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Questions about Resisting the Pope


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Dear TIA,

I appreciate your stand against "Benedict XVI" when so many traditional groups have already given in to his façade of Catholicism. However, even after reading We Resist You to the Face (parts of which I enjoyed very much and which freed me from the Novus Ordo), I am baffled as to which Catholic principles you are basing yourselves on.

"He who resisteth authority, resisteth God." You ignore the idea of the power of the keys, Papal authority and Papal infallibility when you condone the idea of resisting. It is one thing to resist evil ideas and actions, it is another to reject Papal teachings that proceed from Papal authority.

I beg you to study the issue of papal authority more carefully and what it extends to. The idea of "Pope-sifting" of the SSPX is certainly not Catholic as it is the magisterium itself which tells us what is Tradition and what is not (as God Himself has shown His magisterium, apostles, etc, to have authority by the miracles he has performed as He instituted it and as it itself claimed this authority).

In short, you are denying a whole body of tradition, teachings (from the magisterium and saints) and Popes (whether in encyclicals or Canon Law) when you refuse to dutifully reject non-Catholics who claim to have authority and when you instead treat them as men who have been given authority by Almighty God to sit and judge God's people.

As the Saints and the Church have told us, "How can one who is not a member be the Head"?

     Sincerely,

     M.S.

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TIA responds:

Dear M.S.,

We are glad to know that you read and enjoyed We Resist You to the Face. After analyzing it, you ask us: “Which Catholic principles are you basing yourselves on?”

The principles that inspire us are expressed in that same work. Summarizing:
  1. We are enthusiasts of all Catholic dogmas, including that of Papal Infallibility.
  2. Holy Mother Church teaches that all Catholic dogmas must be understood in an ensemble wherein they stand in perfect harmony and never in contradiction. This ensemble is proposed to men as the very core of the Catholic Faith. No Catholic can deny any of them.
  3. Therefore, if someone says, “You should deny this dogma in order to obey another one,” that person is wrong. He is misunderstanding some doctrine of the Catholic Faith. So also the one who says, “You should obey the Pope even when he appears to contradict various dogmas of Faith and to be destroying the Church.” This also is wrong. No Pope has the power to do these things.
  4. Several points of the teachings of the conciliar Popes are very similar to a denial of the Catholic Faith;
  5. Many points of the actions of the conciliar Popes seem directly or indirectly oriented to destroy the past of the Catholic Church;
  6. Therefore, such Popes should be warned that they are going in the wrong direction, and after that, they should be resisted.
This is what the authors of the declaration We Resist You to the Face did. They addressed John Paul II and listed the main points in which they thought the conciliar Popes are wrong. They sent him their work asking him in good faith for a dialogue, and saying that until such dialogue would begin and their doubts be resolved, they would take the position of resistance to those points that appear to be objectively contrary to the Catholic Faith or Tradition. It was an honest and legitimate position that shows good will. No answer was given. Therefore, the authors continue to hold the same position of resistance that they had previously stated.

That statement of resistance was clearly explained in chapter 5 of the document (if you have the book by TIA, you can find it on pages 55-58). This position was duly based on the teaching of famous theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Augustine, Fr. Francisco Suarez and Fr. Francisco Vitoria. The book also transcribed two articles by Guimarães in which he pointed out seven historical precedents of Popes who erred in the past regarding the teaching of the Catholic Faith, Morals, or Liturgy.

These are the principles upon which TIA bases itself in its position of resistance.

Your opinion that one should submit to everything coming from a Pope, because “to resist the Pope is to resist God” seems to us quite simplistic. It is perhaps a way to avoid seeing reality as it is and reacting in face of error.

At any rate, this objection is largely refuted in the mentioned work, We Resist You to the Face. If you want to make a serious refutation of it, you are welcome to do so, but please do not omit taking into consideration in your analysis what was already explained.

     Cordially,

     TIA correspondence desk
Posted December 14, 2005



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