumenical Councils themselves, especially those in which the East convened with the West in a union of faith and charity, have declared. For the fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, adhering to the ways of the former ones, published this solemn profession:… ‘And since the sentiment of Our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be passed over when He says: ‘Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Mt. 16:18], these words which were spoken are proven true by actual results, since in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved untainted, and holy doctrine celebrated.’”
Let’s briefly summarize the above Catholic dogmas: 1) Peter and his successors (i.e., the Popes) have an unfailing faith when speaking from the Chair of Peter (de fide) – such as when a Pope pronounces the formula of canonization; 2) In the Holy See faith cannot experience a failure (de fide) – the terms “Holy See” and “Apostolic See” refer to the official and authoritative acts of a Pope, such as canonizations; 3) A Pope possesses the supreme power of the Magisterium (i.e., the supreme teaching authority of the Church), which includes the power to authoritatively and bindingly declare Saints; 4) In the Apostolic See, the Catholic religion has always been preserved untainted and holy doctrine celebrated (in other words, a Pope could never taint the Apostolic See by authoritatively declaring as Saint one who was not).
With that in mind, one can easily see how the position of the SSPX is theologically indefensible. It is clearly schismatical and heretical. In addition to rejecting Papal Infallibility and destroying the Communion of Saints (by calling into question the authority of all Catholic canonizations), the SSPX’s position makes themselves (i.e., the SSPX) the final judge in all matters Catholic (they decide which “Saints” they will or will not accept), regardless of what the Church they deem to be the Catholic Church (i.e., the Church of Antipope John Paul II) has “declared and defined” in virtue of “the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and [John Paul II’s] own.” And the fact that the SSPX has fallen so far into schism and heresy is a direct result of their obstinate refusal (over a period of many years) to see the truth presented to them: that Antipope John Paul II is not, and in fact never was, the true Pope.
And what is crucial to understand about this whole affair is that the schism described above is by no means exclusive to the SSPX. Like a wildfire, it is presently sweeping through the so-called “traditionalist Catholic” movement with alarming rapidity, placing many outside the Church and on the road to damnation, which is the reason we have mailed out this letter. When the Escriva “event” occurred, the many groups – and there is a large number of them – which consider themselves to be “traditional Catholics” while acknowledging John Paul II as the Pope, were faced with a dilemma: “Catholic canonizations are infallible and binding,” they recognized, “yet we can’t accept as a ‘Saint’ a promoter of Vatican II and the New Mass, because this would render our whole ‘traditional Catholic faith and resistance’ meaningless and false.” Their choices therefore were: 1) to see the truth that John Paul II cannot be the Pope (the sedevacantist position – the position that the Chair of Peter is presently vacant), a truth which many of them have been resisting for some time; or 2) maintain the fable that John Paul II is the Pope (and refuse to see the truth of the sedevacantist position) and reject John Paul II’s “canonization” of Escriva anyway (which includes, as stated above, rejecting the infallibility of all canonizations by Popes). We have discovered, to our dismay, that almost all of the people and groups described above (with the Society of St. Pius X leading the schismatic charge) have chosen #2 : to reject John Paul II’s “canonization” of Escriva, while maintaining that he is the Pope, which is schismatical and heretical.
This schism and heresy among those who consider themselves to be “traditional Catholics” must be exposed and rejected. Please spread this letter to all those it may concern or interest, so that people can profess the truth without compromise and hold an untainted and vigorous opposition to Antipope John Paul II and the false Vatican II Church (the apocalyptic whore of Babylon) – the counterfeit Catholic Church of the end-times – which is presently disgracing the name of the real Catholic Church with almost infinite scandal (by posing as the Catholic Church when it is not, and is nothing but the great harlot) and by disgracing the name of the true Catholic priesthood (instituted by Christ Himself): by its abominable sexual scandals; its numerous heresies; its general apostasy; its empty, sacrilegious and fake liturgy; its overall repudiation and vacuity of all things Catholic.
Our Lady of La Salette, France, Sept. 19, 1846: “Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Anti-Christ… the Church will be in eclipse.”
New Video: “St.” John Paul II’s Heresies