Papal Bull: The Ineffability of Infallibility

If the first duty of a philosopher is to write well, the traditionalist Catholic Edward Feser (born 1968) is a very dutiful man, as any visit to his erudite and interesting blog will reveal. But if the first duty of a philosopher is to reason well, Feser (pronounced “Fazer”) has abdicated his duty on two very important topics. Or so I shall try to argue here at TOO.

Elephants in the room

The first topic, which I’ll address in the current essay, is that of infallibility, the divinely bestowed ability of Popes and church councils to avoid all error when proclaiming truths of the Christian faith under certain carefully specified conditions. The second topic, which I’ll address in a later essay, is that of the relationship between Jews and Christendom — or between Jews and Western civilization, as a secularist might put it. These two topics are epistemological elephants in the room of Feser’s scholarship: very large, very important, but also very neglected.

It’s perfectly understandable that Feser hasn’t addressed the Jewish question. He has a family and doesn’t want the Anti-Defamation League and its allies to cast him into poverty and opprobrium. But what is at work when a traditionalist Catholic philosopher neglects the topic of infallibility? “There is no royal road to geometry,” the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid once told Ptolemy I of Egypt (323–283 BC). That is, there is no quick and easy way to master the complexities of a vast and varied subject. But there is a royal road to theology, if traditionalist Catholics are right. One simply sets out the proof of Papal and Ecclesial infallibility, and everything else follows. If the Church claims infallibly that God and the afterlife exist, that Christ was born of a virgin and rose from the dead, that His mother Mary was taken physically into Heaven at the end of her earthly life, then no further proof of these claims is necessary and we have trodden a royal road to theological truth.

Epistemological dynamite

Of course, a dutiful scholar will set out proofs for those who do not accept infallibility, but one would expect any philosopher who believed in infallibility to make it central to his scholarship. It is, after all, the most powerful tool a philosopher could possibly wield. Those who love truth — philosophoi, “lovers-of-truth” in Greek — can attain truth with absolute certainty. Infallibility is epistemological dynamite capable of demolishing mountains of ignorance and doubt, of toppling the sturdiest citadel of atheist arrogance and unbelief. So why does the traditionalist Catholic Edward Feser not make the infallibility of the Pope and the Catholic church the central and most constantly reinforced part of his scholarship? It’s the royal road to huge truths like the existence of God and resurrection of Christ, not the winding and uncertain path that unbelievers in infallibility have to tread.

Well, I don’t know why Feser doesn’t make infallibility central to his scholarship. But I think that he would find it very difficult to do so. In my opinion, infallibility is not epistemological dynamite, but epistemological bullshit. If you’d like some evidence of that, please watch as the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1910 tackles the topic of “Infallibility”:

It has been urged that neither a fallible individual nor a collection of fallible individuals can constitute an infallible organ. This is quite true in reference to natural knowledge and would be also true as applied to Church authority if Christianity were assumed to be a mere product of natural reason. But we set out from an entirely different standpoint. We assume as antecedently and independently established that God can supernaturally guide and enlighten men, individually or collectively, in such a way that, notwithstanding the natural fallibility of human intelligence, they may speak and may be known with certainty to speak in His name and with His authority, so that their utterance may be not merely infallible but inspired. And it is only with those who accept this standpoint that the question of the Church’s infallibility can be profitably discussed.

(“Infallibility,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910)

Alas, infallibility is not a royal road to theology after all. Certain truths have to be “antecedently and independently established” — which raises an obvious question. Are those truths certain? Because if there is any uncertainty, however slight, in the chain of reasoning, then infallibility is not established. It’s obvious that one must have an infallible argument for infallibility, isn’t it? Well, no, not according to the Catholic Encyclopedia: “Once we come to believe in and rely upon authority we can afford to overlook the means by which we were brought to accept it, just as a man who has reached a solid standing place where he wishes to remain no longer relies on the frail ladder by which he mounted.”

Bullshit from beginning to end

In other words, once you have accepted the authority of the Catholic church, you will accept Her claim of infallibility and forget the fallibility of your own acceptance of Her authority. Indeed, your acceptance of the Church’s “active infallibility” rests secure on the “passive infallibility” bestowed on you by God. Or so the article says. Well, Edward Feser has often assailed the philosophical ignorance and rhetorical absurdities of New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. And rightly so, in my opinion. But what would Feser say of a New Atheist who reasoned (and waxed rhetorical) like the author of that article on “Infallibility” in the Catholic Encyclopedia? The article is bullshit from beginning to end. It can’t be otherwise, because the whole notion of a “proof” for infallibility is absurd.

Indeed, infallibility isn’t (and can’t be) a valid philosophical claim. It’s a cratological and political claim made in what might be called an epistemological arms-race. In its competition with other religions and ideologies, the Catholic Church has claimed an exclusively privileged relationship with God and His son Jesus Christ. It is the one true Church, founded by Christ “to be absolutely universal” and accepted by all human beings, “unless inculpable ignorance should excuse them,” as the Catholic Encylopedia puts it. These absolutist claims have to be based on infallibility, because what good are they if they are not completely certain? Christianity has not existed for so many centuries by admitting room for doubt. But then nor have Islam and Judaism, both of which also claim infallible means to establish absolute truths about God and His design for mankind.

Magisterium versus mathematics

And so we have the spectacle of competing and contradictory infallibilities, not only between the three Abrahamic faiths but within each of them. Within Christianity, Protestant fundamentalists have an infallible Bible to set against the infallible Pope and Magisterium of Catholics, while the Orthodox believe only in an infallible Magisterium, not in an infallible Pope. I personally think that the Catholic church has the best claim to infallibility, rather as, of a pentagon, a square, and a triangle, the pentagon has the best claim to circularity. But the contradictions don’t end within Catholicism, because Catholics disagree in their interpretation of infallible Papal and conciliar statements.

It’s instructive to compare this disunity in theology with the unity of mathematics, which is the only field of scholarship where fallible human beings could reasonably claim infallibility and the ability to know things with absolute certainty. But the first point to arise from the comparison should be this: that mathematics, unlike theology, has never claimed infallibility. It doesn’t need to, because its proofs are irresistible to those who understand them (if not unquestionable). As noted above, the Greek mathematician Euclid told Ptolemy I that there is no royal road to geometry. He also told the human race that there is no end to the prime numbers, or numbers like 3, 7, and 19 that are evenly divisible only by themselves and 1. I would suggest that every sane human being who has understood his proof has accepted it. Cast into modern form, it might run something like this:

Suppose that P, the set of prime numbers, is finite. Suppose further that we multiply all primes in P together, then add 1 to create the number N. Now ask: is N evenly divisible by any prime in the finite set P? No, because any division by a prime or multiple of primes in P will necessarily leave a remainder of 1. Therefore N must either itself be prime or be divisible by one or more primes not in P. This contradicts our supposition that P is finite, therefore P is infinite and primes never end.[1]

For a simple example of the proof, suppose that P = {2,3,5}. Then 31 = (2*3*5) + 1 and 31/2 = (3*5) + 1; 31/3 = (2*5) + 1; 31/5 = (2*3) + 1. So 31 is either itself prime or divisible by one or more primes not in {2,3,5}. In fact, 31 is itself prime.[2] If you are sane and understand this proof, I think you will find it impossible to resist. The proof is, in effect, “infallible.” But mathematicians don’t use that term. There’s no need for it, because mathematical proofs, unlike theological ones, are convincing across all barriers of race, religion, culture, and history. I’d suggest, then, an interesting paradox: that any claim of infallibility is an infallible sign that the epistemology in question does not possess it.

Intensely difficult and abstruse

Mathematics is the only human epistemology with any solid claim to infallibility, which is precisely why mathematics doesn’t claim it. And although mathematical proofs can’t be resisted by those who understand them, that doesn’t mean mathematical proofs can’t be questioned. Euclid and other ancient Greek mathematicians offered proofs that are still accepted today, but they did not set those proofs on secure foundations. Some apparently simple mathematical notions turned out to be far more subtle and complex than they appeared. The philosophers Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead devoted many pages of their intensely difficult and abstruse Principia Mathematica (1912) to a proof of the proposition that “1 + 1 = 2.” As the English physicist Arthur Stanley Eddington once remarked: “We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about ‘and’.”

As Edward Feser knows, philosophers are still working on the foundations of mathematical proof. He also knows that none of those philosophers have turned to theology for help in achieving the certainty they seek, although theology has been claiming to have infallible proofs for centuries. Why have philosophers neglected the riches of theology? It’s very simple: because those theological proofs of infallibility are fatuous. And I don’t in fact believe that any sane and intelligent believer can accept infallible claims to the required absolute degree. Whether believers have the honesty to admit this is another matter.

Full-fat fatuity

I don’t think they could have the honesty, because accepting a theological claim like infallibility automatically corrupts the intellect and morals. Nevertheless, here’s an attempted proof of the fatuity of infallibility. I’ll use what must be, for a traditionalist Catholic, an absolutely certain historical fact, namely, that the body of the Virgin Mary was taken physically into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. Catholics don’t know for certain when or where or how Mary ended that life, but they are supposed to know, with absolute certainty, that she was physically assumed into Heaven thereat. This is because Pope Pius XII dogmatically defined the Assumption as historical fact on November 1, 1950 by exercising papal infallibility in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus (Latin for “Most Generous God”). The Assumption of Mary is, therefore, more certain than such widely accepted historical facts as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Those two secular facts admit of some degree of uncertainty, however slight; the Assumption of Mary admits of none. It was infallibly proclaimed by the Pope and is therefore absolutely certain.

So, at least, traditionalist Catholics like Edward Feser must believe. But let’s suppose, adapting the plot of Isaac Asimov’s short-story “The Dead Past” (1956), that an evil scientist invents a chronoscope that allows any historical scene to be observed in minute detail, no matter how distant in time and space. Let’s further suppose that the evil scientist is (as one would expect) a militant atheist and that he kidnaps Edward Feser in order to subject him to a philosophical ordeal. The scientist then informs Feser that, in addition to the chronoscope, he possesses a weapon that will inflict slow and painful death on the entire human race if he, Feser, fails to choose a certain historical fact from the following list:

  1. The Virgin Mary was physically assumed into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
  2. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in 1865.
  3. The Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in 1912.

Having made his choice of fact, Feser will then see it proven true or false on the evil scientist’s chronoscope. Let’s further suppose that the evil scientist is completely convincing in his rhetoric and that he has demonstrated the chronoscope’s validity to Feser’s complete satisfaction. In short, Feser sincerely believes that the fate of the entire human race, including himself and his family, rests on his choice of an incontrovertible historical fact from the list above.

Psychologically impossible

I’d like to ask: Would Feser or any other traditionalist Catholic choose fact #1, which is, for traditionalist Catholics, the only completely certain fact on the list and therefore the only one guaranteed to save the human race? I suggest that he and they wouldn’t, if the fate of the human race did indeed rest on their choice. I don’t believe it’s psychologically possible for a sane, intelligent human being to believe in the Assumption of Mary with the same degree of certainty as he believes in the other two historical facts. Even if it were psychologically possible, I think Feser would have to choose 2 or 3 on moral grounds, because he would have to accept that the proof of infallibility is not secure. But I doubt that Feser and other traditionalist Catholics can admit this.

Now try some variants on the thought-experiment. If Feser were forced to choose a fact at random by picking a number from a hat, would he be indifferent as to which number he drew? If he were permitted to discard his first choice and make another, would he do so if he did not draw number 1, in hope of drawing that number on his second attempt? I suggest that he wouldn’t: he would be extremely relieved to draw number 2 or 3. If he drew number 1 and could not make a second choice, he would be very worried about what he would see on the chronoscope after the evil scientist entered the coordinates for the end of Mary’s earthly life.[3] Or let’s suppose that the evil scientist tells Feser that at least one of the facts on the list is false and that, to save the human race, he must make a choice of fact that will be proven false on the chronoscope. Which choice would Feser or another traditionalist Catholic make now?

Wriggling for a way out

I suggest that, on moral grounds, he would have to choose number 1. In other words, I suggest that Feser, as a sane and intelligent human being, does not and cannot genuinely believe in Papal infallibility and the literal physical Assumption of Mary. Therefore, I would expect any traditionalist Catholic presented with the thought-experiment above to begin wriggling for a way out.

How could it be otherwise? Infallibility is an absurdity that must and will corrupt the intellect and morals of anyone who accepts it. Perhaps traditional Catholicism compensates its adherents in other ways. I certainly hope so, but I assume that the ineffability of infallibility will prevent me ever finding out for myself.


  1. It’s worth pausing to reflect on the astonishing nature of this proof, which allows human beings, in a sense, to overcome infinity. Primes never end. How astonishing it is that we can prove this! And so simply!
  2. 31 = (2*3*5) + 1 and 31 is prime. Also prime are 211 = (2*3*5*7) + 1 and 2311 = (2*3*5*7*11) + 1. But 30031 = (2*3*5*7*11*13) + 1 = 59*509, where 59 and 509 are primes not in the set {2,3,5,7,11,13}.
  3. Although I believe that Jesus and Mary probably existed, I think their existence is less certain than the existence of Julius Caesar or Spartacus.
44 replies
  1. Tom
    Tom says:

    Jews have a special covenant with G_d, Evangelicals the same If you’re a devout member, you believe beyond mathematical certainty. It. ..well. …er…..WORKS. Amen

  2. Alphonsus Jr
    Alphonsus Jr says:

    Feser is not a traditionalist Catholic but is merely a “conservative,” as far as I know. For example, he would would quote JPII and Benedict XVI approvingly, even though they were/are actually rank Modernists (though seeking to enter the abyss at 60 mph rather than 600 mph like Jorge Bergoglio, stage name Pope Francis). And Feser would participate in a Novus Ordo “Mass.” These things, and much more, are inconceivable to actual traditional Catholics.

    • Pierre de Craon
      Pierre de Craon says:

      You are absolutely correct in your characterization of Feser and in the reasons you cite for calling him a “conservative.” As such, he bears a close resemblance to his cousins german in politics, the mainstream Establishment conservatives and their cuckservative comrades. All of them, in effect, act as apologists for last year’s fallacies and abominations, which they disingenuously contrast with today’s.

      See also the helpful link in Niko’s comment, below. Expect to see praise for a genuine Traditionalist Catholic from “National Review” or Damian Thompson a week or so after International Jewry admits that its sacred Shoah was a hoax all along.

  3. Alphonsus Jr
    Alphonsus Jr says:

    Dalton and this guy, at least two rabidly anti-Catholic ignorami writing for this site. A shame.

    By the way:

    Popes must be Catholic.
    As a manifest heretic, Jorge Bergogio (Francis) is not Catholic.
    Thus Bergoglio is not pope.

    • Ceri
      Ceri says:

      “ignorami” ? Dalton and Joyce (and Tobias Langdon) are the only authors I read on this site. But then I have always been able to see through churchianity, even as a child.

  4. Jud Jackson
    Jud Jackson says:

    Thanks Mr. Langdon,

    I have read (and own) 4 of Fesers’s books. He is certainly a much better philosopher than I am. He is extremely well read. I have read his blog off and on for years. I can remember years ago that he actually cited Michael Levin concerning black crime. But I don’t believe he would go near that subject now. I have never been able to accept any of the traditional proofs for the existence of God and Feser believes that Aristotle and Aquinas have it right with various versions of the cosmological argument. Feser’s arguments have never convinced me. I remain at heart a Humean although I wish I could accept the cosmological argument but Feser has not convinced me.

  5. Pierre de Craon
    Pierre de Craon says:

    I have been a fan of Tobias Langdon for some considerable time. I truly hope that this article is a side-effect of a weekend of alcoholic excess. Better that than to discover that he means to teach me to read everything still to come from him rather more critically than heretofore.

    For one thing, roughly three-quarters of the statements in this hit piece that follow the words “therefore” and “because” lack the requisite necessary connection with what precedes those words. Has he been taking instruction in formal logic from Humpty Dumpty?

    Scoffers hereabouts are a dime a dozen. If Mr. Langdon’s aim is, as here at least it seems to be, to achieve renown as a creator of paradoxes that would embarrass Zeno of Elea, I hope that he knows that he is a contestant in a very crowded field.

  6. Trad Patrick
    Trad Patrick says:

    Reading this I amazed at the level of cope from this rabid Anti-Catholic stooge. Honestly how are us whites supposed to work together to save the west when these Catholic haters continue to not only lie about the faith but write about it with such staggering ignorance. I would suggest TOO take a moment to relfect on how this not only does not help things but indeed makes them worse.

  7. charles frey
    charles frey says:

    01 What a tedious, unproductive, irrelevant regurgitation of a two millennia-old issue.

    02 Let’s imagine Peter Smith, born in ’39, on a loving farm in Utah, far enough removed from ” German Village “, at Dugway Proving Ground to make its repeated bombing appear as thunder. On the radio he may have heard, without understanding, FDR’s speech announcing the discovery of Hitler’s map, outlining his Plan to invade the Americas, while unable to even pull off Operation Sea Lion, the 25 mile crossing of the English Channel. Said map being a fabrication of Stevenson in NYC ].

    03 Peter, now 82, may have heard, that German Village was constructed with specially imported Russian lumber, resembling that of Germany in combustibility. He may have heard, that the village resembled German construction of typical German working class apartment houses, and was furnished with actual German furniture, bedding, drapery, toys and [ diabolically ] cribs, to test for total incineration of densely populated settlements. Churchill’s quest for return on investment saw the invention of inextinguishable. napalm-like phosphorus bombs. Dresden, when the War was effectively over, as only one of hundreds of examples.

    04 Peter, like many others, untouched by the War, would have the luxury of doubting or refusing altogether, Crist’s birth and purpose.

    05 Charles Frey, by contrast, but also 82, was bombed out four times in Berlin, pursuant to the German Village model, and evacuated in 44 to the south-east, then overrun by the Red Army, while fleeing westward, on April 21, 45. During our evacuation from Berlin, our train was strafed by Soviet fighter-bombers, bringing it to a halt, while all passengers scrambled onto the fields, where many perished from direct hits and shrapnel.

    06 We were locally billeted by already extant Communist German administrations. Food, water, health care a far-off dream. The local front was primarily Ukrainian, with a sizable proportion of Mongols on their short ponies, but with US Colt .45 holsters.

    07 The Ukrainians, probably remembering their own Jewish Holodomor, paid little attention to the daily exhortations in their Red Star army paper, written by that swine Ilya Ehrenburg, to kill-kill-kill and rape all day long and every day all German men, women and children !!! [ Google the images of Nemmersdorf ]

    08 The next few post-War years, even in the American Sector of Berlin, were somewhat better, due to the foreseeable, inevitable, increasingly ideological competition among the valiant Allies. 47-49 Airlift —–,dehydrated French- fries were delicious after cooking during two hours of varying electricity in 24 hours.
    Conditions at school are indescribable. Broken windows; missing teachers; malfunctioning washrooms; no heat; two rare hours of electricity; Swiss and US-donated macaroni and tomato sauce four times a week. Defaced and mutilated classmates.


    10 My point is, that Peter in Utah is entirely free to go his own way, while I am obliged to sincerely believe, that God himself held his hand over our entire family of then five: indeed being frequently obliged to put in overtime.

    For me, this exists quite apart from my 98 in Formal Logic.

    And, imagine the World, if we followed God’s dictates, even without all this unproductive, theological wrangling !

  8. James
    James says:

    What’s the point of this article? Why nit-pick over a Catholic doctrine that (let’s face it) almost no-one these days understands or cares about (including most Catholics)? Also you didn’t even bother to explain papal infallibility properly before attempting to debunk it. What a waste of time….

  9. Gerry
    Gerry says:

    Yes, if there is one thing that since my youth that has bothered me is the Bible doesn’t give us enough information. It certainly doesn’t provide any information on Mary and of Jesus childhood years and so much more. It’s heartbreaking for me actually and I’m guilty to of the same for never having kept a diary and journaling which I see now in my aged years was and is a very big mistake!
    There is so much we don’t know and I certainly do not believe that Mary remained a virgin her entire life and that poor Joseph her husband had to suffer the same fate. I can’t see the God of creation doing that to those 2. I just can’t.
    As for infallibility I have all the proof for the existence of God and of the Resurrection from the dead of Christ Jesus. Indeed, I wrote the book on the subject Climate Change the Work of God. I highly suggest one read and understand it thoroughly so that one can build ones life on the rock that is Jesus Christ otherwise as He said one will suffer the consequences accordingly! The weather will always speak to mankind’s sinful nature! Sin and not this “bullshit” as you say Tobias Langdon that they want us all to believe is the result of Industrial Pollution! BULLSHIT LOL!?!?!?!?!?!

    24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Mathew 7:23-27

  10. Rae West
    Rae West says:

    @Mr Langdon–
    It’s likely that proposing absurd ideas is part of Jewish policy against their targets.
    I think you’ll find the idea of ‘infallibility’ of Popes is fairly recent – coinciding with Jewish attacks on Catholicism. The whole aim is to provoke comments like yours, so that Catholicism is internally riven.
    Something similar happened before the Jews invaded England in the Civil War. Hobbes was presumably something like a funded agent; his role was to pretend that monarchs have ‘Divine Right’, supported by people coming from nowhere such as Filmer. Charles seemed to believe, or pretend to believe. But of course this introduced divisons which were exploitable.
    I’d suggest the present apparent belief in the US President by Jews is a similar example. If presidents are allowed to make unilateral decisions, on war or whatever (including ‘COVID’), then, if puppets of Jews, Jews can get their wars, depressions, etc.

  11. Babs
    Babs says:

    We could learn from the Christians that in order to convince people of something or manipulate them into behaving a certain way we would need a charismatic man to lead them and a fantastic fable or myth to inspire them while never talking about any facts. This is the only way the West can save itself. Sorry about that to all the intellectuals around here.

  12. TJ
    TJ says:

    . . .rabidly anti-Catholic ignorami. . .

    What sort of argument is this? Is this comment infallible?

  13. Al Ross
    Al Ross says:

    The most apposite dictum for Christians is surely Tertullian’s famous ‘ credo quia absurdum’.

  14. Niko
    Niko says:

    Wait! This is weird. Wasn’t this essay first published at Counter-currents? I’m sure I read it there already. And yet, when I checked that site a minute ago, there is no sign of it there. It’s vanished. Was it ever there? Is this a paranormal experience? Or did Langdon request that the essay at C-C be removed, and then resubmit it here? W If so, why? I’d just like an answer, as I’m really perplexed and even disquieted.

    [mod.: yes, apparently it did first appear at c-c and was removed for reasons unknown. (not at langdon’s request)]

  15. Pierre de Craon
    Pierre de Craon says:

    Knowledge of Tertullian that begins and ends with “Credo quia absurdum” is about as reliable and complete as knowledge of Beethoven that begins and ends with the belief that he told Schindler that “Here Fate knocks at the door” is what the opening phrase of the Fifth Symphony “means.” Not of least significance is that both quotations are apocryphal, in common with “Eppur si muove” and countless others.

    For a brief explanation of the origins of “Credo quia absurdum,” see here.

    For a careful exposition (reading time: ca. 10 minutes) of Tertullian’s teachings, including the nontrivial information that he abandoned Roman Catholic orthodoxy to become a Montanist (q.v.), see here.

    • Al Ross
      Al Ross says:

      Thank you , Pierre .

      The extent to which Jerome and other “saints” have distorted the evidence to make Tertullian seem “orthodox” in his early works has been amply demonstrated by Dr. Timothy Barnes ( ) in his 1971 Oxford UP book , ‘Tertullian’ .

      I would commend this tome to you – and not just because the publisher was my former employer.

    • TJ
      TJ says:

      The Hopi Injuns have always maintained that Hopium is infallible.

      I’m betting $2 to show on Hopeium in the 8th at Santa Anita.

  16. cairsahr_stjoseph
    cairsahr_stjoseph says:

    The promise of the resurrection and of eternal life began with Christ and the Catholic Church founded by Him. The Papacy was the supreme authority of the Church from St. Peter and all successors duly elected from the procedures established from the start.

    Long story short, the Catholic Faith has remained the same throughout the ages because of this ultimate authority, the Papacy. This is best expressed in all the dogmatic definitions which only the Pope can do.

    Practically (or secularly) speaking, you may think it does not matter. Well in terms of the world, it doesn’t. But if you want to continue after this life, it does matter. So it matters what one believes the Catholic Faith is. It still matters, even today.

    It still matters even though Pope Pius XII was the last true Pope, and since 1958, all those who claimed to be Pope are all antipopes. And what they have built is the antichurch (whore of babylon) from the false Vatican Council ‘2’ onward.

    The infallible dogmas still matter because they identify the Catholic Faith and also the heretic in Rome. The antipopes contradict the dogmas so they are heretics and cannot be popes. But if you should believe that the dogmas don’t matter, then it won’t matter much to you what the “pope” says. Even if he should try to abrogate dogma (which is impossible).

    I only mention this because the deception which is coming will try to lead the whole world to follow Rome, and if you believe the Roman imposter is the true Pope, you lose. But if you believe that the dogmas are the Faith, you can’t be taken in.

    Apocalypse 13: 8 “And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb which was slain from the
    beginning of the world.”

    • Oscar Wilson
      Oscar Wilson says:

      How do you know that there was no true Pope after the undeniably admirable, but subsequently libelled, Pius XII? Did the “gates of hell” suddenly prevail in October 1958? Isn’t the idea of a Babylonian captivity of the Church a “private” judgement against the official magisterium, a Protestant judgement like that of Martin Luther in 1520, Alexander Hislop in 1853, or the Jehovah’s Witnesses especially (qv online) in 1988? Is the present Nincompope as mad as Stephen VI or as bad as Alexander VI? An alternative end-time scenario is “Lord of the World” by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson.

      • cairsahr_stjoseph
        cairsahr_stjoseph says:

        Well Siri was actually elected Pope as Gregory XVII in 1958, but I tried to keep my comment from being several pages long. I might have said “the last true Pope to -reign- in Rome”.

        And the gates of hell did -not- prevail against the Church in 1958. The answer is in the Apocalypse. We did not get the 3rd Secret of Fatima, so if we want answers, Apocalypse it is. Long story short: No, we did not lose, and it is far from over.

        • Pierre de Craon
          Pierre de Craon says:

          The Siri Thesis is without foundation, and Cardinal Siri himself publicly refused to endorse the claims of others that he had been elected in the 1958 conclave. The notion that someone can be pope without claiming the office and without gaining open acknowledgement and acceptance of his claim has neither theological nor historical support.

          A pope is accorded a plenitude of special divine graces as part of his formal elevation to the papacy. He is not, however, forced to use those graces, nor is he made otherwise exempt from free will or the consequences of original sin and the problem of evil. Thus, to imply or assert, as many sedevacantists regularly do, that a bad pope was never truly pope in the first place is childish or ignorant or both.

          The opinion that all of the popes since Pius XII (save John Paul I, who died a month after his election, too soon to do harm) have been calamitous for the Catholic Faith and its adherents—Paul VI and Francis being perhaps history’s worst—is an opinion I share. As, however, the bar for papal legitimacy is set pretty low, to acknowledge them as true popes in no way detracts from their infamy. Should a future pope judge that some or all of them were guilty of formal heresy or apostasy, they will be retroactively stripped of their office. Happily, this is not a matter that anyone now living need lose a moment’s sleep over.

          And yes, Francis is far worse than Alexander VI or any of the earlier “bad popes,” especially those of the Renaissance, whose badness was restricted to a very familiar area of vice: an insatiable appetite for sex, temporal power, wealth, or all three. Unlike Francis, Paul VI, and the others of recent vintage, the Renaissance popes never messed about with doctrine and always treated Jews and Muslims as what they were then and are now: enemies of God and men who should be excluded to the fullest extent possible from Christian lands.

          • cairsahr_stjoseph
            cairsahr_stjoseph says:

            Towards the end of his life, Siri indicated to someone who managed to gain an interview with him that he could say and do nothing the whole time.

            On Oct. 26, 1958, the mix-up in smoke signals which indicates an election was no mix-up, but an indication of a conflict happening within the conclave.

            Apocalypse 12: 1-6 concerns the 3.5 year period from the “substitution” of Oct. 1958 to the year that Vatican ‘2’ began. 12: 5 in particular is fulfilled in Siri.

            Naturally, I cannot prove it, but it does not mean I haven’t got it right. In any case, we will find out who has got it right eventually.

        • Oscar Wilson
          Oscar Wilson says:

          Didn’t Cardinal Siri support Vatican 2?
          The Apocalypse has been capable of innumerable interpretations, “the happy hunting ground of religious cranks”.
          George Bernard Shaw regarded it as a record of the visions of a drug user (cf. Apoc. 10.9-10). There is reason to think that there were entheogenic factors in early Christian origins such as the Resurrection visions associated with a meal.

          • cairsahr_stjoseph
            cairsahr_stjoseph says:

            Siri did not have a choice. He was a “captive pope”. Apoc. 12: 1-6 concerns his election without reigning.

            George Bernard Shaw can believe whatever he likes, the poor fellow.

            Your last sentence indicates an unawareness of Catholic tradition going back all the way to Peter, including a complete an unbroken line of Papal successors from St. Peter to Pius XII.

          • Pierre de Craon
            Pierre de Craon says:

            Yes, he did. Like Cardinal Ottaviani, he huffed and puffed for a while, but before long Siri’s resistance caved in. In fact, Ottaviani, Siri, and virtually every other prelate—Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Antônio de Castro Mayer (of Campos, Brazil) being two of very few exceptions—went along with all of the Vatican II betrayals and began celebrating the new vernacular mass (i.e., the Novus Ordo Missae).

          • Pierre de Craon
            Pierre de Craon says:

            Siri did not have a choice.

            Siri had a far wider range of choice than was ever offered to Thomas More and John Fisher or, closer to the present, József Mindszenty and Aloysius Stepinac. They all acted courageously, but Siri took a knee to the revolutionaries when Lefebvre and Castro Mayer refused to. Worst of all, there is no indication that, after the council, Siri ever again said the true Mass, even in private.

            What is more, with specific reference to chapter 10 of the Apocalypse, you lack the ecclesiastical authority to concoct a private interpretation of this highly allusive passage, and Cardinal Siri would himself have upbraided you sternly for doing so. Indeed, if you countenance private interpretation of Scripture, you shouldn’t be suggesting that you are a Catholic. Further to the point, mention of a three-and-a-half-year period occurs several times in the book, and the sense that that span derives from Deuteronomy, where it is used as a shorthand indication for any period of persecution, antedates the fourth century AD. This is the point where a serious and faithful reader of the text ought to get a firm grip on his imagination. That is to say, suggesting that there is prophetic anticipation of a specific local event might not be strictly illicit, but it gives evidence of an unbecoming lack of intellectual discipline.

            To conclude more generally, Mr. Langdon’s cartoonish misunderstanding and misrepresentation of papal infallibility show yet again how harmful a little learning can be. Replying to him in equally cartoonish terms does more harm than good.

  17. Ned J. Casper
    Ned J. Casper says:

    A few reflections:
    1. Protestant notions of an infallible Bible instead of an infallible Church are undermined by the fact that the collection of books known as “the Bible” were written either by Jews of old, or by members of the Church (I Timothy 3.15), and selected by the Church many decades after the death of the apostles.
    2. The “Bible” nowhere refers to “itself”, let alone as the “sole rule of faith”.
    3. The chief Biblical reference to an “infallible” Catholic Church is Matthew 28.18-20, but Catholic scholars themselves have questioned its authenticity.
    4. The chief basis for the Papacy as the focus of the Church is Matthew 16.18 but this depends on the continuity of the central Roman bishopric after the supposed death of Peter. The best arguments for this were in T. W. Allies, “The See of Peter”, and B. C. Butler, “The Church & Infallibility”. But there are questions about the belatedness and context of the 1870 definition, and the credibility and context of the subsequent 1950 definition of the Assumption of Mary. Who today can believe that a virgin gave birth to the Creator of the Cosmos about 2025 years ago and now listens to prayers as the Queen of Heaven?
    5. Modern Catholic and Protestant scholars themselves have undermined credibility of the New Testament as an historical record, and also of many Christian doctrines. When the priests no longer believe, the people gradually fall away. “There is tragedy in the spectacle” (Ayn Rand).
    6. There was almost certainly a charismatic religious reformer from ancient Galilee called Yehoshua, with a gift for public speaking and faith healing, who expected personally to inaugurate a holy society but was executed by his opponents, and was then turned into a sacrificial deity by a gifted intellectual called Saul from the mystery-cult centre of Tarsus.
    7. We should not condemn the positive contributions from Christianity to the manners, medicine, music, art, architecture, and family piety, of Europe, while regretting its current dissolution into a self-abnegating wokery with a sanctimonious “extreme unction”.

    • Pierre de Craon
      Pierre de Craon says:

      Who today can believe that a virgin gave birth to the Creator of the Cosmos about 2025 years ago and now listens to prayers as the Queen of Heaven?

      Rather more than you imagine—although, granted, probably none of them are in the vicinity of the admiring bog at whose denizens the quoted croak seems to be directed.

      • Ned J. Casper
        Ned J. Casper says:

        With respect to Monsieur de Craon, nearly 2 billion Muslims have a religion that has Jesus born to a virgin but find the notion that her son was actually God both abhorrent and impossible. It is certainly an odd faith that has God, after many civilizations had come and gone, and bumping off most humans except Noah and family at one stage, trying unsuccessfully to establish a Kingdom of Heaven on earth and then getting killed after only three years of public activity, whether his crucifixion was expected all along, or even planned in advance.

  18. John Homes, III
    John Homes, III says:


    so hating on the roman church is cool except it may be the best hope of european man at this point. it is the oldest and largest organization on earth after all and a continuation of the roman empire; its pope is the roman emperor.

    and it’s not like the mary shit and the peter shit isn’t biblical.


  19. Michel St.Pierre
    Michel St.Pierre says:

    Dear Gentiles of the Catholic Faith, I do believe there are far more pressing concerns for your consternation.
    May I suggest a visit to Maurice Pinay’s site to view this article –
    Pope Francis’ ‘Foreign Minister’ dialogues with Jacob Schiff’s American Jewish Committee –

  20. John Holmes, III
    John Holmes, III says:

    and OBVIOUSLY the roman and orthodox churches are still redoubts of SINCERE antisemitism (mel and hutton gibson are the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”) AND…

    the sola scriptura vs the sola eccelia is such a stupid argument because the romans are WAY MORE fundamentalist than even the so-called (well named) “fundament-alists”. THEY REALLY BELIEVE IT.

    the mary shit took me a long time to grok. but if you believe “jesus is God” and you believe in the virgin birth, then you’ve gotta ask yourself, “why this woman?”

    so the whole hyperdulia thing has been carried way too far by the romans (but not by the eastern orthodox). but the hyperdulia applied to mary is just fundamentalism. the only other saint it might be so applied to would be peter. mary and peter are the big saints of the NT.

    • Ned J. Casper
      Ned J. Casper says:

      “Hyperdulia” borders on making Mary a goddess, a female partner to the Trinity, and for that reason is rejected by Protestants who rely solely on the New Testament narratives (see e.g. Mark 3.21). It was the ecumenical movement of Vatican 2 that scuppered the theological trajectory to make Mary “Mediatrix of All Graces” and “Co-Redemptrix”.

  21. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    The “elephant” in this discussion is omitting the horrific historical facts of how our European ancestors were manipulated, forced, beaten or killed into becoming Christians, with some of our original traditions fluffed into Christian holidays, stripping us of our spiritual roots and foundations. Even the “Jewsus story” is taken from our mythologies.

    The spiritual raping of Europeans for Jewsus Christ remains the biggest criminal hoax of this Reptilian “people.” How any authentic WN cannot question and research Europeans “becoming” Christian/Catholic is tragic.

    Perhaps Mr. Tobias (one of my favorite writers!) would be interested in covering the persecution of Europeans forced into Christianity in a 3-plus part series of this broad and under discussed issue. A people without their original folklore, mythology and spirituality remain lost. We have been lost since for centuries.

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