by Robert A. Sungenis, M.A.
R. Sungenis: This is the third round in the on-going debate between myself and the Dimond Brothers. In case you didn’t know already, the Dimond Brothers are sedevacantists, that is, they claim that the papal chair of the Catholic Church is vacant, and has been vacant since at least 1958. According to the Dimond Brothers, Pius XII was the last legitimate pope (although they do have some negative things to say about all the popes following Pius X, and add them into apocalyptic interpretations).
Let me warn those who read this exchange. Peter Dimond resorts to slander and ad hominem as he attempts to get his points across. The person who sent me their response warned me before I read it. But this is little surprise. The Dimond Brothers have a reputation for their invective, and that usually happens when pride gets in the way of truth. In any case, let us proceed.
On his website Bob Sungenis recently posted an article which attempted to respond to our article about him. The language in Mr. Sungenis’ article reveals that he is obviously desperate and angry.
R. Sungenis: :) ..... Now does that look like I’m “desperate and angry”?
DB: He obviously senses that the truth is getting out to people and many are waking up. People can only take so many trips to the Synagogue, only so many pagan prayer services, only so many praises for Buddhists and Hindus on their pagan feast days, only so many funerals for Protestant heretics, only so many public acts of heresy and apostasy, before it hits them that the Vatican II Antipopes are non-Catholic heretics who hold that the Catholic Faith is meaningless. People are beginning to understand that if one accepts them as Popes (and therefore as Catholics) there is no point in even attending church on Sunday. One could just as well head down to the local Baptist church or even take active part in the Synagogue’s worship, as the apostate Benedict XVI did on Aug. 19, 2005.
R. Sungenis: I and many others have been critical of many of the above problems, but they have nothing to do with sedevacantism. If we were to dethrone a pope every time he made a mistake or did something questionable we wouldn’t have any popes in Catholicism.
DB: Some quick points in response
In his obstinate defense of heresy and attacks on the truth, Bob Sungenis makes a complete mockery of himself and Catholic dogma. In his article, he attempts to respond to some of the heresies of Vatican II that I listed in my article against him. In the process he repeatedly states that we don’t know what we are talking about and are incompetent, when just the opposite is true. This is a man who (see the Heresy of the Week from 7/09/04 relating to “Traditional Issues”) thought that Anglican Orders are invalid because the Anglicans are excommunicated.
R. Sungenis: “Charles, you're mixing apples and oranges. Pope Leo based his decision on the fact that the Anglicans broke off and were thus excommunicated from the Catholic Church. The absence of the sacramental powers are based on the excommunication from the Catholic Church, not on the form of the sacrament in which the Anglicans partake. Paul VI's actions have nothing to do with what happened to the Anglicans.” (Question 22, July 2004)
This couldn’t be more wrong. The invalidity of Anglican Orders has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they are excommunicated. The Eastern Orthodox are also excommunicated, yet they have valid priests. Anyone who possesses even a cursory knowledge of sacramental theology knows that excommunication has nothing to do with the validity of priestly orders, and that the form, matter, minister, intention (as well as the signification given to those things by the surrounding ceremonies) have everything to do with the validity of priestly orders. And even though Bob Sungenis obviously doesn’t understand the issue or have a clue what he is talking about, he is confidently attempting to direct others on the issue. This man is a dangerous heretic.
R. Sungenis: This is typical of the Dimond Brothers approach to the issues. If someone makes a mistake then he is automatically designated a heretic. For the record, when the nature of Anglican orders was given to me, I accepted the correction. That is included in our Q&A board as well, but, of course, the Dimond Brothers don’t mention it. Unlike the Dimond Brothers, I admit my mistakes when they are brought to my attention.
DB: Bob Sungenis refuses to learn Catholic teaching condemning the civil right to religious liberty
As is the case with his direction on Anglican Orders, Bob Sungenis doesn’t understand the Catholic Church’s teaching against religious liberty. He doesn’t understand that the Church teaches that heresy and false doctrine kill souls, and, since the State has an obligation to look after the good of souls, it should suppress the public profession and propagation of false religions. That is to say, the State must not give all citizens the civil right to publicly profess, practice and propagate soul-killing religions.
However, no matter how many times you point the Church’s teaching out to him, Mr. Sungenis repeatedly responds by saying that the Church only condemned the idea that non-Catholics have a moral right to religious liberty, not the civil right – which is completely wrong.
Dimond Brothers [summarizing heresy in Vatican II]: 8. The State exceeds its authority if it directs or prevents religious activity (Dignitatis Humanae, 3)
R. Sungenis: No error here. The State is not in control of religion. The Church is. Therefore, the State has no right to say who has the right to perform religious acts. The error is from the Dimond brothers, since they don’t understand the Catholic religion.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a mockery of the Catholic religion. We are talking about a serious level of spiritual blindness here, a man really mired in darkness. Mr. Sungenis says: “the State has no right to say who has the right to perform religious acts.” This couldn’t be more false.
Pope Leo XIII, Libertas (# 21-23), June 20, 1888:
“Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness – namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in the Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engraven upon it… Men have a right freely and prudently to propagate throughout the State what things soever are true and honorable, so that as many as possible may possess them; but lying opinions, than which no mental plague is greater, and vices which corrupt the heart and moral life should be diligently repressed by public authority, lest they insidiously work the ruin of the State.”
Here we see Pope Leo XIII (simply reiterating the consistent teaching of Pope after Pope) teaching that the State not only can, but should curtail and forbid the rights and privileges of other religions to perform religious acts, exactly the opposite of what Mr. Sungenis declared. Such public acts, false opinions and false teachings should be repressed by public authority (the State), according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, so that souls are not scandalized or enticed by them.
We can see that the heresy is with Mr. Sungenis, who doesn’t understand the Catholic religion or have the foggiest idea what the Church teaches on religious liberty, even though it has been pointed out to him over and over again. We’re talking about major spiritual blindness here – trying to get through to him is like beating your head against a brick wall.
R. Sungenis: Yes, we are talking about major spiritual blindness, and that blindness is that the Dimond Brothers work off the premise that if they can’t reconcile present teaching with past teaching, then the present teaching is heretical and the pope is an antipope. They must depend on their OWN ability to make the reconciliation, and if that ability cannot make the reconciliation, then the Dimond Brothers have no choice but to dethrone the pope in order to preserve past teaching. Note here that the whole process depends on the Dimond Brothers supposed ability to judge the issues so thoroughly, so completely, so perfectly, that there is simply no room for error in their final judgment. In other words, in order to arrive at their final conclusion without admitting any doubt that they could be wrong, the Dimond Brothers would have to be infallible, and indeed they are not infallible.
Of course, the Dimond Brothers will claim they don’t need to be infallible, since the matter of popes and antipopes is simple enough to judge. But isn’t that what Marcion, Arius, Luther, Calvin, and the thousands of protestors against the popes of history have stated time and time again? It was all so clear to them, so they claimed. But unfortunately, they were all wrong. And what we learn from this is that anyone who separates himself from the living Church and who claims that present teaching contradicts past teaching (as Luther, for example, said of Pope Leo X as he accused him of detracting from the Fathers), has made himself the judge of the Catholic Church. This is especially egregious when the judging of the Church ends up dethroning the pope. This is precisely what Satan would want you to believe – that the whole Church has failed; that the gates of hell have prevailed; that we no longer have the pope who holds the keys. Based on their own fallible judgments, the Dimond Brothers have fallen headlong into this trap set by Satan. As noted, we have seen this many times before in Catholic history.
Now, let’s look more closely at Leo XIII’s statements
“Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness – namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges.
This doesn’t help the Dimond Brothers, although they would like you to believe that it does. Leo is simply saying the same thing I’ve said – that the State plays no role in determining religion, therefore, they have no right to treat the “various religions alike” nor proclaim any such judgments. It is the Church’s role, exclusively, to determine what religion is practiced and how to judge the other religions. Moreover, as the supreme pontiff of religion, Leo says that the State itself is not to be godless, since the State is under the Church insofar as faith and morals is concerned.
Leo: Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in the Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engraven upon it…
R. Sungenis: We certainly agree. It is necessary to profess one religion in the State, and that is precisely what the Catholic Church has done for 2000 years, but note that it is the Church’s responsibility to do so, not the State’s. It is the State’s responsibility to allow the Church to function as God intended, and the Catholic Church will teach the State that such is the case and how to do it.
Leo: Men have a right freely and prudently to propagate throughout the State what things soever are true and honorable, so that as many as possible may possess them; but lying opinions, than which no mental plague is greater, and vices which corrupt the heart and moral life should be diligently repressed by public authority, lest they insidiously work the ruin of the State.”
R. Sungenis: Notice that Leo does not say that the State has the right to propagate religion but only that it curtail “lying opinions” and “vices which corrupt the heart and moral life.” That is because there is an important distinction between the moral law and the practice of a sacred religion. Although there is some overlap between the two, the former is concerned mainly with requiring the public to obey general laws of conduct, the latter is concerned mainly with worship of God (e.g., the Mass, Prayer, sacraments, etc). The State can control the former (with the help and teaching of the Church) but it has no control over the latter.
We have thus shown how easy it is for the Dimond Brothers to misinterpret both Leo’s words and his intentions, and thus how easy it is for them to make it look as if the Church of the past is in contradiction to the Church of the present, but I assure you it is not.
DB: Mr. Sungenis has fallen into his heresy precisely because he is attempting to defend the blatantly heretical (and indefensible) teaching of Vatican II, which declared that the State cannot prevent religious activity.
Vatican II Document, Dignitatis humanae # 3:“So the state, whose proper purpose it is to provide for the temporal common good, should certainly recognize and promote the religious life of its citizens. With equal certainty it exceeds the limits of its authority, if it takes upon itself to direct or to prevent religious activity.”
R. Sungenis: Note that the Dimond Brothers have called an Ecumenical Council confirmed by the reigning pope “heretical.” Each of you must make your decision: either you follow the Dimond Brothers and find contradictions between Vatican II and the other 20 ecumencial councils, or you follow Vatican II and seek to understand and cultivate the harmony between Vatican II and the other 20 councils. The Dimond Brothers will not change their stance, and thus they condemn themselves, but you can save yourself from their heresy by rejecting their claims, whether you understand every detail or not.
The Dimond Brothers are so obsessed with the position they have taken that we couldn’t possibly expect them to see, at this point in their thinking, what Dignitatis Humanae is really saying or how it coordinates with previous teaching. When DH says that the State cannot “prevent religious activity” it is referring to the times when the State, by “itself” and without direction from the Catholic Church, decides what it will do in regards to religious practices. The fact is, the State cannot make such decisions on its own, since it is under the Catholic Church in all things religious. In fact, the primary purpose of DH’s statement is to protect the Catholic Church from being told what to do by the State! If that is true with the Catholic Church, then it is certainly true, “within due limits,” of other religious activity, since the State is not in control of someone’s religious conscience but only the ostensible civil actions that may lead from that religious conscience (For example, if a religion believes in child sacrifice, the State has the right to prohibit the killing of children, since that is the ostensible action that proceeds from their religious belief). But it is the Church’s job to condemn the religion that believes in child sacrifice, and she implicitly teaches the State the same truth, but it is not the State that makes the condemnation. The State is in control of the civil actions, the Church is in control of the moral teaching. Very simple.
DB: This is directly opposed to the teaching of the Catholic Church. It was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors by Pius IX.
Pope Pius IX, Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864, # 77:
“In this age of ours it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be the only religion of the state, to the exclusion of all other cults whatsoever.” – Condemned.
This means that the State should exclude other cults and sects, exactly the opposite of what Mr. Sungenis said.
R. Sungenis: No, the Dimond Brothers have it wrong again. Pius IX is merely saying that they are wrong who claim that the world should have all kinds of religions. Vatican II never said it was proper to have more religions than the Catholic religion. In fact, it condemned the idea just as the other popes and councils of the past had done. The Dimond Brothers would see this if they really understood what Dignitatis Humanae was saying, but since they have already written it off as a “heretical” document, don’t expect them to see it. DH is trying to make the case as to the parameters of the State’s jurisdiction; while Pius IX is making the case that it is wrong to say that more than the Catholic religion should be expedient – two entirely different things. But in their pride the Dimond Brothers have confused both texts.
DB: That is why, for example, Pope Clement V at the dogmatic Council of Vienne specifically enjoined on Catholic leaders of States that they must publicly control (i.e. publicly suppress) the public practice of Islamic worship. Pope Clement V was reminding the State of its duty to prohibit the public profession of false religions.
Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, 1311-1312:
“It is an insult to the holy name and a disgrace to the Christian faith that in certain parts of the world subject to Christian princes where Saracens (i.e., The followers of Islam, also called Muslims) live, sometimes apart, sometimes intermingled with Christians, the Saracen priests, commonly called Zabazala, in their temples or mosques, in which the Saracens meet to adore the infidel Mahomet, loudly invoke and extol his name each day at certain hours from a high place… This brings disrepute on our faith and gives great scandal to the faithful. These practices cannot be tolerated without displeasing the divine majesty. We therefore, with the sacred council’s approval, strictly forbid such practices henceforth in Christian lands. We enjoin on Catholic princes, one and all… They are to forbid expressly the public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mahomet… Those who presume to act otherwise are to be so chastised by the princes for their irreverence, that others may be deterred from such boldness.”
“…but I thought that Bob Sungenis said that the State has no right to say who has the right to perform religious acts, huh?” He’s quite wrong, as we can see – to put it nicely.
R. Sungenis: Unfortunately, the Dimond Brothers fail to make the proper distinctions, bent as they are on proving that “Vatican II is heretical.” The fact is that Pope Clement V is the one deciding what the proper course for religion is in the above instance, not the State. Dignitatis Humanae is only concerned in instances when the State “takes upon itself” the decision to direct or prohibit religion, not when the State is directed by the Church. The Church is always directing the State to the proper ends. (Whether the State obeys the Church is another story altogether).
DB: Bob Sungenis rejects the solemn teaching of the Catholic Church against the civil right to religious liberty. He tenaciously teaches the very heresy condemned in #77 of the Syllabus of Errors and by many other Popes. He is so blinded, in fact, that he fails to see that even his own Antipope (Benedict XVI) fully admits that Vatican II’s teaching (which Sungenis obstinately defends) contradicts the teaching of the Syllabus of Errors just quoted!
“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, 1982, p. 381: "If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text [of the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes] as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter syllabus… As a result, the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution was, to a large extent, corrected via facti, especially in Central Europe, but there was still no basic statement of the relationship that should exist between the Church and the world that had come into existence after 1789."
R. Sungenis: As usual, the Dimond Brothers take things out of context and are thus prone to make false conclusions. The fact is that Ratzinger stated that after the Syllabus “there was still no basic statement of the relationship that should exist between the Church and the world,” which means that Vatican II filled in what the Syllabus was lacking. It is, as the Cardinal states, a “revision” of the Syllabus, not a contradiction to the Syllabus. We won’t find one word from Ratzinger saying that Vatican II contradicted the Syllabus, nor one word from him saying (as the Dimond Brothers incessantly claim) that Vatican II was “heretical.” Pope Benedict XVI would condemn the Dimond Brothers, yet they dare bring the former Cardinal to their aid.
DB: “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, 1982, p. 385: "By a kind of inner necessity, therefore, the optimism of the countersyllabus gave way to a new cry that was far more intense and more dramatic than the former one."
“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, 1982, p. 391: "The task is not, therefore, to suppress the Council but to discover the real Council and to deepen its true intention in the light of present experience. That means that there can be no return to the Syllabus, which may have marked the first stage in the confrontation with liberalism and a newly conceived Marxism but cannot be the last stage."
R. Sungenis: Meaning that there is no return to the Syllabus without the addition of Vatican II, since the Syllabus, in itself, did not, nor did it claim, to deal with every issue and situation arising from the relation between Church and State. As we saw above, the Syllabus was concerned only with specific areas of Enlightenment thought, one of those areas being the Enlightenment’s claim that there should be no religion in the world, or the corollary, that there should be multitudinous religions.
DB: Thus, to prove Mr. Sungenis wrong, you don’t have to take our word for it. You can just take the word of Sungenis’ own “Pope.” Mr. Sungenis not only doesn’t understand the Catholic religion and rejects it, but he doesn’t even understand what his own Antipope has admitted: Vatican II’s teaching on religious liberty flatly contradicts the Catholic Church’s teaching.
R. Sungenis: I hope you see now how the Dimond Brothers twist quotes by changing the words. Cardinal Ratzinger never said that Vatican II “contradicts” the Syllabus. He only said that it “revises” it and added to it teaching that it did not address.
DB: Mr. Sungenis on All vs. Many in the Consecration
In defense of the New Mass, Mr. Sungenis repeatedly states:
Bob Sungenis, defender of the New Mass and Vatican II: “No Council or Pope ever taught or defined that the use of “many” in the consecration formula is tied to, or reflective of, the number, identity or even the potentiality of those who receive salvation.”
This is false. At the Council of Florence it was declared that the effect of the Eucharist is “the union of Christian people with Christ.”
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” On the Eucharist, 1439: “Finally, this is a fitting way to signify the effect of this sacrament, that is, the union of the Christian people with Christ.” (Denz. 698)
The “effect of the sacrament” (the union of many with Christ, not all) is what is signified – and must be signified – in the form of the sacrament.
R. Sungenis: The Dimond Brothers keep making the same errors, and this time they do so by using inflated letters in bold ink. They read into a document what they want to see. Pope Eugene makes no reference to “all” and “many.” He makes reference only to the Eucharist as the union of the Christian people with Christ. No Catholic would argue with that.
DB: Pope Leo XIII, Apostolicae Curae, 1896:“All know that the Sacraments of the New Law, as sensible and efficient signs of invisible grace, must both signify the grace which they effect and effect the grace which they signify. Although this signification should be found in the whole essential rite, namely, in matter and form, yet it pertains especially to form [the words]…” (Denz. 1963)
As we can see, the form of a sacrament signifies the grace which it effects. This means that the form of Consecration in the Sacrament of the Eucharist signifies the grace which it effects: the union of the Christian faithful with Christ (many, not all). This proves that the form of Consecration is tied to “many” (those united with Christ), not all – exactly the opposite of what Bob Sungenis declared. Thus, the teaching of the Council of Florence totally disproves the claim of people such as Mr. Sungenis. It shows that “all” in the Consecration cannot suffice for validity because it gives a false signification. The words of Consecration are tied to and reflective of many – the union of the faithful with Christ – not all men.
Will he be silenced on this point, now that he has been utterly refuted, and it has been clearly proven that a dogmatic Council does tie the words of Consecration to many? No, Mr. Sungenis will continue to repeat the same lies.
R. Sungenis: This ought to show convincing evidence of the total incompetence of the Dimond Brothers. Pope Leo hasn’t mentioned one word about “all” or “many” but the Dimond Brothers, bent on twisting his words, interject “many” and “all” four times. If one is not familiar with their tricks, he can easily be duped.
DB: Quickly refuting Bob Sungenis' heretical defenses of Vatican II
I will now respond to Mr. Sungenis’ defenses of some of the other heresies in Vatican II. I will do this as briefly as possible, since we’ve proven the points elsewhere in more detail.
1. Christ is united with each man (Gaudium et Spes, 22);
R. Sungenis: Ambiguous, yes, but no error here, because GES is not saying how each man is united with Christ. He is certainly not united in the sense that Christ is going to save each man, but He is united in the sense that He gives each man the grace to repent of his sins. If Christ were not “united” with man in this way, then there would be no possibility of anyone repenting and becoming saved. This is just another instance of the Dimond brothers ‘reading into’ the documents what they want to see.
Mr. Sungenis says that this passage in Vatican II is not heretical and that we are “reading into” it what we want to read into it. Now, let’s be practical and ask the question: whose interpretation of Gaudium et Spes holds more weight, Mr. Sungenis’ or John Paul II’s? I think we can all agree that his “Pope’s” interpretation holds more weight. In his first encyclical (Redemptor Hominis), John Paul II makes reference to this document of Vatican II (Gaudium et Spes) no fewer than 12 times. John Paul II even makes reference to this specific passage of Vatican II (Gaudium et Spes #22) three times. How does John Paul II (in an encyclical addressed to the whole “Church”) understand the teaching of Gaudium et Spes?
John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis #13: “We are dealing with each man, for each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and with each one Christ has united Himself forever through this mystery.”
Basing himself on Gaudium et Spes (which he quotes again and again), John Paul II teaches that all men are united to Christ “forever” – that means that all are saved.
R. Sungenis: Although I have myself criticized John Paul II for his ambiguous language, his words can be interpreted in an orthodox light. The problem is that the Dimond Brothers interpret the word “forever” as if it referred to eternity in heaven, that is, that Christ is united to all man in such a way that the relationship will continue and transpose into heaven forever, and thus all men will be saved. But the word “forever” is used here in the sense that Christ will never stop offering men the way of salvation, for as 2 Tim 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” For those who accept the message of salvation, the unification with Christ continues forever, and thus the unification continues forever with mankind at large.
DB: He even goes on to explicate that all who are united with Christ (everyone according to Gaudium et Spes 22 and Redemptor Hominis) have the divine life (the state of grace):
John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis # 20: “That new life, which involves the bodily glorification of the crucified Christ, became an efficacious sign of the new gift granted to humanity, the gift that is the Holy Spirit, through whom the divine life that the Father has in himself and gives to his Son is communicated to all men who are united with Christ.”
R. Sungenis: Same issue. Here John Paul II is speaking about humanity at large who has received the offer of divine life, an offer that is communicated by the Gospel to all men because they are united with Christ due to Christ’s promise to provide salvation if they will repent of their sin. As you can see, if one makes the proper distinctions, a harmony can be reached.
DB: This is also repeated in Redemptor Hominis #11, where John Paul II says that each man has the grace of divine adoption (the state of grace):
John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis #11: “… for the dignity that each human being has reached and can continually reach in Christ, namely the dignity of both the grace of divine adoption and the inner truth of humanity, a truth which – if in the common awareness of the modern world it has been given such fundamental importance…”
So, Mr. Sungenis is again refuted by his own “Pope.” You don’t have to take my word for it that Gaudium et Spes is heretical. Just read Redemptor Hominis – the interpretation given to the document by Sungenis’ own Antipope. Let’s move on…
R. Sungenis: Same issue. Each person has a certain “dignity” in the fact that he is human, and that dignity makes him worthy to receive the Gospel for the salvation of his soul. It is his choice whether he will accept or reject that Gospel. If man had no dignity (if he were an animal or subhuman) he would not be given an offer of salvation. Granted, John Paul II’s language is somewhat ambiguous, just as Vatican II and even some of our other popes and councils are ambiguous, but it is our job to show that the ambiguity can be interpreted in harmony with Tradition since the complexity of human language demands that we do so.
Dimond Brothers: 2. Protestant religions are a means of salvation (Unitatis Redintegratio, 3)
R. Sungenis: No error here, because God can use anything to bring man to salvation. He can use the cosmos (Romans 1:18-20; 10:16-18); he can use the law written on man’s heart (Romans 2:14-15). He can use anything He wishes. So he can certainly use religions that profess the name of Christ and regard him as the Savior, even though their conception of Christ is partially in error. This is just another instance of the Dimond brothers ‘reading into’ the documents what they want to see. They fixate on a certain definition for the word “means” (that it refers to an absolute effectiveness) but have no means of proving their contention.
Again, whose interpretation of this passage holds more weight, the high-ranking members of the Vatican II sect or Mr. Sungenis’ interpretation? Obviously, the former holds more weight. Well, how does Mr. Sungenis’ hierarchy understand Vatican II’s teaching on this issue?
The fact that the Vatican II Antipopes (and the high-ranking members of their hierarchy) – basing themselves directly on the teaching of Vatican II – hold that Protestants don’t need to convert for salvation is clear to anyone with a brain. The Vatican II Antipopes have repeatedly stated that heretics and schismatics don’t need to convert for salvation.
R. Sungenis: There has never been any official statement from the Catholic Magisterium that Protestants don’t need to convert in order to be saved. Personal opinions of dubious prelates don’t count.
DB: Just a few weeks ago the Vatican II sect held an official funeral for the leader of a non-Catholic sect, Bro. Roger of Taize. Benedict XVI said that the founder of the Protestant sect was “God’s faithful servant” and went straight to heaven. “But, no, Vatican II didn’t contradict Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation… or the necessity of every human creature to be entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff…” No, and the sky is purple.
Benedict XVI, Aug. 17, 2005, on Bro. Roger: "Bro. Roger Schutz [founder of a non-Catholic sect] is in the hands of eternal goodness, of eternal love; he has arrived at eternal joy…" (L’Osservatore Romano, August 24, 2005, p. 19; Zenit News Report, Aug. 17, 2005)
So, to refute the heretic Mr. Sungenis again, one only needs to quote his own Antipope against him, who, faithful to the heretical teaching of Vatican II, holds that Protestant heretics who reject the Catholic Faith go straight to heaven.
R. Sungenis: First, Pope Benedict’s opinion on the fate of Roger Schutz does not constitute Catholic dogma. Catholic dogma has developed a long process in order to determine whether someone is in heaven, and that process is called “canonization.” Second, Pope Benedict did not say that Roger Schutz was actually in heaven, nor could he, since Pope Benedict does not know the condition of Roger Schutz’s soul. Pope Benedict said only that Roger Schutz was in the hands of God, which he spoke of as “eternal goodness…eternal love…eternal joy.” What God actually does with the soul of Roger Schutz is God’s decision.
DB: Benedict XVI bases this teaching on Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio), of course.
“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith, 2002, p. 251: “The fact that the burdensome question of [apostolic] succession does not detract from the spiritual dignity of Evangelical Christianity, or from the saving power of the Lord at work within it, has been very nicely elucidated in the Decree on Ecumenism, especially in number 23, so it seems to me.”
We can see that Benedict XVI bases his heretical position squarely on the teaching of Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism.
Benedict XVI, Address to Protestants at World Youth Day, August 19, 2005: “And we now ask: What does it mean to restore the unity of all Christians?... This unity, we are convinced, indeed subsists in the Catholic Church, without the possibility of ever being lost (Unitatis Redintegratio, nn. 2, 4, etc.); the Church in fact has not totally disappeared from the world. Other the other hand, this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith history. Absolutely not!” (L’Osservatore Romano, August 24, 2005, p. 8.)
Mr. Sungenis has been thoroughly refuted by his own Antipope, the principle of unity in his “Church.” Let’s move on…
R. Sungenis: Perhaps the Dimond Brothers forgot what we are arguing about, but the heading for this section was whether the Church has declared that “many” must be used rather than “all” in the consecration formula. John Paul II and Benedict XVI’s views on ecumenism don’t address that issue, thus, this is just a diversionary attempt by the Dimond Brothers to appear as if they are saying something relevant when, in fact, they are not.
As for Pope Benedict’s statement to World Youth Day, at first sight his words are difficult to understand, and without a more detailed explanation of what exactly he means, it is quite presumptuous for the Dimond Brothers to declare it heretical. If, in fact, Pope Benedict says that the Catholic Church should no longer teach that Protestants need to return to the Catholic Church, then we indeed have a problem. But that is not what the pope has actually said. He first affirms that the unity of the Church exists already in the Catholic Church. He then says that, in returning to the Catholic Church, it is not necessary for the non-Catholic to disavow everything he learned in his non-Catholic faith. In fact, many Protestants were baptized by water in the Trinitarian formula, which, because Baptism works ex opere operato, provides sanctifying grace for them. Many of these same Protestants learned about the Trinity, the Incarnation, and many other truths that we hold as basic in the Catholic faith. Are they to forget all these things once they become Catholic? Absolutely not. They use their previous knowledge and, with guidance from the Catholic Church, they refine and reorder their knowledge to conform to the complete truth as found in Catholic dogma.
Dimond Brothers: 3. Non-Catholics may lawfully receive Holy Communion (Orientalium ecclesiarum, 27)
R. Sungenis: No error here, because the stipulation, according to Canon Law, is only in cases of extremity (e.g., death). The Church has the authority to make such exceptions. This is just another instance of the Dimond brothers ‘reading into’ the documents what they want to see.
Mr. Sungenis is a liar – plain and simple. I’ve pointed out to him again and again that Vatican II mentions nothing about “danger of death,” yet he repeatedly uses this already-refuted response.
Vatican II Document, Orientalium Ecclesiarum # 27: “Given the above-mentioned principles, the sacraments of Penance, Holy Eucharist, and the anointing of sick may be conferred on eastern Christians who in good faith are separated from the Catholic Church, if they make the request of their own accord and are properly disposed.”
Here is what I wrote after quoting this for him, and then I will give his response:
Bro. Peter Dimond: “We can see that Mr. Sungenis’ “danger of death” argument is blown out of the water; Vatican II teaches that Holy Communion may be given to Eastern Schismatics without any mention of danger of death. But even if Vatican II had mentioned “danger of death,” it still wouldn’t change the heresy. It is never lawful to give Holy Communion to a non-Catholic, and every Catholic should know this. Mr. Sungenis is actually a heretic for defending and asserting that it is allowable to give Holy Communion to a non-Catholic in danger of death. He rejects the following dogma that the sacraments do not profit non-Catholics unto salvation; and thus, that it is never lawful to administer Holy Communion to a non-Catholic.”
R. Sungenis: Obviously, the Dimond Bros want to be the judge, jury and executioner. Perhaps when they find the words “non-Catholic” in the text they can advance an argument. Until then, this is just another case of them building a straw man so they can knock it down. Moreover, CCC 1401 says “grave necessity,” which, interpreted by Canon 844.4 is referring to the danger of death. Note also that CCC 1401 says they recipient must have “evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding these sacrament and possess the required dispositions.” These are clear restrictive conditions for these cases, and the Church has the right to make such exceptions. The Dimond Bros don’t have any authority, although they pretend to have it.
Does anyone not see the lie that is being perpetrated here? Mr. Sungenis is blatantly contradicting himself. He argues that Vatican II doesn’t allow non-Catholics to receive Communion. (He even says that “Perhaps when they find the words “non-Catholic” in the text they can advance an argument,” clearly indicating that, according to him, Vatican II doesn’t allow non-Catholics to receive Communion.) He then changes his position in the same paragraph and admits that it does allow non-Catholics to receive Communion in danger of death. What more does one have to say? This man, ladies and gentlemen, is simply a raving liar who doesn’t even know what he is saying. He is stating two contradictory things in the same paragraph: 1) we are wrong and reading into the text by asserting that it teaches that non-Catholics can receive Communion; and 2) non-Catholics can receive Communion because the Church can make such exceptions.
Hopefully all can see that this man is lying.
R. Sungenis: Let’s recap what actually happened. In their previous essay, the Dimond Brothers first introduced Canon Law, and then they went to Vatican II, and then they went to the Catechism. All three sources mention different details of the issue, and the Dimond Brothers have confused the three texts, and therein lies the problem. The bottom line is: the Catholic Church has the right to make an exception for those who receive communion, and the Dimond Brothers, having absolutely no authority or standing in the Church, have no right to deny it.
DB: And it wouldn’t even matter if Vatican II only mentioned “danger of death,” as Canon 844.4 of the New Code does (but not Canon 844.3, the New Catechism #1401 or Vatican II’s Decree), since people who reject the Catholic Faith can never receive Holy Communion lawfully in danger of death. People who reject the Catholic Faith (or any dogma) are in a position of rejecting God (the author of the dogmas), and therefore cannot receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist worthily. The Church cannot change the divine law that heretics cannot receive Communion even in danger of death, which Vatican II attempted to change.
R. Sungenis: The Church is not changing the law. It is merely making an exception to the law. Unfortunately, the Dimond Brothers myopic understanding of both theology and logic will not allow them to see the difference. Exceptions to the law do not negate the law. That is basic canonical jurisprudence. We have exceptions to the law because life is not always simple; it is often difficult. And this is precisely the problem with the theology of the Dimond Brothers. They, like the Pharisees, insist upon a one-size-fits-all religion, with no exceptions, with no contingencies, with nothing but black and white. But life is not like that, nor is theology. Once you understand this simple but important truth, you can dismiss about 99% of what the Dimond Brothers claim as truth.
DB: Pope Pius IX, Amantissimus (# 3), April 8, 1862: “… whoever eats of the Lamb and is not a member of the Church, has profaned.”
Dimond Brothers: 4. Muslims and Catholics together worship the one true God (Lumen Gentium, 16)
R. Sungenis: Ambiguous, yes, but no error here, because LG’s context shows that this is only true in regard to the category of monotheism. LG does not say that the Muslims can or will be saved by such worship. This is just another instance of the Dimond brothers ‘reading into’ the documents what they want to see.
He says that Vatican II’s teaching on Muslims worshipping the same God as Catholics “is only true in regard to the category of monotheism.” Does this mean that Vatican II’s teaching is not true in some way? It is an ambiguous response, inspired by the devil to appease the consciences of his heretical followers. This kind of response makes it appear that he is answering the argument, when he isn’t even clearly answering the question. But since he is obviously attempting to defend the text of Vatican II, this means that Sungenis agrees that Muslims and Catholics together worship the one God.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, if Muslims and Catholics together worship the one God (because Muslims profess to worship one all-powerful God) that means that anyone who professes to worship one, all-powerful God worships the one true God together with Catholics. That means that those who worship Lucifer as the one true and all-powerful God worship the same God as Catholics. There is no way around that. Perhaps when one considers that fact then one can see that Vatican II’s teaching is totally heretical and evil.
R. Sungenis: Perhaps because the Dimond Brothers couldn’t think of a better argument, they resort to the ridiculous argument stated above. According to the context, the Catechism is speaking about those who follow what the one God teaches, even though their obedience to those precepts is based on incomplete knowledge of His truths. The devils don’t obey, they only believe (James 2:19). But we wouldn’t expect the Dimond Brothers to see this fact, since they have a habit of avoiding the context of passages they quote.
DB: Dimond Brothers: 5. The Catholic Church is united with those who don’t accept the faith or the Papacy (Lumen Gentium, 15)
R. Sungenis: Ambiguous, yes, but no error here because LG 15 is not using the same definition of “united” as are the Dimond brothers. This is just another instance of the Dimond brothers ‘reading into’ the documents what they want to see. The Dimond Brothers will invariably adopt the most restrictive definition of words, since a more general and accepted definition will not allow them to levy their accusations against Vatican II.
No, no error anywhere for Mr. Sungenis. If you were to sum up the characteristics of the unity of the Catholic Church it would be that the Church is united with those baptized persons who accept the Faith in its entirely and accept the Papacy. To put it another way: those people with whom the Catholic Church is surely not united are those who don’t accept the Faith in its entirety and the Papacy. But Vatican II lists those two criteria for unity and says just the opposite:
Vatican II teaching, Lumen Gentium # 15:
“For several reasons the Church recognizes that it is joined to those who, though baptized and so honored with the Christian name, do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve communion under the successor of St. Peter.”
This is exactly the opposite of the teaching of the Church:
Pope Pius IX, Amantissimus (# 3), April 8, 1862: “There are other, almost countless, proofs drawn from the most trustworthy witnesses which clearly and openly testify with great faith, exactitude, respect and obedience that all who want to belong to the true and only Church of Christ must honor and obey this Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff.”
R. Sungenis: Once again, using the above quote in an attempt to refute Vatican II is a perfect example of the total incompetence of the Dimond Brothers. On the one hand, Lumen Gentium 15 is speaking only about being “joined” in some undefined way to those who have been Baptized outside the Catholic Church. Since Baptism gives one grace, logically, one is, in some respect, “joined” to the Catholic Church. On the other hand, Pius IX is not speaking about Baptism, but about the requirements after one has already been Baptized. If, for example, a person is Baptized outside the confines of the Catholic Church is then given the knowledge that he must submit himself to the Roman Pontiff but he refuses to do so, then he fits Pius IX’s description of one who cannot remain in the true Church of Christ. Hence, Lumen Gentium 15 and Ammantissimus are speaking about two entirely different things, but we wouldn’t expect the Dimond Brothers to see this, since they are bent on confusing Church teaching.
DB: Pope Pius VI, Charitas (# 32), April 13, 1791:
“Finally, in one word, stay close to Us. For no one can be in the Church of Christ without being in unity with its visible head and founded on the See of Peter.”
We can see that it is a dogma that the Church is not joined, but is alien to, those who don’t accept the Faith in its entirety. Vatican II could hardly deny these dogmas more clearly.
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896:
“The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, WHO WERE WONT TO HOLD AS OUTSIDE CATHOLIC COMMUNION, AND ALIEN TO THE CHURCH, WHOEVER WOULD RECEDE IN THE LEAST DEGREE FROM ANY POINT OF DOCTRINE PROPOSED BY HER AUTHORITATIVE MAGISTERIUM.”
R. Sungenis: Of course, you can now see the same error the Dimond Brothers perpetuate in these two quotes. Pius VI and Leo XIII are not speaking about Baptism but about what one must do after Baptism.
DB: And, to prove that this teaching of Vatican II is heretical, let’s look again at what Sungenis’ own Antipope says:
“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith, 2002, p. 229, Letter to the Schismatic Metropolitan: “I have become still more clearly aware that the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church belong to one another and that none of the doctrinal questions that appear to divide us is insoluble.”
Benedict XVI, faithful to the heretical teaching of Vatican II, holds that an entire schismatic sect belongs to the Catholic Church. I rest my case.
Dimond Brothers: 6. The College of Bishops is the subject of full and supreme power over the universal Church (Lumen Gentium, 22)
R. Sungenis: No error here. In fact, this is a real laugher. It shows the clear incompetence of the Dimond brothers. Here is the full sentence in LG22:
“Together with their head, the Supreme Pontiff, and never apart from him, they have supreme and full authority over the universal Church, but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Romans Pontiff. The Lord made Peter alone the rock-foundation and the holder of the keys of the Church.”
Obviously, the “supreme authority” is conditioned by the fact that they are under the pope and can only do what he agrees to. This alone ought to convince people that the Dimond brothers don’t know what they are doing.
A “real laugher,” eh? Yes, it’s so funny that we must consider the following: Bob Sungenis’ own website prominently features an article by Fr. Dominique Boulet on Sedevacantism. Boulet’s article involves when to identify heresy, who is a heretic, etc. Fr. Boulet is a member of the Society of St. Pius X. The SSPX officially lists this passage of Vatican II (Lumen Gentium 22, the teaching on Collegiality) as one of the theological errors/heresies of Vatican II. So Mr. Sungenis is prominently promoting the analysis of a priest of the SSPX on his website – a priest who agrees with us that this passage of Vatican II is erroneous/heretical in his article. Yes, it’s so funny, isn’t it? You can find that on page 32 of Most Asked Questions about the Society of St. Pius X. Mr. Sungenis is condemned from his own website. If he is laughing, then he is just laughing at himself, and the priest whose analysis of heresy he is promoting on his website.
R. Sungenis: And I’m still laughing, because I’ve already registered on our website numerous times that we disagree with the SSPX’s stance on Vatican II (as did Archbishop Lefebvre since he signed all the Vatican II documents). But we do agree with the SSPX’s stance on condemning Sedevacantism.
DB: Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 15):
“But the power of the Roman Pontiff is supreme, universal, and definitely peculiar to itself; but that of the bishops is circumscribed by definite limits, and definitely peculiar to themselves.”
If the power of the Roman Pontiff (the supreme power over the Church) is “definitely peculiar to itself,” that means that the Bishops don’t have it, Bob.
R. Sungenis: Yes, the bishops don’t have it, but Vatican II never said they did, Peter. This just shows Peter’s inability to deal with what the texts actually say.
DB: Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 14), June 29, 1896:
“For He who made Peter the foundation of the Church also ‘chose, twelve, whom He called apostles’ (Luke 6:13); and just as it is necessary that the authority of Peter should be perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff, by the fact that the bishops succeed the Apostles, they inherit their ordinary power, and thus the episcopal order necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church. Although they do not receive plenary, or universal, or supreme authority, they are not to be looked as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they rule.
The idea that the College of Bishops possesses supreme authority when in communion with the supreme authority is a contradiction. It makes no sense whatsoever, as even the SSPX can see.
R. Sungenis: Fortunately for us, neither the SSPX nor the Sedevacantists are the Catholic Magisterium. Leo is talking about the bishops not having plenary, universal or supreme authority independent of the pope’s jurisdiction over them. This is so simple that a child could see it.
DB: Dimond Brothers: 7. Some people above the age of reason don’t believe in God (i.e., are atheists) through no fault of their own (Lumen Gentium, 16)
R. Sungenis: LG16 doesn’t mention an “age of reason” or “atheists.” But it does speak about preaching the Gospel to all peoples for their salvation. This again shows the incompetence of the Dimond brothers.
This is pure sophistry. The fact that Lumen Gentium doesn’t mention the word “atheists” or the phrase “age of reason” is irrelevant. I was merely summarizing the meaning of the passage, which I quote in full in my article on Vatican II:
Vatican II Document, Lumen Gentium # 16:
“Nor does divine providence deny the helps that are necessary for salvation to those who, through no fault of their own, have not yet attained to the express recognition of God yet who strive, not without divine grace, to lead an upright life.”
This passage of Vatican II says that there are people who “through no fault of their own, have not yet attained to the express recognition of God…” That means that there are people who don’t believe in God who are without fault. This is directly heretical and condemned. St. Paul teaches that people who don’t believe in God are inexcusable because of the things that God has made. Vatican I defined this truth as a dogma.
R. Sungenis: Again, the Dimond Brothers show their incompetence. Lumen Gentium is not speaking about the general knowledge of God but of the “express recognition” of God, such as we have in the Catholic Church. The word “express” denotes that the individual has been taught by word and letter the truths of God. Such a situation can apply to any child or adult.
DB: Romans 1:19-21:
“Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; His eternal power also, and divinity: SO THAT THEY ARE INEXCUSABLE.”
R. Sungenis: Romans 1:19-21 is not dealing with the same issue as Lumen Gentium 16. The former is speaking about how men know that God exists through the creation and are thus accountable to him, whereas the latter is speaking about those who do not have the full truth about God as expressed in word and letter (e.g., Scripture, Church, Fathers, Evangelization, etc) and thus are not accountable for what they do not know from that information. Lumen Gentium 16 says nothing to disagree with the general truth of Romans 1:19-21. In fact, LG 16 implies that they are indeed accountable, since it demands that the people “lead and upright” life from the grace available to them. Logically, if they do not lead an upright life, they will be condemned.
DB: Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 3, On Revelation, Can. 1:
“If anyone shall have said that the one true God, our Creator and Lord, cannot be known with certitude by those things which have been made, by the natural light of human reason: let him be anathema.” (Denz. 1806)
Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 3, On God the Creator, Can. 1:
“If anyone shall have denied the one true God, Creator and Lord of visible and invisible things: let him be anathema.” (Denz. 1801)
Vatican II is talking about those above the age of reason, since it is talking about those who “strive” to lead an upright life. Vatican II contradicts the Catholic dogma that God can and must be acknowledged by the natural light of human reason, and that those who don’t acknowledge Him sin mortally. In defending this clear heresy, Bob Sungenis simply displays his easily refuted sophistry and dishonesty.
R. Sungenis: No, it’s just a simple matter of making the right distinctions, something the Dimond Brothers consistently fail to do, since they are bent on finding contradictions in the Catholic faith, having already declared the present Church to be completely apostate. With that premise, they have no other choice but to make even the slightest ambiguity or difficulty into a heresy. As we have seen, Vatican II does NOT contradict the Catholic dogma that God must be acknowledged.
DB: Dimond Brothers: 8. The State exceeds its authority if it directs or prevents religious activity (Dignitatis Humanae, 3)
R. Sungenis: No error here. The State is not in control of religion. The Church is. Therefore, the State has no right to say who has the right to perform religious acts. The error is from the Dimond brothers, since they don’t understand the Catholic religion.
This was covered above.
Dimond Brothers: 9. In Buddhism men reach the highest illumination (Nostra Aetate, 2)
R. Sungenis: NA2 doesn’t say that. Perhaps if the Dimond brothers would quote the text for what it says instead of trying to twist things to their viewpoint, we might be able to have an intellectual discussion, but they are too far gone down the road of error to expect any such effort. If one reads the text of NA2 in context, it is merely stating what the Buddhist religion does, that is, it “It proposes…a state of perfect liberation and reach supreme illumination either through their own efforts or by the aid of divine help.” NA2 neither condones this “proposal” nor encourages it. It only says it exists. Time for the Dimond brothers to go back to the drawing board.
No, Mr. Sungenis is wrong. Nostra Aetate #2 says the following:
Nostra aetate # 2:
“In Buddhism, according to its various forms, the radical inadequacy of this changeable world is acknowledged and a way is taught [et via docetur] whereby those with a devout and trustful spirit may be able to reach either a state of perfect freedom or, relying on their own efforts or on help from a higher source, the highest illumination.”
This is blatantly heretical. And, again, you don’t have to take my word for it that this teaching of Vatican II endorses the false, pagan religion of Buddhism. Just read how Paul VI (the man who solemnly promulgated Vatican II) understood its teaching on Buddhism.
R. Sungenis: If this was what Nostra Aetate was endorsing as the truth people are to follow, yes, indeed, it would be heretical. But NA is merely pointing out what the Buddhist religion believes, without endorsing it. NA is merely making a statement of fact that Buddhists do what the above paragraph about it states.
DB: Paul VI, General Audience to Japanese Buddhists, Sept. 5, 1973:
“It is a great pleasure for us to welcome the members of the Japanese Buddhists Europe Tour, honored followers of the Soto-shu sect of Buddhism… At the Second Vatican Council the Catholic Church exhorted her sons and daughters to study and evaluate the religious traditions of mankind and to ‘learn by sincere and patient dialogue what treasures a bountiful God has distributed among the nations of the earth’ (Ad Gentes, 11)… Buddhism is one of the riches of Asia…” (L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 13, 1973, p. 8.)
R. Sungenis: Studying Buddhism to know what it teaches is for the purpose of understanding the Buddhist mind so that we can better introduce them to the Christian Gospel, just as St. Paul sought to understand the pagans of Mars Hill in Acts 17 in order to introduce them to the Christian Gospel. THAT is what Vatican II is saying, and that is understood when we read the rest of its documents, not the little snippets that the Dimond Brothers pull out of context.
DB: Basing himself on Vatican II (which he solemnly promulgated), Sungenis’ own “Pope” says that this false and pagan religion is one of the “riches of Asia.” I rest my case.
R. Sungenis: I do not vouch for many of the things that Paul VI said or did. Even he didn’t like some of the things he said or did, by his own admission. All I can say is, in regards to introducing the Gospel to a Buddhist, there is little wrong with recognizing his religious fervor as a first step. This is precisely what St. Paul did when he said to the pagan Athenians: “Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, "Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way” (Acts 17:22).
DB: Dimond Brothers: 10. All things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown (Gaudium et Spes, 12)
R. Sungenis: Perhaps if they would read things in context instead of taking little snippets out here and there to support their agenda, we might get some place, but we can’t expect agitators of the Dimond brothers’ mentality to do such respectable things. GES is simply making a statement of fact concerning a common denominator believers and unbelievers have, that is, that man is the center of God’s creation. God didn’t make animals the center, or the cosmos, or anything else. All was created for man. THAT is what GES is talking about. GES adds that the proper conception of man is that he is made “in the image of God,” and quotes many other Scriptures to this effect.
Sorry Bob, but all things on earth should not be related to man as their center and crown. Even the SSPX (whose priest’s analysis of heresy your promote on your website) lists this as one of the theological errors/heresies of Vatican II on page 32 of its book Most Asked Questions About the SSPX.
R. Sungenis: Sorry, Peter, but you are not the Catholic magisterium, and neither is the SSPX. You have both separated yourselves from the Church, and your condemnation will not be lifted until you return. I suggest you reread the words of Eugene IV and Boniface VIII, for they state that unless you remain in the bosom of the Church and under its Pontiff, you will be condemned.
DB: Bob Sungenis: Now, mind you, this was the golden opportunity for the Dimond brothers to show that Vatican II contains error, and this is the best they can do?? Here are two men who scour Church documents like people scour the newspaper to see if they won the lottery, and yet they can’t come up with one indisputable, bone fide error. All they have are statements taken out of context (which they are very apt at doing) and they make their hateful and biased conclusions of those single statements.
But it is obvious to anyone with a semblance of ecclesial protocol that the Dimond brothers haven’t the slightest clue what they are doing. They are the Pharisees of the modern age, condemning everyone according to their misguided ‘letter of the law’ interpretation, and as Jesus said, when they are done with their converts they make them “two-fold the child of hell” than they were before (Mt 23:15). They are an utter disgrace.
First, don’t flatter yourself, Mr. Sungenis. Our brief summation of some of the heresies in Vatican II at the top of our article against you was not our “best shot” at exposing the heresies of Vatican II. We have an entire article and video about the heresies in Vatican II, which quotes full passages and many other heresies. The fact that Mr. Sungenis thinks that our brief summation of a few of the Vatican II heresies in an article against him was our “best shot” reveals that he is blinded by his pride. I even mentioned in the article against him that there is another article for much more information on the heresies of Vatican II. Is he oblivious to the fact that we have an entire article covering these and other heresies in more detail and in full context, even though I mentioned it? Apparently so.
R. Sungenis: Peter’s apologetic is like the bully on the school yard lot who, after he gets into a fight and loses, says that he didn’t fight with his best punches, but he’ll be back tomorrow. Thank you, Peter, for being transparent.
DB: Second, it is obvious to anyone with a semblance of Catholicism that Mr. Sungenis is a complete heretic who doesn’t have the slightest clue what he is talking about with regard to the Conciliar apostasy and the Catholic dogmas which it denies. I proved above that his own “Popes” admit that Vatican II teaches what he denies it teaches. I proved that the Council of Florence did connect the form of consecration with “many,” not all. I proved that the State should forbid false religions from publicly performing false religious acts, which he rejects. One could go on, but Mr. Sungenis would deny it all.
R. Sungenis: The Dimond Brothers haven’t proven anything except that they are prone to misreading and misrepresenting conciliar documents.
DB: For instance, Sungenis would surely deny that Nostra Aetate teaches heresy, even though we have proven that it uses the exact same verb as the Council of Florence to teach exactly the opposite. In defining that all who have a view contrary to faith in Our Lord or the Trinity are rejected, the original Latin of the Council of Florence uses the word “reprobate,” which means “rejects.” It is from the Latin verb reprobo, which means “I reject” or “condemn.”
The Latin of the Council of Florence:
“Quoscunque ergo adversa et contraria sentientes damnat, reprobate et anathematizat et a Christi corpore, quod est ecclesia, alienos esse denuntiat.”
Council of Florence, Bull Cantate Domino, English:
“Therefore it [the Church] condemns, rejects, anathematizes and declares to be outside the Body of Christ, which is the Church, whoever holds opposing or contrary views [on the Trinity and Our Lord].”
The Church rejects all who have a view contrary to faith in Our Lord or the Trinity (e.g. the Jews). In Nostra Aetate #4, in declaring just the opposite, Vatican II uses the same verb in Latin!
Vatican II, Nostra Aetate #4, Original Latin: “…Iudaei tamen neque ut a Deo reprobate neque ut maledicti exhibeantur…”
Nostra Aetate #4 of Vatican II: “…the Jews should not be presented as rejected or cursed by God...”
Vatican II uses “reprobati,” which is the past participle passive of reprobo – the very same verb that the Council of Florence used! This means that Vatican II and the Council of Florence are talking about the exact same thing – they use the exact same verb – and they teach exactly the opposite! The Council of Florence defines that all individuals (Jews, etc.) who have a view contrary to faith in Christ or the Trinity the Church “reprobat” (rejects). Vatican II tells us that the Jews should not be considered as having been “reprobati” (as having been rejected). Vatican II couldn’t contradict Catholic dogma any more precisely. For more on this heresy, see: The Most Specific Heresy in Vatican II.
R. Sungenis: This is one of the most ludicrous arguments I think I have heard the Dimond Brothers use. They base the whole argument on the use of one word, but a word that is separated by context and chronology so vast that it is incredible that those who purport to be scholars on this issue would stoop so low to attempt to prove their case. As is usually the case, they misrepresent Nostra Aetate #4. The point of NA 4 is the same as what St. Paul said in Romans 11:1-2:
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.
St. Paul goes on to say that the Gentiles cannot “boast” against the Jews, since God is still saving Jews (Romans 11:17-24). If God had rejected the Jews, none of them could be saved, but that is certainly not the case. The only Jews God will “reject” are the Jews who reject Him, but that also applies to Gentiles who reject God, and thus there is no difference.
DB: Some other thoughts on Mr. Sungenis – A pattern of bad will and profound spiritual blindness
Since Mr. Sungenis’ article contains repeated statements that we hate the Church, let’s give a little background on Bob Sungenis. In making these remarks I must point out in advance that we fully acknowledge, of course, that people can change and convert. The point is that this man has not yet converted and is still a bad willed heretic.
Bob Sungenis is a man who was raised in the Catholic Church before Vatican II, but left her to embrace rabid anti-Catholic Protestantism. After leaving the true Church in which he was raised, he denounced the Catholic Church as the whore of Babylon and a false sect of the devil. Therefore, from the beginning Mr. Sungenis showed bad will, dishonesty and tremendous spiritual blindness in leaving the Catholic Church for the man-made religion of Protestantism. Then, just as now, he was totally blinded by his pride, and was convinced of his path that he was a follower of Christ when, in fact, he was Christ’s enemy.
R. Sungenis: I was wondering when this dimension of their pitiful diatribe was coming. If you can’t win by faith, intellect and logic, let’s attack the person and dwell on things in the past (even though he has disavowed those very things). This only shows the desperation of the Dimond Brothers, and it shows that they are not out for truth, but to denigrate and slander anyone who disagrees with them. Let’s see how they do it.
DB: We were raised in a family with no religion; we were exposed to most major religions. We were not persuaded by the man-made Protestant religions and converted to the Catholic Faith in our youth. We could see that there is only one Christian Church which is the Catholic Church. We then gave up everything and entered religious life despite the profound opposition of almost our entire family. This is usually not relevant to the issues, but since Mr. Sungenis repeatedly states that we are enemies of the Church I feel that it is important to note that we have given our lives to the Church and embraced it as true from a young age. We were not convinced by false or man-made religions, as was Mr. Sungenis, who acted as the Church’s enemy for decades.
R. Sungenis: So did Martin Luther (Augustinian monk) and John Calvin (trained for the Catholic priesthood).
DB: After leaving the Church and becoming Her enemy, Mr. Sungenis “converted” to the post-Vatican II sect. Notice, he “converted” in 1992 to the post-Vatican II sect, which had already fully embraced Protestantism and held that Protestants go to heaven. Mr. Sungenis found a home in the Protestant-accepting Vatican II sect, and with its teaching that heretics and schismatics go to heaven. At the time of his “conversion,” Mr. Sungenis believed that Protestants who reject the Catholic Church can go to heaven, just as he does now.
R. Sungenis: In fact, I would say that some Protestants have a better chance of getting into heaven than the Dimond Brothers, for the Dimond Brothers have willfully rejected the Catholic Church, even after being corrected and admonished that they are wrong, both by the Church and individuals such as myself. They quote Eugene IV incessantly, but fail to see that faithful Eugene was speaking directly to people such as them who declare the Church heretical and make up their own interpretation and conclusions regarding its papal and conciliar documents. This is precisely what Luther and Calvin did, only the Dimond Brothers are even more insidious, since they keep the cloak of the Catholic religion, and thereby deceive even more people.
As for my conversion, I have dedicated my life to exposing and refuting people who oppose the Catholic Church, having learned from my own experience how one can be deceived by non-Catholics. And I am especially determined to expose and refute even worse attacks on the Church from the likes of the Dimond Brothers.
DB: Would he have “reverted” if he were entering the true Church, which condemns Protestantism as evil heresy and Protestants as heretics? No. He converted to the Protestant-accepting post-conciliar sect because he was still a Protestant; he still believed that Protestants were true Christians (as we will see). He accepted Protestantism as salvific then, just as he defends that heretical teaching of Vatican II now.
R. Sungenis: The Dimond Brothers are experts at distorting the truth. They do it with the Catholic Church and they do it with me. I’ve debated Protestants in hundreds of debates, both formal and informal, and have told them that they need to convert to the Catholic Church. But of course, that doesn’t register with the Dimond Brothers because they have presupposed that the Catholic Church that I defend is no longer the Catholic Church. Here we have two brothers who started their own “monastery” and who have no authority whatsoever telling us that the 2000 year old Catholic Church no longer exists (except in them) and that the pope is not the pope, and the bishops are not bishops, and priests are not priests. According to them, the gates of hell have prevailed (except with them). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see their convoluted logic.
DB: It’s just like the guests on “The Journey Home” television show on EWTN, a show featuring “converts” to the Vatican II sect. In most of the shows that I’ve seen, the “converts” state at the end of the talk how “great” or “holy” or “saintly” their former sect and its leaders are. Many of them make it explicit that they believe that their non-Catholic family members will be with them in heaven, thus indicating that the Catholic Faith is not necessary for salvation. They haven’t converted to the true Faith; they don’t yet believe that Protestant sects are false sects which lead to damnation, as the Catholic Church teaches. They don’t hold that the Catholic Faith is necessary for salvation. They don’t possess the supernatural virtue of the Catholic Faith which leads them to the firm conviction that Protestant ministers are false teachers, not of the Lord. They are completely false converts, just like Mr. Sungenis was – who is precisely of the same mold.
R. Sungenis: I know few people from the Journey Home program who teach that Protestants are not required to convert to the Catholic Church for salvation. How could they, since the Journey Home ministry is dedicated to bringing Protestant ministers into the Catholic Church! If some of the guests at EWTN believe otherwise, then they are wrong. Much of the confusion centers around whether a Protestant has been made fully aware of his obligations, or is still in invincible ignorance. God is the judge, not the Dimond Brothers.
DB: Sungenis holds that anti-Catholic Protestants are not heretics, but that we are .
That is why from the early days of his “conversion” the false convert Mr. Sungenis was spreading pernicious heresies which showed that he was completely devoid of the supernatural Catholic Faith. And while this heretic proved that he was still a Protestant in belief even after his “conversion” (as we will see below), he says that we are enemies of the Church like Luther and Calvin.
R. Sungenis: “The Dimond Brothers (Peter and Michael Dimond) have made a name for themselves in condemning the present Catholic Magisterium and all the popes since 1958 as “Anti-popes.”…Like Luther and Calvin, they claim to be following the Fathers and Tradition.”
No, Mr. Sungenis, we aren’t the ones defending as Catholics men who hold that Protestant heretics go straight to heaven (e.g., Benedict XVI). We aren’t the ones defending as Catholics those who have entered agreements on Justification with the Protestants. We aren’t the ones who profess communion with those who praise Luther (John Paul II and Benedict XVI). You, like Luther and Calvin, are the defender of Protestant heretics.
Cardinal” Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), Principles of Catholic Theology (1982), p. 263:
“That which in Luther makes all else bearable because of the greatness of his spiritual fervor, that which orders it to a Christian center – precisely that is being ignored.”
R. Sungenis: No Catholic doctrine has been changed, regardless of the opinions expressed, right or wrong, of popes, cardinals, bishops or priests. That is basic Catholic protocol, but the Dimond Brothers don’t understand this. They think that if any prelate makes any misstatement or error, he is automatically a heretic and excommunicated from the Church, and loses his office. No, that is wrong, and they have been repeatedly shown their error, but they refuse to repent, but that is to be expected from people who have separated themselves from the Church. If you follow them, you will be subjected to the same fallacies in thinking and you will be condemned. As for Luther, yes, he had the same spiritual fervor as the Athenians, as St. Paul said of them: “Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, "Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way.” Hence, it is not wrong to point out someone’s spiritual fervor. But Cardinal Ratzinger was against Luther’s theology, and that is the reason he didn’t go to the signing of the Joint Declaration.
DB: Some time after his “conversion,” in a debate with the viciously anti-Catholic Protestant heretic Robert Zins and his partner, Bob Sungenis was asked by Robert Zins and his partner whether they (the anti-Catholic Protestants) were heretics. They were begging him to call them heretics, and they even quoted the Council of Trent to prove that they are (according to Trent) anathematized heretics on the road to hell for spurning its teaching.
If Mr. Sungenis had any whiff of the Catholic Faith whatsoever, he would have denounced these Protestant heretics and correctly informed them (in true charity) that they are anathematized for obstinately rejecting Catholic dogma and even attacking it. If anyone on earth is a heretic, it is Robert Zins who has made a career of attacking Catholic dogma and its holiest teachings. But no, still a Protestant, Mr. Sungenis refused to even call these arch-heretics “heretics,” but rather told them that they had “invincible ignorance” – scandalizing the entire audience in addition to making a mockery of Catholic dogma.
R. Sungenis: Distortion is the name of the game for the Dimond Brothers. I, indeed, believe that “Protestant heretics” will be condemned, but I let God make that decision, and that’s what I told Mr. Zins. I cannot read someone’s heart, especially when it comes to the sometimes confusing issues between Protestants and Catholics. The mere fact that the Dimond Brothers and I disagree on very basic Catholic issues shows that theology can be a very difficult thing to grasp. That is why we must allow the Church alone to make the decisions, both in regard to doctrine and against those who reject those doctrines. But the Dimond Brothers have set themselves up as the sole judges of both the Catholic Church and Mr. Zins. Anyone with common sense can see what is wrong with this picture.
DB: This proves that the false “convert” Bob Sungenis was still a Protestant years after his so-called “conversion” to the Catholic Faith, for he held that you could be a viciously anti-Catholic Protestant and still be a true Christian. But, as bad as that is, it gets even worse because Mr. Sungenis still holds that these viciously anti-Catholic Protestants are not heretics. Below is a quote from Mr. Sungenis’ recent article, in which he is responding to my summation of his failure to call Zins a heretic. We can see that Sungenis reveals that he still holds the same position!
Robert Sungenis’ recent article, “Robert Sungenis vs. the Dimond Brothers”:
“Dimond Brothers: Secondly, by what authority does Mr. Sungenis say that Protestant ministers are heretics? Perhaps he doesn’t at all; he may actually hold that Protestant Ministers, such as Jack Van Impe and Pat Robertson, are not actual heretics and that they are inside the true Church? In fact, a few years ago I heard Mr. Sungenis debate Robert Zins, a Protestant blasphemer who was attacking the Catholic Church and who has attacked it for years. In the debate, Mr. Sungenis refused to call the Protestant (Robert Zins) a heretic! – even though Mr. Zins proved to Mr. Sungenis from the Council of Trent that, according to Trent’s teaching, he [Zins] is a heretic!
“R. Sungenis: That’s because, unlike the Dimond Bros who think they have taken the place of the Catholic Magisterium, I reserve to the Catholic Church the prerogative of calling someone a formal heretic. As far as the Church is concerned, I’m just another peon with an opinion. “
This proves that he still holds that Robert Zins (an anti-Catholic heretic) could be considered to be not a heretic. And this man dares to call himself a “Catholic Apologist.” Does one really need to say more to expose Bob Sungenis for the non-Catholic heretic that he is?
R. Sungenis: Well, by now you can understand why the Dimond Brothers think the way they do. Since they don’t believe the Catholic Church has a pope and magisterium any longer, there is no legitimate authority to make the decision any longer as to who is a formal heretic. Once you hold that the magisterium itself is in formal heresy, then that only leaves you as the judge of who is a formal heretic. But as Jesus said of such people:
"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them.
DB: He is still a Protestant who doesn’t have a whiff of the Catholic Faith. He has taken his favorite heresy, that one cannot identify and denounce a manifest heretic (such as John Paul II or Benedict XVI or Robert Zins, etc.), to its logical conclusion, by holding that viciously anti-Catholic Protestant heretics cannot be denounced definitively as formal heretics. This rejects Catholic teaching, the whole Tradition of the Church, and Catholic common sense.
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896:
“The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, WHO WERE WONT TO HOLD AS OUTSIDE CATHOLIC COMMUNION, AND ALIEN TO THE CHURCH, WHOEVER WOULD RECEDE IN THE LEAST DEGREE FROM ANY POINT OF DOCTRINE PROPOSED BY HER AUTHORITATIVE MAGISTERIUM.”
R. Sungenis: Again, the Dimond Brothers have trouble reading the words for what they say. We are discussing whether someone is a FORMAL heretic. The word “formal” denotes that someone has the authority to make an official and binding declaration about the state of someone’s soul. The Dimond Brothers have no such authority, the Church does (but they don’t believe the Church exists any longer). But Leo didn’t mention anything about “formal heretics” but only about the Fathers who declared such people “outside Catholic communion and alien to the Church.” I would say the same to Robert Zins. In fact, he needs to recognize these very things in order to make his way back to the Catholic Church. “Formal heresy,” on the other hand, is a canonical term used exclusively by the Catholic magisterium.
DB: St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30:
“… for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; BUT WHEN THEY SEE THAT SOMEONE IS A HERETIC BY HIS EXTERNAL WORKS, THEY JUDGE HIM TO BE A HERETIC PURE AND SIMPLE, AND CONDEMN HIM AS A HERETIC.”
R. Sungenis: Robert Bellarmine was not the Catholic magisterium. He himself was censored by the pope for a false belief he once held. In order for the Dimond Brothers to have a valid point, they need to show where the Catholic magisterium itself said that we as lay people have the right to label someone as a formal heretic and to condemn him. I can save you the time – there is no such statement from the Catholic magisterium.
DB: And while Mr. Sungenis refuses to call Robert Zins (a man who attacks the Catholic Faith) a heretic, he doesn’t hesitate to state that we are heretics!
R. Sungenis: “stop listening to the Dimond Brothers. They are heretics on their way to hell.” (July 2004)
R. Sungenis: “As for the Dimond brothers, they are heretics. Stay away from them.” (July 2004)
Oh, I see…. anti-Catholic Protestant heretics who deny, attack and attempt to refute the Council of Trent, the Papacy, the defined dogmas on Our Lady, etc. aren’t heretics. Men who say that we shouldn’t convert Protestants and that that Jews don’t need to believe in Christ (Benedict XVI) aren’t heretics, but Sedevacantists are supposedly heretics. You hypocrite, how will you flee from the judgment of hell!
Matthew 23:31,33: “Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves…You serpents, generations of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell?”
“R. Sungenis: That’s because, unlike the Dimond Bros who think they have taken the place of the Catholic Magisterium, I reserve to the Catholic Church the prerogative of calling someone a formal heretic. As far as the Church is concerned, I’m just another peon with an opinion. “
When it comes to Sedevacantists, he suddenly gets the authority to declare people heretics. But when it comes to Christ-deniers and anti-Catholic Protestants who attack Trent, the Papacy and Our Lady, he doesn’t have the authority. Mr. Sungenis, you are an utter disgrace, an abominable hypocrite, and a blinded and faithless non-Catholic heretic on the road to damnation.
R. Sungenis: My basis for doing so is on the distinction between a formal heretic and a material heretic. The Dimond Brothers are “material” heretics, since the “material” they espoused is heretical. But I’ll let the Church judge whether they are “formal” heretics condemned to hell, since only she has that prerogative.
DB: This background on his theological positions was necessary for people so that they can see that Mr. Sungenis is without any doubt a false teacher of the devil – and he has been a false teacher of the devil since he left the Catholic Church to embrace Protestantism. The devil has found for him a good niche to attempt to confuse traditionally-minded Catholics, and lead them back to the apostate sect. After proving that he still holds that Robert Zins is not a heretic, one shouldn’t even have to say more. Any Catholic should immediately recognize that Bob Sungenis is still a Protestant who doesn’t have a whiff of the supernatural Catholic Faith.
R. Sungenis: “Traditionally-minded Catholics”? What a joke. The Dimond Brothers have written off all “traditionally-minded Catholics” as formal heretics, including the SSPX.
DB: Mr. Sungenis says that one can reject Canonizations of Saints if one doesn’t like the choice – pure Protestantism
To prove that Sungenis is a Protestant devoid of the supernatural Catholic Faith, look at what he says about Canonizations:
Bob Sungenis, August, 2005, Question 53- John Paul II a saint??
“…Sungenis, What are your opinions of John Paul II being placed on the fast track of becoming a saint? From what I've read, the Pope will probably beatify John Paul II during the World Youth events in Germany. Tien
R. Sungenis: I don't think John Paul II should be up for sainthood, and if he is declared a saint, it just shows that making saints is not an infallible exercise, and, of course, it was never defined by the Church as an infallible event. We covered this issue in one of our earlier Q&A sessions.”
This is completely Protestant. Since he doesn’t like or agree with the Canonization, that proves that it is not infallible? No, this is prime example of the Protestant heresy of private interpretation against the solemn judgment of a Pope. If Benedict XVI is the true Pope (as he says), then Mr. Sungenis is bound under pain of mortal sin and heresy to accept his “Canonizations.” But since he has no fidelity even to the solemn teaching of his false “Popes,” he, like a good Protestant, simply rejects what he doesn’t like. This just proves again that he has no Faith in – nor fidelity or submission to – the true understanding of the Papacy. If a Catholic can reject a Canonization from the man he deems the Pope, then one can reject every single Saint in Church history.
R. Sungenis: Notice that the Dimond Brothers don’t give us any Catholic magisterial statement that canonizations are infallible. The reason is that there are none. Even the Catholic encyclopedia says so. But if Benedict XVI declares John Paul II a “saint,” I will assent to it, but I don’t have to hold it against my conscience. The only thing I am required to hold de fide is what the Church has infallibly proclaimed as dogma. Anything else, although having my assent, is still up for discussion, and I can faithfully submit my objections to the magisterium and allow them to make their decision. On the other hand, I find it quite ironic that the Dimond Brothers appeal to the “true understanding of the papacy” as their basis of argumentation, yet they have declared the papacy apostate and heretical since 1958. Perhaps someone can send the Dimond Brothers a mirror.
DB: 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.”
R. Sungenis: When are the Dimond Brothers going to learn to stop quoting from men who are not infallible in order to prove that a doctrine is infallible? Until if and when the Catholic magisterium itself declares that canonizations are infallible, all we have are pious opinions. THAT, I can assure you, is Catholic teaching. But the Dimond Brothers enjoy basing Catholic doctrine on pious opinions, since that will allow them to make their own opinions as if they were the truth.
That being said, let me retract the statement I said about John Paul II. Since canonizations only tell us if a person has been received into heaven, and thus can be prayed to for spiritual favors, I have no objections if John Paul II has or will have been received into heaven. For all the questions I have about John Paul II, I am not John Paul II’s judge. God is.
The Dimond Brothers, on the other hand, aren’t worthy enough to sit in the same room with John Paul II. At least John Paul II regarded the Church as the visible representation of God on earth and against which the gates of hell would not prevail; who regarded the popes before him as legitimate popes; who did not regard an ecumenical council as “heretical”; who did not judge all Catholics as heretics who don’t believe in sedevacantism.
The Dimond Brothers are a disgrace to the Catholic Church. If you follow them you will put your soul at the precipice of hell.