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Chris Ferrara vs. Barnhardt, Pope Innocent III, Doctors of the Church St. Bellarmine & St. Francis de Sales, as well as "all the Ancient Fathers"

A few days ago, long time Catholic Monitor commenter "Debbie" informed me of the following quote from blogger Ann Barnhardt so I thought I'd post the following short piece:

Barnhardt: "Chris Ferrara said to my face 'We all think you are probably right'"
Blogger Ann Barnhardt who is famous for making the case and presenting evidence from canon law that Pope Benedict XVI's resignation was invalid stated that Catholic Remnant newspaper writer and lawyer Chris Ferrara said "Your probably right":

"Chris Ferrara... when I met him some years ago told me first 'We all think you're probably right'... Chris Ferrara said to my face 'We all think you're probably right.'"
(Barnhardt.biz, "Barnhardt Podcast #101: The ShutUpStupiSole," 24:46-25:04)

When did this happen and what was she "probably right" about?
Little did I know the hornets' nest of loathing and panic as well as humor that I had got the Catholic Monitor into.

Lawyer Ferrara immediately send a rebuttal to the Catholic news aggregate Canon 212 having some fun with the fact that I had misspelled his name as "Ferrera" in the original post. I want to apologize to the attorney. I fear that subconsciously I meant to misspell it as "Ferrora" as in "F-error-a" as in to F-err is human, to forgive is divine. I hope he forgives me.

All fun aside, the rebuttal seemed a panicked effort at damage control from the horrendous charge that Ferrara might "probably agree" that Pope Benedict XVI's resignation might be invalid and therefore the Francis "conclave was invalid." Here is his full rebuttal:

Chris Ferrara responds to Ann Barnhardt on Benedict’s Abdication: “That is a Matter for the Church to Decide”

In a recent Ann Barnhardt podcast, she asserts that Chris Ferrara, the Fatima Center scholar and attorney, told her that he and many other faithful Catholic pundits secretly agree that Benedict XVI did not make a legal abdication of the papacy.  The Catholic Monitor highlights her statement here.
In a note to Canon212, Ferrara responds to Ann:

I don’t know who “Chris Ferrera” is, but I, Chris Ferrara, never said anything of the kind.  If I said anything it would be something like “You can certainly make that argument, but we have no competence to judge the matter.”  As I said on Taylor Marshall’s show, a future Pope or Council might determine that the last conclave was invalid, but that is a matter for the Church, not any Tom, Dick or Ann to determine.

Furthermore, the only time I have ever spoken face-to-face with Ann Barnhardt, at least that I can remember, was at Lake Garda, and the entire conversation involved my objection to her claim that the “data set” shows Bergoglio is not the Pope.  We have no competence to assemble “data sets” and declare that the Chair of Peter is vacant.
[http://stumblingblock.org/?p=15295 ]

Next thing I know my long time Catholic Monitor commenter "Debbie" sends me this:

In response to my emailed question to Ann; Could you clarify what Mr. Ferrara meant by "we all believe you're probably right? she replied:

"The Bergoglian antipapacy. I went up to the conference they do every July at Lake Garda in 2016. I went on my own dime, and not specifically enrolled in the conference solely to see Mike Matt who I had been writing pieces for the Remnant. When I realized BiP and went public in June of ‘16, I stopped writing for the Remnant, but with no hard feelings at all. So I just went up to quickly see Mike Matt, shake his hand, and make sure that everything was copacetic.


When I first saw Mike at the 5:00pm cocktail thing they do every night before dinner, Chris Ferrara came up to us, said hello, told me, “Look, we all think you’re probably right”, and then proceeded to tell me that I had no qualification to speak on the matter, and even tried to “grill me” on my education literally as if I were on the witness stand and he was cross-examining me. “And, Miss Barnhardt, what is your degree in again?”

“I have a bachelor of science degree in Animal Husbandry, Chris.”


He kept at this, and when it quickly became obvious that I was totally unbothered by him, he stormed off".

I see today at Canon 212 that Mr. Ferrara is denying he said such a thing. I don't believe that a person who had the opportunity to sell her brokerage company and retire comfortably but instead liquidated and gave her clients all their investments back, would lie about this.

[http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/01/barnhardt-chris-ferrera-said-to-my-face.html?m=1]

So, the Catholic Monitor felt its duty was to contact Miss Barnhardt to verify the email and give us permission to post. Her answer by email was:

You have my permission, and having seen Chris Ferrara’s rebuttal, I stand behind my words 100%.

Yes, 100% verified.
Ann Barnhardt 

Obviously, both testimonies cannot be true. For the time being, we leave who is in err in the above matter between the two to be ferreted out by others. But, on the Ferrara rebuttal it appears that the lawyer is in err. He implied that the BiP[Benedict is Pope] position "declare[s] that the Chair of Peter is vacant." The BiP[ Benedict is Pope] position is the exact opposite of "declar[ing] that the Chair of Peter is vacant."

Now for more fun with the lawyer's rebuttal where he said "a future Pope or Council might determine that the last conclave was invalid."

We return to three years ago when I used to love to read One Peter Five's comment section where Ferrara said a "future Pope or Council" was apparently not necessarily needed, but that a present tense council could be "convene[d]": "Perhaps a better approach is to amass the evidence and send it to every cardinal, demanding they convene and issue the kind of judgement Bellarmine contemplated in this situation: not that the Pope is deposed, but that he has deposed himself":

" Chris Ferrara: To declare that Francis is not the Pope... make[s] for good click bait..."

"... Steve Skojec: "Ann writes things that certainly come across as sensationalist... This is who she is. I don't believe she ever publishes something she doesn't truly believe in. I don't think it's fair to call this clickbait... "

".... Chris Ferrara: "My only objection is any of us making final forensic determinations based on 'overwhelming evidence' and then announcing our verdict of one. It's a rather silly exercise."

"Perhaps a better approach is to amass the evidence and send it to every cardinal, demanding they convene [an imperfect council] and issue the kind of judgement Bellarmine contemplated in this situation: not that the Pope is deposed, but that he has deposed himself. Such a hypothetical conclave would offer the Pope an opportunity to explain himself."
(One Peter Fives' comment section, "If Francis is an Antipope, We Can't know it Yet," June 21, 2016)

(The only prelate in the world to take attorney Ferrara's legal advice was Bishop Rene Gracida who "amass[ed] the evidence" and wrote a Open Letter to all the cardinals "DEMANDING they convene [an imperfect council].")

Apparently, both testimonies cannot be true. For the time being, we leave who is in err in the above matter between the two testimonies to be ferreted out by others.

Finally, returning to last year when the lawyer condemned the Francis Pachamama idolatry in which he joined Bishop Athanasius Schneider and others in condemning the heresy against the First Commandment. He wrote:

"Moreover, as the statement notes, even before its publication, “Different features of these proceedings [were] condemned as idolatrous or sacrilegious by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Bishop Athanasius Schneider."
[https://fatima.org/news-views/fatima-perspectives-1352/]

It appears that Ferrara has changed his position on "the kind of judgement Bellarmine contemplated in this situation" and now agrees with Bishop Schneider, in his interview with Michael Matt on Remnant Video called "Defend & Resist," Schneider said about the Francis Vatican Pachamama idolatry:

 "[T]he apostasy... even Pope Francis, unfortunately, defends."

 Doctor of the Church St. Robert Bellarmine said:

"The manifest heretical pope ceases per se to be pope... This is the opinion of all the ancient Fathers."

Bishop Schneider who admits that Francis "defends" the "apostasy" or heresy of idolatry, unfortunately, claims a manifest heretical pope can not as Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales says be "deprived" of "the Apostlic See" by the Church. Schneider by claiming Francis's heretical papacy can't be judged by the Church is implicitly defending the Francis "apostasy" or heresy of idolatry.

Is the Ferrara and Schneider opinion true or err?

Here is the answer from a POPE to Schneider and Ferrara and all the Francis apologists who claim that a heretical pope can't be judged by the Church:

 Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) in "Si Papa":

"'Let no mortal being have the audacity to reprimand a Pope on account of faults, for he whose duty it is to judge all men cannot be judged by anybody, unless he should be called to the task of having deviated from the faith. (Si Papa)'"

"Pope Innocent III: 'For me the faith is so necessary that, whereas for other sins my only judge is God, for the slightest sin in the matter of the faith I could be judged by the Church.' (propter solum peccatum quod in fide commititur possem ab Ecclesia judican)"
(The Remnant, "Answering a Sedevacantist Critic," March 18, 2015)

Moreover, the important theologian Dominique Bouix in, Tractatus de papa, ubi et de concilio oecumenico, vol. II , pars IIIa, cap. iii, p. 653ff, responded to Schneider's opinion:

It is objected 1°. — This opinion stands contrary to the more common and ancient opinion of the doctors of the school.

It is responded: That is true. But in questions not yet defined and permitted to the free disputation of the schools, it can happen that a more recent and less common opinion is true and ought at length to be recognized as such.

It is objected 2°. — Moreover, it stands contrary to the authority of Innocent III, whose words these are in the third sermon for the anniversary of his consecration: Faith is so necessary to me, that, while I have God for my judge in other sins, I am able to be judged by the Church on account of the sin which is committed against faith (see Sylvius, In IIamIIæ S. Thomæ, tom. III, q. xxxix, art. 3, concl. 2).

It is responded: Indeed, in that text Innocent III supposes that the Roman Pontiff can, as a private person, fall into heresy. But Innocent III spoke thus, following the opinion which was more accepted in his time; nor did he pronounce it as the Pontiff defining the faith; whence it can be said that in this, he erred. But this error of his is not heresy, because this proposition, the Pope cannot become a heretic even privately, even if it be true, is yet not an evident or defined ARTICLE OF FAITH. Therefore the cited dictum of Innocent III indeed favors the opinion which holds that the Pope can become a heretic privately; yet it does not have peremptory force.

It is objected 3°. — The canon Si papa (from the acta of Boniface of Mainz, in Gratian, dist. XL, c. vi) affirms that the Pope is exempt from the jurisdiction of his inferiors, with this exception: Unless he be discovered to have deviated from the faith. And in a similar document of the fifth council under Pope Symmachus it is read: Unless he should deviate from the right faith. Therefore, even in remote antiquity the doctrine held sway undoubted, that the Pope could become a heretic[https://lumenscholasticum.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/bouix-on-the-pope-heretic/

It is objected 3°. — The canon Si papa (from the acta of Boniface of Mainz, in Gratian, dist. XL, c. vi) affirms that the Pope is exempt from the jurisdiction of his inferiors, with this exception: Unless he be discovered to have deviated from the faith. And in a similar document of the fifth council under Pope Symmachus it is read: Unless he should deviate from the right faith. Therefore, even in remote antiquity the doctrine held sway undoubted, that the Pope could become a heretic.
Finally, one of the greatest modern theologian Fr. Ioachim Ioachim whom "Msgr. Clifford Fenton in a March 1953 article of the American Ecclesiastical Review [said] 'holds very much the same position in the theological world of the mid-twentieth century that Cardinal Billot occupied in that of fifty years ago'" appears to disagree with Schneider's opinion. In Salaverri’s De Ecclesia Christi, it says:

1056. The doctrine of the Church. The first part is implicitly defined in the Council of Florence’s decree for the Jacobites: D 714. But concerning heretics and apostates, we deduce our teaching also from the formula of faith “Clemens Trinitas”, from can. 23 of the Second Lateran Council, and from the Bull Ineffabilis Deus of Pius IX: D 18 367 1641.

The second part, in which we hold that those excommunicated by perfect excommunication, which the Supreme Pontiff can determine, are separated from the body of the Church, is taught as Catholic doctrine by Pius XII in the encyclical Mystici corporis: AAS 35 (1943) 202ff.
1057. This whole thesis of ours is clearly taught by Pius XII and the Catechism of the Council of Trent.[16]

Pius XII writes: “But in truth, only those are to be numbered amongst the members of the Church who have received the laver of regeneration and profess the true faith, who have not miserably separated themselves from the community of the Church or through most grave crimes been separated by the legitimate authority…For this reason, those who are divided from one another in faith or government are unable to live in the one Body of this sort and in its divine Spirit…Nor should it be thought that the Body of the Church, because it is insigned with the name of Christ, consists, even in this time of terrestrial pilgrimage, only of members outstanding in sanctity, or that it is constituted only of the company of those who are predestined by God to sempiternal felicity…Indeed not every crime, even if a grave wickedness, is of such kind that of its very nature it separates man from the Body of the Church—as do schism, heresy, or apostasy.”

In the Catechism of the Council of Trent we read:

“Only three sorts of men are excluded from the Church: firstly, infidels, then heretics and schismatics, and finally excommunicates: pagans indeed, because they have never been in the Church, nor ever known it, nor been made partakers of any Sacrament in the society of the Christian people; heretics and schismatics, because they have revolted from the Church, for they no more pertain to the Church, than do deserters to the army from which they have defected: yet it must not be denied that they are in the power of the Church, as ones who may be called to judgment by her, punished, and condemned by anathema. Finally also excommunicates, because by the judgment of the Church have they been excluded from her, and do not belong to her communion until they come to their senses. But concerning other men, though they be wicked and criminal, it is not to be doubted that they yet persevere in the Church.”

1058. Dogmatic value. The first part, concerning heretics, apostates, and schismatics, is implicitly defined, particularly in the Council of Florence: D 714. The second part, on excommunicates by perfect excommunication, is Catholic doctrine, especially from the words of the encyclical of Pius XII, Mystici corporis Christi, recently cited by us above.

1059. The first part is proved. Heretics, apostates, and schismatics are not members of the Church...


         

... For the minor. That formal and manifest heretics, apostates, and schismatics formally and manifestly have severed the essential social bond of the Church’s faith or government, is clear from the notions themselves. Thus they are not of the Church, which is the congregation of the faithful, because schismatics are not congregated and heretics are not faithful.
1060. The same doctrine is confirmed by the authority of testimonies of the holy Fathers.

a) On heretics. Tertullian: “If they are heretics, they cannot be Christians” (R 298). St. Hilary: “I am a Catholic; I do not wish to be a heretic. I am a Christian, not an Arian.” St. Jerome: “Heretics pass judgment upon themselves, receding from the Church of their own will.” St. Augustine: “Sever yourselves from the members of the Church, sever yourselves from its Body. But what still might I say, in order that they might segregate themselves from the Church, since they have already done this? For they are heretics; they are already without.” The controversy on the rebaptizing of heretics, which was agitated thence from the middle of the third century, supposed as recognized by all that heretics are outside of the Church.[17]

b) On schismatics. Cyprian: “But what pertains to the person of Novatian…you know that we in the first place ought not to be inquisitive of what he taught, since he taught from without. Whosoever he is and of whatever condition, he is not a Christian who is not in the Church of Christ…he who neither held fast to fraternal charity nor ecclesiastical unity, has lost even that which he was previously.” St. Jerome: “Between heresy and schism, we think there to be this difference, that heresy imports perverse dogma; schism, on account of episcopal dissension, separates from the Church…moreover, no schism does not fabricate for itself a heresy, so that it might seem to have receded from the Church rightly.” St. Augustine: “Heretics and schismatics call their congregations churches. But heretics, thinking falsely about God, violate the faith itself; but schismatics burst free of fraternal charity through hostile divisions, although they believe those things which we believe. For this reason, heretics do not belong to the Catholic Church, because she loves God, nor schismatics, because she loves the neighbor” (R 1562). St. Fulgentius: “Most firmly hold and doubt not at all, that every one baptized outside of the Catholic Church is unable to become a partaker of eternal life, if before the end of this life he has not returned and been incorporated to the Catholic Church. Most steadily and in no way doubt, that not only all pagans, but also all Jews and all heretics and schismatics, who finish this present life outside of the Catholic Church, are to enter into the eternal fire” (R 2274-5). Pelagius I: “Pollute not a mind ever Catholic by any communion of schismatics. It is clear that the Body of Christ is one, the Church is one…our Savior taught: a vine separated from the grapevine cannot be good for anything, but fire for burning…Do not think that they either are or can be called the Church. And indeed since, as we have said, the Church is one…it is clear that there is no other but that which is founded in the apostolic root.”[18]
[https://lumenscholasticum.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/fr-salaverri-on-whether-heretics-apostates-schismatics-and-excommunicates-are-members-of-the-church/]

Why are Ferrara and Schneider apologists of Francis's "apostasy" by defending the manifest heretical papacy of Francis against a pope, two Doctors of the Church and "all the ancient Fathers"?

Canon law expert Br. Alexis Bugnolo put it best:

"We are left with repeated examples that defy explanation. Those Cardinals and Bishop who have the reputations for being the most conservative, who often speak in the defense of many truths, openly reject catholic teaching on what happens to heretics. To do such a thing is itself a heresy, because it is asserting that entire dogmatic and canonical tradition of the Church on heresy is not true."

"Heretics will never out heretics. I just hope that this principle is not verified in the case of the men of whom we speak, and that they are only cowards, not heretics."
[http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2019/11/why-is-schneider-apologist-of-franciss.html]

 Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.















Comments

Charmaine said…
Chris Ferrara in Fatima Perspectives #1331 (September 1, 2019) wrote:

"In view of the “filth” in the Church remarked by Cardinal Ratzinger just before he was elected Pope, even the resolutely mainstream Aleteia website has cited a quotation by Pope St. Gregory the Great that Father Gruner had been citing for years before: “It is better that scandals arise than that the truth be suppressed.”

That moral principle, a principle of natural justice as well, is what guides this apostolate’s continuing exposure of the calamities of this astonishing pontificate." https://fatima.org/news-views/fatima-perspectives-1331/

***

I had submitted the following comment to his article, but they are moderated and it didn't get published (no surprise):

Is there no shame to mention Fr. Gruner (RIP) regularly citing this quote from Pope St. Gregory the Great, all the while the Fatima Center "apostolate" and its authors continue to SUPPRESS THE TRUTH that Fr. Gruner believed that Benedict still maintained the Papacy (that his resignation was not valid according to Canon 332.2); and therefore, Fr. Gruner said the name Benedict, NOT Francis, in his Masses? Where is the true scandal, Mr. Ferrara?
Alexis Bugnolo said…
Father Gruner was a PPBXVI er

https://youtu.be/kmtNJbcu2MA

I love Father Gruner, and have always believed everything he said from my youth. It scandalizes me that Chris does not.
Alexis Bugnolo said…
Fred,

At the end of the article you quote me. so I need to say, that I do not think Chris Ferrara, is either a heretic or a coward, but I do recommend he read my article on Saint Vincent Ferrer, because I think he is making the same mistake as that great Saint, and maybe for the same reason, that he is deferring too much to a Cardinal Friend, and not enough to the principles of law.

Oh, and as note to those who are not Italians, Ferrara and Ferrer are surnames which have different etymological roots, and their similarity here does not imply any sort of relation of blood.
Christine said…
Of course a Pope ceases to be Pope if he is a heretic, otherwise he would be in the position to lead the faithful into his heresy, who are determined to listen to and follow the true Pope.
Fred Martinez said…
Christine,

St Francis de Sales: Only if "deprived" by the Church.
Alexis Bugnolo said…
Heretics lose office ipso facto, but they are only juridically declared as such by a jurdical process, either canonical or in Council. Same goes with a pope who practiced idolatry or was a heretic. One did pratice idolatry and was called to council, whereupon he repented and was not deposed, and later was martyred....

So Bishops have the right to call a pope to Council to face accusations which would otherwise, if proven true, demonstrate he had lost the office before being summoned.

Same thing goes with disputed claims to the Papacy. You cannot depose a true pope, but you can depose those with false claims. As was done at the Synod of Sutri to 3 claimants.

Those leading lights who refuse to take this next step on both issues, are like men who make themselves eunuchs to please other men. They are sick and the faithful should no longer walk with them or support them.

A Cardinal or Bishop who condemns and laments daily, but does not call a Synod or Council to do it canonically, is a windbag who is doomed to blow air for all eternity in Hell. He is not worth one moment of respect.
Fred Martinez said…
Br. Bugnolo,

Thanks for getting deeper into how it work as Bellarmine and others explain it.
Debbie said…
Please note what Ann says in paragraph B; how they, Trad Inc won't state publically what they believe privately ACT COCKTAIL PARTIES.

https://www.barnhardt.biz/2016/08/10/personal-update-and-words-of-thanks/
Alexis Bugnolo said…
Here is a lesson from the realm of investigative law and journalism.

When anyone gives you a gift like that at a cocktail party, as soon as you get back to your residence, make a note of it and have it notarized as soon as possible, for future legal reference. Because these things come out at such parties because the liquor makes them sincere. And this way you can remember what they say in the future and have your back protected legally. You can see how Chris started contriving what he might or would have said. That shows that his denial is about protecting his reputation with someone or some persons to whom he things Anns testimony will be objectionable. Is Chris a member of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher. I have reports that they are expelling from their Order all those professionals who doubt the Argentinian. Maybe that is it. But it would be very unchivalrous for a man to call a woman a liar because he wants to keep a cape on his shoulders and medals on his chest, and I do not think Christ is such a man.

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