Author Topic: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility  (Read 1294 times)

Offline Nazianzen

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If anybody is wondering why the Society of St. Pius X is not actively promoting the very embarrassing book True or False Pope?, it is almost certainly because several SSPX figures have now read it, and discovered to their horror that it has numerous features which are totally at odds with the position and spirit of the Society of St. Pius X.

This post is just to collect into one kind of "contents page" the posts I have been penning as I browse through the book and notice examples of the above.  That is, the positions, the methods, and the arguments that are not compatible with the positions or the methods of the SSPX.

Siscoe and Salza not attacking persons
http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=15544.0

Ballerini - The Text cut by Siscoe and Salza
http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=15539.0

The Fourth Council of Constantinople - Another TOFP clanger
http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=15574.0

Promoting heretics and their books - Siscoe and Salza
http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=15586.0

Quotes from "Popes" 1 - Alexander III - Siscoe and Salza
http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=15585.0

Siscoe and Salza on Honorius - Bad ideas, bad sources, bad methods
http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=15722.0

Private Judgment on Steroids – Siscoe and Salza on papal heresy
http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=15725.0
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 08:27:52 AM by Nazianzen »
 
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Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 07:21:31 AM »
Added two more posts.
   
Pope John XXII - Siscoe and Salza chaneling Calvin - http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=15797.0

Selective quotation to discredit sedes - Siscoe and Salza's prime tactic - http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=15792.0
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 07:25:50 AM by Nazianzen »
 

Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2016, 09:33:29 PM »
Bump.

Where has "TOFP" got to???  :)
 

Offline Stonewall

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2016, 09:17:13 AM »
Bump.

Where has "TOFP" got to???  :)

Quote
TOFP: "Out the outset, we have to say that the sheer number of lies, misrepresentations, and straw man arguments that Kramer spreads via his posts is astonishing, and it would take an entire book to respond to them all. But what this shows is that the devil has changed tactics.  He began his attempts to discredit us and True or False Pope? by articles and videos produced by the Sedevacantists, which contained red-herrings and other arguments that were easily refuted.  This tactic having failed, the devil then began a campaign of lies, first with Fr. Cekada’s recent video (which we responded to here) and now with the veritable tsunami of lies being spread by Fr. Paul Leonard Kramer, who has shown himself to be a true “Father of Lies."”

Maybe they are starting their second novel?  The only thing worse would be if they are considering a trilogy! :D
 

Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2016, 06:07:30 AM »
New post for the collection.

Quotes from "Popes" II - Adrian VI - Siscoe and Salza: http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=16290.0
 

Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 07:34:47 PM »
Another new post for the collection.

Quotes from "Popes" III - Benedict XIV - Siscoe and Salza: http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=16643.msg364582#msg364582

 

Offline Michael

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 10:57:31 PM »
Nazianzen,

Did you read the part of True or False Pope? where the authors talk about Vatican II? They talk about the sedevacantist argument that the endings of the VII doc.s contain solemn language and therefore one must accept VII if they accept Paul VI. They (the authors) rebut by saying, among other thing(s), that any solemn language does not refute the conditions for infallibility that Vatican I laid out. What do you think?
 

Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2017, 01:40:39 AM »
Sure.

One of the tricks of TOFP is to make "sedevacantism" into a single theory, and then rebut all of the worst arguments, creating the impression that this proves that Paul VI or Francis, etc., have been true popes.  TOFP just picks the low-hanging fruit and pretends that the tree is then bare.

Of course, consistency isn't their strong point, so they also make whatever hay they can out of the reality that sedevacantists have different views on some pretty fundamental things, so they employ one sede against another, and show in this way that their invented, non-existent "sect" is a house divided.  As if sedeplenists all have the same theory, especially sedeplenists like Hans Kung and Robert Siscoe, just to pick two very strikingly different sedeplenist theorists...

The truth is, there's no sede sect (although there may be sects which are sede...  yes, I'm thinking of you, Dimond Brethren). 

All right, now to the substance of the matter.

TOFP ignores a lot of what the Church teaches about her own magisterium, which is the first thing any serious person would want to know, and to get onto the page, before assessing the facts in order to work out what's happened.

So, what is the relevant doctrine? 

First, that the Church when she teaches does not offer advice, she imposes her doctrine authoritatively.  Importantly, there is no special form of words required to indicate this imposition of doctrine - when the Church speaks, she speaks as one having authority.  She does not need to repeat, every time, that she means what she says. 

Second, as a result of the authoritative nature of the magisterium, the faithful are obliged to accept what comes from the Church.  This obligation involves changing one's mind, if necessary, so as to give sincere internal assent to the doctrine proposed.  This is irrespective of the fact that the doctrine is true.  We're not obliged to give assent because it's true, but because the Church is commissioned by God to teach us.

Third, the Church is aided by the Holy Ghost so that she is the sure ark of salvation, only teaching what is contained in, or compatible with, the deposit of faith.  This is not to say that every teaching act is infallible, but that what comes from the magisterium is infallibly safe.  So, whatever error might conceivably come from the Holy See, it won't be dangerous to the faith. 

Now, infallibility.  This is a much-abused notion.  In brief, the Church is infallible, so we must identify when it is the Church herself teaching, as opposed to some representative of the Church teaching without committing the Church herself to his words.  We want to know, has the Church committed herself to this doctrine?  If so, she cannot have erred.  If not, then some error is possible.  The Church commits herself either through the Roman Pontiff acting alone, or through all of her ordinaries, under the Roman Pontiff, acting together.  Again, whatever error might be present in a magisterial act, it won't be dangerous.  An error of fact, an error of detail, but no heresy or theological error.  When considering the pope heretic thesis, the theologians always restrict the possibility of a pope professing heresy to his private acts.  This is why.

Having gotten all of this down (in summary), we can turn to the events of fifty years ago and examine them in its light.

Firstly, John XXIII introduced a new approach to what should have been authoritative proposing of doctrine.  He eschewed the notion of canons (i.e. laws, doctrine in legal form) with anathemas, and suggested that the Church no longer teaches with authority, but merely offers advice. 

Secondly, the language of Vatican II was journalistic, not authoritative, in line with this new philosophy.

Finally, the practical approach adopted was tyrannical, not according to the rule of law.  So those who refused the new doctrines and the new liturgy were persecuted in various ways, generally without resort to proper legal processes.  Virtually all appeals from the faithful, and the clergy, were ignored or sidelined.

The "snap!" answer of shallow thinkers is to point out that if the Church didn't commit herself to the new doctrines, then infallibility isn't at issue, end of story.  This is essentially what Siscoe and Salza have done in TOFP.  It hardly begins to deal with the problem.

The problem itself is best seen by pointing out that in fact, any individual who approaches the local "Catholic Church" in the West, and in a large part of the East, will be invited to believe things that are not only not true, but worse, are incompatible with the teaching of the Church; he will be invited to worship in a way that does not give due honour to God, and which trains him out of the Catholic Faith; in sum, he will not be put surely in the way of salvation, but instead he will be diverted from it.  The results prove this, even it weren't obvious from examining the doctrines and the liturgy and the pastoral practices themselves.

Francis has now put this problem into neon lights for all, but it's a fifty-year-old problem.

A purely technical answer to the problem is to say that the clever Modernist revolutionaries side-stepped clearly infallible modes of teaching so as to avoid a clear collision with the dogma of infallibility, and so what has happened is that a great facade of pseudo-law, and pseudo-teaching, has been erected unlawfully, blinding the clergy and the faithful, without harming the essential attributes of the Church.  If this were so, then the doctrine behind it would be something like, "The Church can lead people to hell in practice, but only by deceiving people into thinking that they must follow when actually, if they were clever and had their eyes open, they would have seen that they were being led into hell."

Do you believe in that Church?  No, neither do I.  So the problem remains.

In any case, it is hardly clear that the Roman Pontiff can validly cease teaching authoritatively, no matter what John XXIII tried to do.  In other words, just as a pope cannot validly declare that priests can be made without ordination, neither can he decide that a general council can issue non-binding advice instead of binding doctrine. 

The best answer, as you'd expect me to say, is that the See of Rome has been vacant, some of the bishops have continued to preach the true faith and maintain the Church's traditions (much more in the East than in the West, where only two bishops held fast), and many have not.  There's nothing new in such a situation, except the duration and extent of the crisis.  Without a Roman Pontiff the Church cannot commit herself to any new definition of doctrine, so the question is reduced to individual bishops acting on their own authority.  You can still say, well how can a good God permit this?, and the answer is, His ways are not our ways.  What He cannot do is go contrary to His own promises.  He has promised that the Church will not err, that she will not give stones when her children ask for bread; He has not promised to prevent false teachers from arising who will deceive, if possible, even the Elect.  In fact, He has warned us explicitly that this will happen...
 
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Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2017, 04:27:18 AM »
It's probably of value to highlight the essential thesis developed, in a scattered and disjointed manner, in TOFP.  It is this:

The hierarchy is able to mislead the faithful, even when supervised by the Roman Pontiff.  The proof for this heresy is very loosely developed indeed, and it is no proof at all (of course), but it consists in stating various somewhat related "facts", and then concluding that what happened then has happened again now (i.e. that the Roman Pontiff and the majority of the hierarchy led the Church into error).  The "then" is the Arian Crisis, and the "facts" are that Liberius signed a heretical formula, that he excommunicated Athanasius, and that 80% or 90% of the hierarchy went into heresy (possibly only material heresy).  Fortunately, this take goes, the laity didn't generally follow the hierarchy and remained faithful.  So, we have an inverted Church, and an untrustworthy Rome.

The (false) impression created by these assembled "facts" is due to two things.  1.  The facts are doubtful, but are presented as certain (and Cardinal Newman is cited to bolster the strength of the evidence).  2.  The timeline is omitted, so that the reader will think that these events all occurred together, when they didn't.

The reality is that Liberius probably didn't sign any formula, and if he did, it was the first of Sirmium, and St. Alphonsus says that this one was orthodox, and in any case was not signed freely, so that nobody could take it as an authoritative doctrinal decree.  St. Alphonsus:  "The most generally received opinion, however, is that Liberius committed a great error, but that he did not fall into heresy."  And, "that St. Hilary called the formula perfidious, taking it in the perverse sense as understood by the Arians, since speaking of it before (considered absolutely in itself), he called it a Catholic formula."  (See https://archive.org/stream/thehistoryofhere01liguuoft/thehistoryofhere01liguuoft_djvu.txt )

The next thing to know is that Liberius returned from exile in 258, or possibly 259. The most striking and important event in this whole history happened in 259 - the Council of Rimini.  It was this event which saw the bishops of the West, almost universally, sign an ambiguous formula which failed to uphold the true faith.  St. Jerome's famous comment to the effect that the world groaned and found itself Arian referred to this event.  Pope Liberius refused to approve this formula. St. Alphonsus tells us that Liberius "most strenuously refused to approve of the formula of the Council of Rimini."  The result?  Liberius "refused to sign the formula of Rimini, and was, in consequence, obliged to conceal himself in the catacombs, till the death of Constantius."

So, we have doubtful facts - Liberius signing an ambiguous (albeit orthodox) formula.  And certain facts - the bishops of the West, with noble exceptions, signed an ambiguous formula at Rimini, and Liberius refused to approve. 

TOFP presents the doubtful as certain, and omits the certain completely.

The true factual picture is that many bishops erred, but only while not governed by the Roman Pontiff; and the Roman Pontiff, when he discovered this, corrected the erring bishops.  Are we surprised?  No, for that is why God instituted the Holy See, to act as the principle of unity of the Church, the infallible final judge in this world of all doctrinal matters, and the supreme governing power in the Church.  Without Rome, the Church would indeed have fallen into heresy in 259.  With Rome, she recovered, and very rapidly. 

By the way, note that TOFP's presentation fits perfectly with that of the heretics, and for the same purpose.  Here are St. Alphonsus Liguori's comments:  "Blondel and Petavius say it was the second [formula of Sirmium] he signed, and this is the general opinion followed by heretics, who strive thus to prove that the Catholic Church may fail. The Protestant Danaeus numbers Liberius among the bishops who joined the Arians, and says that all historians are agreed that he signed this formula, and after that, he says, no one can deny that the Roman Church can err."
 
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Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 11:05:31 PM »
TOFP thesis:

“During the Modernist crisis of our day, the object of Faith (what must be believed) has been obscured by error and ambiguity - at the hands of the very leaders of the Church, no less (just as in the Arian crisis).” (TOFP p. 54).

"The Arian crisis is an historical example of how the Church suffered a very severe material division in doctrine; a majority of the bishops drifted into heresy, and the Pope himself signed a semi-Arian (ambiguous) profession of faith. The Church was shaken to its core, just like today."

It's also worthwhile to note that Siscoe and Salza cannot find any error or heresy in Vatican II.  They can find only "novelties, ambiguous formulations, or apparent errors of Vatican II” (TOFP p. 54)

Michael Davies, Fr. Bisig, and Joseph Ratzinger would be delighted by this book.  Archbishop Lefebvre, not so much...
 

Offline Michael

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2017, 03:52:11 PM »
Nazianzen, do you think the solemn language at the end of the Vatican II documents supports sedevacantism, or do you think it's irrelevant (that Siscoe & Salza did a good job of refuting the argument I mentioned in my last reply)?

 

Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2017, 07:00:38 PM »
They didn't seem to understand the argument they were trying to refute!

The solemn language is a factor in favor of the argument for infallibility.  But the John Daly argument is not that the V2 texts are definitions, but rather that when all the bishops with the Roman Pontiff agree in their teaching they are infallible (what we call the OUM).

What makes the whole situation strange and difficult to analyze is that John XXIII and Paul VI said things that indicated that a whole new notion of "teaching" was in play.  As I said above, this itself is a heresy. 

One day this will all be sorted out by theologians. 
 

Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2017, 08:37:33 PM »
Some more posts: 

"Many Catholic Historians" - TOFP's method:  http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=17040.0

"Robert Siscoe on Pope Celestine":  http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=17041.0

"Secular lawyers and canon law": http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=17019.0
 

Offline A Catholic Thinker

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 08:40:23 PM »
Readers, please see

http://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=17012.msg374553#msg374553

as well as the other threads I've started here.
 

Offline Nazianzen

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Re: Siscoe and Salza - Collection of posts demolishing their credibility
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2017, 08:42:07 PM »
Perfect!

That way people can see the very best that a friend of Siscoe and Salza's can say in reply.