“DEI VIA EST INTEGRA”
The Old Roman Catholic Church:
A Brief History
While most histories begin in the past, this one must begin with a few words about the present, the current events in the Catholic Church. The writer, a lifelong Catholic, was in high school when Vatican II was announced and in college when it concluded. For him, as for most Catholics, the most immediately noticeable outcome of the Council was a continuous series of changes in the Mass. The relatively modest use of the vernacular permitted by the Council was immediately exceeded, and exceeded with translations far more banal than any available before.
Within a few years an entirely new rite — Pope Paul’s Novus Ordo (New Order) — rather Protestant in character, and even more poorly translated, had replaced the Roman Mass. The present writer also noticed the errors about religious freedom in the Council documents, but assumed that they were mere mistakes in translation that soon would be corrected. To be honest, he did not notice the Council’s attempt to subvert the permanence of marriage, and didn’t then have the philosophical background needed to perceive the assault of modernism and existentialism on Catholic doctrine.
But these pages are not about what went wrong in the last half of the 20th century. These things are elsewhere covered well. Rather, they attempt to explain how some traditional Catholics have been able to resist the wrong-doers. The story will, necessarily, be incomplete, as other traditional Catholics have formed their resistance around other lines. It is necessary to write this history because the question is often asked of us: “How can you continue to have the true Mass — where do your priests and bishops come from?”
Like all honest histories, this one will contain characters who were less than perfect. Where some “spin” has been placed on these characters by previous writers, this writer may attempt to “reverse the spin,” wherever it is necessary to tell the story from the perspective of the “other side” — to tell the story apart from the nominal “victors” who usually write history.”
“So, where do your priests and bishops come from?”
The history of Holy Orders must begin with the Gospels — or perhaps even with the Old Testament, and God’s establishment of His priesthood in the family Aaron and his sons. In both Testaments, God’s intervention in human history has always followed certain lines: God wants us to know Him so that we may love Him; He wants us to know how He expects us to behave relative to those around us; and He wants us to know how He wants to be worshipped. All of these things are necessary so we can “show forth His glory in this world and be happy with Him in the next.” In the Gospels we see that our Lord Jesus Christ trained His apostles in these matters for about three years before offering Himself in the perfect Sacrifice of the Cross. We see, particularly, that on the night before He died, He gave the apostles the ability to re-present that Sacrifice in the unbloody offering of bread and wine in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: “This in My body… This is My blood which will be poured out for you and for many…. Do this in memory of me.”
“Simon whom He named Peter, and his brother Andrew; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alpheus, and Simon called the Zealot; Jude the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot who turned traitor.”1 Later He would choose Paul, “out of due time,” as it were. With brutal honesty, we might describe the apostles as “an indifferent lot.” One turned traitor, one denied even knowing Jesus, one persecuted Him, all deserted Him in Gethsemane, only one stood by Him at the Cross. In varying degrees they all doubted His resurrection until seeing physical proof. In all of them, we can say with Paul that, “the power of God is perfectly manifested in the weakness of men.”2 And so, with similar honesty, we can speak of them all as heroic men. Only John died a natural death, but that after torture and exile.
Our Lord’s message being for all time, and His Holy Sacrifice, the Mass, being one to be re-presented in all places, these early apostles were given the power of Holy Orders — the power to place their hands on the heads of other men, multiplying their numbers so that eventually a veritable army of apostles would “make disciples of all nations.” The apostles and their successors were conduits of the power of Christ. Ultimately, all Holy Orders come from Jesus Christ.
Peter and Paul, of course, would found the primary apostolic See at Rome, with the bishops of Rome, the Popes, exercising the primacy of Peter over all the bishops of the Church. Peter’s protégé, Mark, would found the patriarchal See of Alexandria, and Peter’s successor at Antioch would be the martyr Ignatius. Thomas would take the Catholic Church to far away India. But the first link in the chain of the story we are telling here will be Saint John, the disciple who sat next to our Lord at the Last Supper.
John is known to have lived at Ephesus, in his earlier days as guardian of the Blessed Virgin, and again, after his exile on Patmos, while he wrote the fourth Gospel. John passed on the apostolate to Polycarp and made him bishop of nearby Smyrna. Both Ephesus and Smyrna are cities on the Aegean Sea, part of the Roman Mediterranean trade route. By sea the Church reached the cities of the Rhone valley in modern day France. [Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Lyons”] Saint Polycarp sent the bishop Pothinus who established his see at Lyons. Martyred in the persecution of Marcus Aurelius in 177, Pothinus’ successor was the great theologian Ireneaus, who was away in Rome at the time briefing Pope Elutherius about the heresy of Montanus, and would later convince Pope Victor I to allow the Eastern Churches and their Gallican offspring to observe Easter according to their own proper rule. [C.E., s.v. Ireneaus]
The Gallican rite spread through what are today known as France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Low Countries. Monks like Columbanus even brought it to the Abbey of Bobbio near Milan as late as the seventh century. [C.E., s.v. “Columbanus”] Monks and monasticism were particularly important to Gallican rite Catholicism, monks being the primary missionaries, and monasteries serving in place of dioceses as the organizational centers of Celtic Christianity.3
In A.D. 689 Pepin II of Heristall subdued western Frisia (modern Holland), adding it to the Kingdom of the Franks. To consolidate the conquest of the pagan Frisians, Pepin established monasteries and embarked upon a program of evangelization. In 695, he sent St. Willibroard to Rome to secure episcopal consecration and the Pope’s blessing for the mission. (Pepin was the “mayor of the palace” under the Merovingian king of the Franks, the father of Charles Martel, and the grandfather of another Pepin who would use his good relationship with the Holy See to dethrone the last of the Merovingians and to be crowned King of the Franks by St. Boniface, the legate of Pope Zachary in 751.) So, on November 21st, A.D. 695, Pope Sergius I consecrated Willibroard bishop, gave him the name Clement, and recognized him as regional bishop in the Netherlands. [C.E. s.v. “Willibroard”]4
St. Boniface, who crowned the younger Pepin, spent three years as St. Willibroard’s coadjutor bishop at Utrecht, later becoming known as the “Apostle of Germany.” Catholicism flourished under the Carolingians — particularly under Charlemagne who sought to establish schools for the clergy and nobility and to bring the Roman Rite to all of his domain. At his death, Charlemagne’s Empire was divided among his three sons, later giving way to the Holy Roman Empire (962). Together with the Dukes of Gueldre, the Bishops of Utrecht ruled from the break up of the Carolingian empire until the Low Countries came under the control of the Burgundians (922-1417). Burgundian control gave way to the Spanish Hapsburgs.
Beginning in 1517, Protestantism would change both the belief and the map of Europe. Pope Leo X died shortly after excommunicating Luther in 1521, making way for the pontificate of Adrian VI, elected Pope in 1522, the last non-Italian until Pope John Paul II. Adrian was born in Utrecht, educated by Geerte Groote’s Brothers of the Common Life (the Order of Thomas a Kempis, credited with writing The Imitation of Christ), and at the Louvain, where he rose to the rank of chancellor. As toutor, regent, and later viceroy to Charles V, as bishop of Tortosa and Inquisitor for much of Spain, Adrian was named Cardinal Archbishop of Utrecht in 1517, and Pope five years later. While categorically opposed to doctrinal change, Adrian attempted the reform of the Roman Curia in an attempt to de-fuse Luther’s charges of simony and corruption. Refusing to confer lucrative benefices and uninterested in patronizing Renaissance art he became unpopular with the Roman people as well as the Curia. It did not help that the Romans thought of the Dutch as “Barbarians.” The Pope’s refusal to join Charles V in league against France and his order to arrest a French Cardinal cost him the support of Spain and France, perhaps hastening Adrian’s death after the summer of 1523.
Subsequent Popes were equally unable to stop the spread of Protestantism, and bloody persecution of Protestants often induced them to flee and take their heresy somewhere new. French Calvinists and others took flight to the Netherlands. Spanish reaction began with the reorganization of the Church, and the formation of new dioceses in 1559. Theoretically, each bishop would be more familiar with his own territory. But a number of these dioceses were formed at the expense of the venerable and influential abbeys, whose revenues were redirected to the diocese. The bishops also acquired the abbeys’ rights to vote in Parliament, making the diocesan appointments a political plumb. Instead of allowing the election of the bishops by the diocesan clergy or cathedral chapter they would be appointed by the Spanish King, giving him additional control in Parliament.
Philip II followed Charles V, incapable of governing his foreign subjects and controlling the rise of Protestantism. He was resented by Catholic and Protestant alike as an outsider who didn’t even have the fortitude to remain and rule except through his illegitimate half sister, Margaret of Parma, whom he named regent in 1559 before returning permanently to Madrid. By 1566, persecution led to serious rioting by Protestants. King Philip’s reaction was to hold all citizens responsible, including the Catholics and Catholic institutions. This seriously miscalculated policy, sparked by another riot in 1576 — this time by long unpaid Spanish troops who trashed Antwerp — led to a revolution in which Catholics and Protestants fought for the expulsion of the Spanish. After roughly twenty years of war, the Spanish completely withdrew their troops in 1595, leaving Belgium as a Catholic state and Holland Protestant. Spain did keep an intellectual presence at the Louvain in the form of the regular clergy, principally Jesuits, whose numbers would increase dramatically over the following century, and who would become involved in a different form of strife.
Catholics were severely persecuted in Holland, being deprived of rights and properties, particularly the right to Divine worship. In 1580, van Toutenburg, the Archbishop of Utrecht appointed by the Spanish died, and two attempts by the king to replace him failed, with the appointees dying before they could take office. Instead of allowing the chapter of Utrecht to fill the vacancy after the Spanish departure, Rome called upon the Apostolic Nuncio at Cologne to provide a Vicar to govern all of Holland. The first Vicar, Sasbout Vosmeer (1602), attempted to govern from Germany — but to his credit, he did attempt to found a seminary at Amsterdam (ultimately, it had to withdraw to Louvain in the Catholic region).
Holland remained at war, with varying enemies and allies for much of the seventeenth century. Meanwhile a different kind of conflict, centered more or less on the Louvain in Belgium, was taking place. In response to Luther, the Council of Trent and the Counter Reformation brought a renewed interest in developing the Catholic understanding of grace and the means of salvation. Catholic scholars wrote many volumes attempting to “fine tune” the Catholic position. Some of their theories were mistaken.
In 1691, the Jesuits falsely accused Archbishop Peter Codde, the occupant of the See of Utrecht, of favoring the so-called “Jansenist Heresy.” (We say “so-called,” because, while the propositions condemned by Pope Innocent X are indeed erroneous and inconsistent with the true Faith, they are not clearly to be found in the works of Cornelius Jansen.) Numerous archbishops, bishops, and other clergy, along with faculty members of the prestigious Catholic universities at Rheims, Sorbonne, Nantes, and Louvain rejected the documents which denounced Jansen. The issue was not the correctness of the propositions, but whether or not these were in fact contained in Jansen’s writings — and whether third parties should be made to denounce Jansen without regard to that fact.5 Further reference to the period is the work of the Anglican writer Rev. J.M. Neale, MA in his work “A History of the So-Called Jansenist Church of Utrecht”.
Archbishop Codde refused to accept the formulary of condemnation, not because he favored the heretical propositions, but because he did not believe them to be espoused by Jansen. His unwillingness to unjustly condemn the works of the deceased bishop resulted in Archbishop Codde’s suspension in 1699. Refusing to permit Archbishop Codde any defense in these accusations created a breach not yet healed; although, among others, Pope Clement XIV was favorably disposed toward the grievously wronged church in Utrecht. These irregular proceedings against our predecessors, based on charges then proved groundless, had no lawful effect, leaving the church of Utrecht within the pale of Catholic unity, and its bishop the just successor of the Apostles.6
Our position is not significantly different from those current estrangements from the Holy See on the part of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and others as a result of the innovations of Vatican Council II.7 We are simply three hundred years earlier than our contemporary counterparts who join us in protesting the abuses of Vatican II by refusing to blindly obey proclamations clearly at odds with the Faith.8
In 1739 Dominique Marie Varlet, Roman Catholic titular Bishop of Ascalon, consecrated Peter John Meindaerts to fill the vacant See of Utrecht, without having asked for or obtained a papal bull authorizing the consecration.9 Since then the church of Utrecht, retaining in every detail the worship and doctrine as formerly, became known as the Old Roman Catholic Church of Holland.
Old Roman Catholicism is the same Mystical Body of Christ as in the first Christian centuries. There have been no changes in doctrine or moral teaching. The decrees of the Second Council of Utrecht, held under Archbishop Meindaerts in 1763, are a monument of orthodoxy and respect for the Holy See. In a declaration made by Archbishop Van Os and his two suffragans to the Papal Nuncio who visited Holland in 1823, they said:
“We accept without any exception whatever all the Articles of the Holy Catholic Faith. We will never hold nor teach, now nor afterwards, any other opinion than those that heave been decreed, determined, and published by our Mother, Holy Church…. We reject and condemn everything opposed to them, especially all heresies, without any exception, which the Church has rejected and condemned…. We have never made common cause with those who have broken the bond of unity.”
In the light of the developments of previous centuries we see that the Old Roman Catholic Church received and still preserves, the Mass and seven Sacraments, the doctrines, and moral teachings of the Church of Christ and the Apostles. The Church is called “Old” because she rejects Modernism and every recent innovation, while adhering faithfully to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of Apostolic times. She is called “Roman” because Her teaching is identical with that of the Holy See of Rome in the authentic exercise of Its magisterium; because the line of her Apostolic Succession from the first century until 1739 was held in common with the Roman Catholic Church; and because She uses the Roman Rite (in the form prescribed by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, and codified by Pope Saint Pius V) without addition or change, using the time honored texts of the Missale, Pontificale, and Rituale Romanum with great care and exactness as to minister, matter, form and intention in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the administration of the Sacraments. The Church is “Catholic” because She is not confined to any one nation or place or time, teaching the same Faith once delivered by her Divine Founder, Jesus Christ to the Apostles.
The honest inquirer must be cautioned not to confuse the Old Roman Catholic Church with those groups calling themselves “Old Catholic,” or usurping the name “Old Roman Catholic.” Fostering this sort of confusion has been a favored tactic of those hoping to promote schism within the traditional Catholic resistance to Modernism. Much which in this age calls itself Old Catholic represents some compromise with Protestantism, or, in a wider digression, with the non-Christian cult theosophy, bearing little resemblance to Catholicism. (In 1870, Dr. Ignaz von Dollinger brought the Old Catholics into being to offer resistance to the dogma of Papal Infallibility. In 1873, the Church of Utrecht was, must unhappily, prevailed upon to provide these Old Catholics with a bishop. In 1889, an amalgamation took place between Utrecht and the Old Catholics. Thus the Church of Utrecht laid the foundation for her subsequent fall into Modernism.) The Old Roman Catholic Church has no connection with these “churches.”
Before the great See of Utrecht abandoned her historic position, however, God in His Divine Providence provided for the continuation of Old Roman Catholicism. Though Utrecht was eventually to abandon traditional Catholicism, the Church was not to perish. On April 28, 1908, Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew of England was consecrated to the Episcopate by Archbishop Gerard Gul of Utrecht, assisted by Bishops N.B.P. Spitt of Deventer, and J.J van Thiel of Haarlam in the Netherlands, and Bishop J. Demmel of Bonn, Germany. By the end of 1910, however, the influence of the Old Catholics had proved too much for Utrecht and had overwhelmed her. So great and far reaching were the changes which she was prevailed upon to make in her formularies and doctrinal position that, on December 29, 1910, Archbishop Mathew was forced to withdraw the Old Roman Catholic Church in England from communion with Utrecht in order to preserve its orthodoxy intact.10
Archbishop Mathew cited several innovations of the Old Catholics which required him to withdraw from union with Utrecht: 1) An indeterminate number of Sacraments. 2) Abandonment of auricular Confession. 3) Departure from the veneration of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. 4) Mutilation of the sacred rites and decreased devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. 5) Omission of prayers for the Pope in the Canon of the Mass. 6) Loss of devotion to daily Mass and infrequency of Holy Communion. 7) Iconoclasm. 8) Admission of non- Catholics to Holy Communion. 9) Abolition of fasting and abstinence, and of the Eucharistic fast.11 The reader will notice a similarity between the Old Catholicism which Mathew rejected and the Modernist Catholicism so widely practiced today.
Utrecht is no longer Old Roman Catholic but simply Old Catholic. Thus it comes about that the ancient and glorious Church of Saint Willibrord and Saint Boniface has its continuation and perpetuation through the present Old Roman Catholic Church, which is compelled, in defense of its orthodoxy, to refuse to hold union with either Utrecht or the Old Catholics, or with their Modernist counterparts.
By the middle of this century, during the reign of the saintly Pope Pius XII, the intellectual climate had changed and there was no longer any demand by the Holy See for unreasoned condemnations of third parties. Jansenism had long been reduced to a footnote in the history texts, and post-war Rome seemed to have lost interest in perpetuating the theoretical conflict that caused it to originate the separation in the 17th century.12 Seemingly having lost its reason for existence, the Old Roman Catholic hierarchy determined that no new priests would be ordained and no bishops would be consecrated — on the assumption that Roman priests and bishops would provide for the spiritual needs of all the Faithful. At their beginnings, the pontificate of Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council were viewed as favorable signs.
Regrettably, however, Vatican II and its post-conciliar developments were a serious disappointment to all those Catholics concerned with preserving the Deposit of Faith and Morals given to Peter and the Apostles by our Lord.(8) The greatest tragedy was the disruption of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the other Sacraments. Radically corrupted by “ecumenism,” and poorly translated into modern languages, the liturgical books no longer guaranteed the Catholic Faith. The “law of prayer being the law of belief,” many modern Catholics are unaware of (or positively disbelieve) the sacrificial nature of the Mass and the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament — the Sunday morning service has been reduced to a communal gathering. And, thirty-odd years later there is no sign that any of the errors of the Council are to be corrected. From the highest to the lowest levels of the hierarchy, the only prescription for the few evils that are admitted to be plaguing the Mystical Body is another infusion of what afflicted It to begin with — all that anything needs is a little bit more of “the correct interpretation of the principles of Vatican II”!13
Among the Vatican II era bishops there were only a handful who resisted the movement away from Catholicism. In the early days of the resistance there were a fair number of priests who remained orthodox, a number of Catholic men hoping to study for the priesthood, and even a bishop or two who promised to ordain them. But no conciliar bishop was willing to provide for the Church’s future by consecrating truly Catholic bishops. One European bishop tried to arrange for an Old Catholic bishop to ordain the future priests of his Society (an idea quickly rejected by his membership). An Asian bishop found a mad man or two upon whom to lay hands; quickly retreating back to the New Order as one of his creations claimed then to be pope!4
Some rethinking of the decision to leave everything in the hands of Rome was obviously in order. Modernism had clearly replaced Jansenism as the topic of the discussion — and if there is a “left” and a “right” to such things, Rome was clearly leaning toward the left. If nothing else, provision had to be made to secure the Mass and the Sacraments, along with the principles of faith and morals, for future generations of the Catholic people.
To this end, Archbishop Gerard G. Shelley, head of the Old Roman Catholic Church, together with his priests and bishops, approved a new Constitution to renew the Old Roman Catholic Church and allow it to cope with its contemporary mission. This Constitution, ratified in 1976, and subsequently amended, reaffirms our acceptance of traditional Catholic doctrine, morals, and worship. Through it, we acknowledge the primacy and infallibility of the Holy Father, while providing for the Faithful who wish to maintain the traditions and faith of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Archbishop Shelley’s intentions are clearly seen in the mandate that he issued for the consecration of his successor, the current titular Archbishop of Caer Glow and Bishop of Florida:
† In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
By these presents be it known to all concerned that in view of the ever-growing spiritual needs of the historic and canonical Old Roman Catholic Church in the ecclesiastical Province of Florida, which by the will of God in fulfillment of the inscrutable designs of His providence, has brought together in wondrous fashion an ever- increasing number of the Faithful who ardently desire to maintain the fullness of the traditional Catholic faith and practice, it has become incumbent upon the Bishops of the Church to take these paramount needs into consideration and to provide for the future of the Church in the Apostolic manner. Accordingly, after due reflection in humble submission to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, the Bishops of the Primatial Synod, rejoicing with the angels of Heaven at the steadfast fidelity of so many devout persons to the ancient and ever-living traditions of the true Catholic Faith and practice, have deemed it necessary to meet these paramount and to raise to the sacred order of the Episcopate their beloved priest and brother in Christ, the Right Reverend John J. Humphreys, investing him with full jurisdiction in the ecclesiastical Province of Florida, and in any other area of North America, should existing circumstances require, to the honor and glory of God and the benefit of His holy Church.15
Additional information may be found in the sources referenced in the footnotes, as well as in The Catholic Encyclopedia, Addis and Arnold’s Roman Catholic Dictionary, Donald Attwater’s A Catholic Dictionary, Father Konrad Algermissen’s Christian Denominations, and the Columban Father’s The Far East Magazine for January 1928.
More recent references follow:
An excerpt from Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical letter “Dominus Iesus”…
17. Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church…
From the Vatican, August 6, 2000
 “When a [Roman] Catholic sacred minister is unavailable and there is urgent spiritual necessity, Catholics may receive the Eucharist, penance, or anointing from sacred ministers of non-Roman-Catholic denominations whose holy orders are considered valid by the Catholic Church. This includes all Eastern Orthodox priests, as well as priests of the Old [Roman] Catholic or Polish National Church.” Rights and Responsibilities, A Catholics’ Guide to the New Code of Canon Law, Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., page 44
And, of course, your questions are welcome.
Table of Succession of the Old Roman Catholic Church
1655 Antonio, Cardinal Barberini, Archbishop, Reims
1668 Charles Maurice Le Tellier, Archbishop, Reims
1670 Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Bishop, Meaux
1693 Jacques Goyon de Matignon, Bishop, Condom
1719 Dominique Marie Varlet, Bishop, Ascalon
1739 Petrus Johannes Meindaarts, Archbishop, Utrecht
1745 Johannes van Stiphout, Bishop, Haarlem
1763 Gualtherus van Niewenhuisen, Abp., Utrecht
1778 Johannes Adrian Broekman, Bishop, Haarlem
1797 Johannes Jacobus van Rhijn, Archbishop, Utrecht
1805 Gilbertus Cornelius de Jong, Bishop, Deventer
1814 Willibrordus van Os, Archbishop, Utrecht
1819 Johannes Bon, Bishop, Haarlem
1825 Johannes van Santen, Archbishop, Utrecht
1853 Hermanus Heijkamp, Bishop, Deventer
1873 Gaspard Johannes Rinkel, Bishop, Haarlem
1892 Gerardus Gul, Archbishop, Utrecht
1908 Arnold Harris Mathew, Archbishop, London
1912 Rudolphe de Landes Berges, Bishop, Scotland
1915 Carmel Henry Carfora, Archbishop, Chicago
1935 Richard Arthur Marchenna, Archbishop, Newark
1950 Gerard George Shelley, OSJ, Archbishop, Caer-Glow
1975 John Joseph Humphreys, OSJ, Archbishop, Florida
1984 John Joseph Greed (d), Bishop, Massachusett
2007 Richard J. Euler, OSJ, Bishop, New York/Alabama
1. Luke vi: 15-16.
2. Cf. 2 Corinthians xii: 9.
3. Useful reading may be found on the Net at The Celts and Christianity by Morgan O’Maolain, Clannada na Gadelica Academia Gadelica.
4. The Catholic Encyclopedia lists Sergius III as the consecrator of St. Willibroard, an obvious typographical error considering the regnal dates.
5. The five propositions said to be taken from the Augustinus of Cornelius Jansen were condemned by Pope Innocent X in 1653 (Denzinger 1092-1096/ 2001-2007). His successor, Pope Alexander VII adopted a formulary written by Pierre de Marca, Archbishop of Toulouse, demanding agreement that the condemned propositions were actually to be found in the Augustinus (Denzinger 1098-1099/ 2010-2012). Pope Alexander also has the distinction of having declared that the Sun goes around the Earth, and of having halted the translation of the Roman Missal into French lest “the dignity [of the words of the Missal] be exposed to the crowds.” (Pope Alexander VII, 12 January 1661, University of Notre Dame Cawley Archives, at 10 Apr 2000 00:48:56 GMT). Further reference to the period is the work by the Anglican writer Rev. J.M. Neale, MA in his work “A History of the So-Called Jansenist Church of Utrecht”.
6. The history of the church/state politics surrounding the Jesuits and “Jansenism” is well covered in H. Daniel-Rops, The Church in the Seventeenth Century (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1963). Hilaire Belloc’s How the Reformation Happened (TAN, 1992) is also useful.
7. In violation of (1983) Canon 1323.5, Archbishop Lefebvre was “excommunicated” for protecting his followers from the damage done by the Modernists.
8. Originally called as a “pastoral” and “non-dogmatic” council, Vatican II and its post-conciliar proponents attempted sweeping changes in the unchangeable truths of the Catholic Faith. Its pronouncements, particularly those dealing with religious liberty, ecumenical relations, and the nature of Christian Marriage, are particularly suspect.
9. Bishop Varlet was an auxiliary of the Bishop of Quebec, and had served as his Vicar General for Catholics in the French territory of Louisiana. See Newman C. Eberhardt, CM, A Survey of American Church History (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1964) p. 49. He was consecrated bishop 12 February 1719, and got in trouble almost immediately for Confirming the children of Utrecht who had been waiting for the appointment of a bishop.
10. Most of the literature written about Archbishop Mathew is written from the point of view of the Anglican establishment, which viewed the acceptance of Leo XIII’s Apostolicae curae or any interest in validating Anglican Orders as traitorous. He was also maligned by the Catholic establishment, which found itself aghast that Corporate Reunion might be attempted by a Roman priest rather than an Anglican minister. See “Ninteenth Century Prelude” for additional information.
11. Arnold Harris Mathew, Pastoral Letter of 29 December 1910.
12. Paradoxically, the last remaining bastions of Jansenism are found among some of those claiming to be “traditionalists,” and who are among our most vocal critics.
13. In retrospect, Vatican Council II itself, and certain of its pronouncements, particularly those dealing with religious liberty, ecumenical relations, and the nature of Christian Marriage, are highly suspect, but that is beyond the scope of this writing.
14. Belatedly, both of these bishops consecrated relatively sane men to the episcopate, but the delay itself caused schisms to form within the Catholic resistance. Further, Archbishop Turc, while living the remainder of his life in a Roman Catholic Seminary, never recanted the consecrations he performed (though Rome claims otherwise while simultaneously suggesting he was not in his right mind), remained faithful to his priesthood having never said any Mass but that of Pope St. Pius V until his death.
15. Gerard G. Shelly, “Apostolic Mandate,” 20 May 1975.