The Council of Florence (A.D. 1438-1445) From Cantate Domino — Papal Bull of Pope Eugene IV

The sacrosanct Roman Church, founded by the voice of our Lord and Savior, firmly believes, professes, and preaches one true God omnipotent, unchangeable, and eternal, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; one in essence, three in persons; Father unborn, Son born of the Father, Holy Spirit proceeding from Father and Son; that the Father is not Son or Holy Spirit, that Son is not Father or Holy Spirit; that Holy Spirit is not Father or Son; but Father alone is Father, Son alone is Son, Holy Spirit alone is Holy Spirit. The Father alone begot the Son of His own substance; the Son alone was begotten of the Father alone; the Holy Spirit alone proceeds at the same time from the Father and Son. These three persons are one God, and not three gods, because the three have one substance, one essence, one nature, one divinity, one immensity, one eternity, where no opposition of relationship interferes.

“Because of this unity the Father is entire in the Son, entire in the Holy Spirit; the Son is entire in the Father, entire in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is entire in the Father, entire in the Son. No one either excels another in eternity, or exceeds in magnitude, or is superior in power. For the fact that the Son is of the Father is eternal and without beginning; and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son is eternal and without beginning.” Whatever the Father is or has, He does not have from another, but from Himself; and He is the principle without principle. Whatever the Son is or has, He has from the Father, and is the principle from a principle. Whatever the Holy Spirit is or has, He has simultaneously from the Father and the Son. But the Father and the Son are not two principles of the Holy Spirit, but one principle, just as the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three principles of the creature, but one principle.

Whoever, therefore, have adverse and contrary opinions the Church disapproves and anathematizes and declares to be foreign to the Christian body which is the Church. Hence it condemns Sabellius who confuses the persons and completely takes away their real distinction. It condemns the Arians, the Eunomians; the Macedonians who say that only the Father is the true God, but put the Son and the Holy Spirit in the order of creatures. It condemns also any others whatsoever who place grades or inequality in the Trinity.

Most strongly it believes, professes, and declares that the one true God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, is the creator of all things visible and invisible, who, when He wished, out of His goodness created all creatures, spiritual as well as corporal; good indeed, since they were made by the highest good, but changeable, since they were made from nothing, and it asserts that nature is not evil, since all nature, in so far as it is nature, is good. It professes one and the same God as the author of the Old and New Testament, that is, of the Law and the Prophets and the Gospel, since the saints of both Testaments have spoken with the inspiration in the same Holy Spirit, whose books, which are contained under the following titles it accepts and venerates.

Besides it anathematizes the madness of the Manichaeans, who have established two first principles, one of the visible, and another of the invisible; and they have said that there is one God of the New Testament, another God of the Old Testament.

It believes, professes, and proclaims that one person of the Trinity. true God, Son of God born from the Father, consubstantial and coeternal with the Father, in the plenitude of time which the inscrutable depth of divine counsel has disposed for the salvation of the human race, assumed true and complete human nature from the immaculate womb of the Virgin Mary, and joined with itself in the unity of person, with such unity that whatever is of God there, is not separated from man, and whatever is of man, is not divided from the Godhead; He is one and the same undivided both natures, God and man, remaining in their own peculiar properties, God and man, Son of God and Son of man, equal to the Father according to divinity, less than the Father according to humanity, immortal and eternal from the nature of divinity, passible and temporal from the condition of assumed humanity.

It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that the Son of God in the assumed humanity was truly born of the Virgin, truly suffered, truly died and was buried, truly rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, and will come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead.

It, moreover, anathematizes, execrates, and condemns every heresy that suggests contrary things. And first it condemns Ebion, Cerinthus, Marcion, Paul of Samosata, Photinus, and all similar blasphemers, who, being unable to accept the personal union of humanity with the Word, denied that our Lord Jesus Christ was true God, proclaiming Him pure man who was called divine man by reason of a greater participation in divine grace, which He had received by merit of a more holy life. It anathematizes also Manichaeus with his followers, who, thinking vainly that the Son of God had assumed not a true but an ephemeral body, entirely do away with the truth of the humanity in Christ. And also Valentinus who asserts that the Son of God took nothing from the Virgin Mary, but assumed a heavenly body and passed through the womb of the Virgin just as water flows and runs through an aqueduct. Arius also, who asserted that the body assumed from the Virgin lacked a soul, and would have the Godhead in place of the soul. Also Apollinaris, who, understanding that there was no true humanity if in Christ the soul is denied as giving the body form, posited only a sensitive soul, but held that the Godhead of the Word took the place of a rational soul. It also anathematizes Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius who assert that humanity was united with the Son of God through grace, and hence there are two persons in Christ, just as they confess that there are two natures, since they were unable to understand that the union of humanity with the Word was hypostatic, and so refused to accept the subsistence of God. For according to this blasphemy, the Word was not made flesh, but the Word through grace lived in the flesh; that is, He was made not the Son of God, but rather the Son of God lived in man. It anathematizes also, execrates, and condemns Eutyches the archimandrite; since he believed according to the blasphemy of Nestorius that the truth of the Incarnation is excluded, and therefore it is fitting that humanity was so united to the Word of God that the person of the Godhead and of humanity were one and the same and also, he could not grasp the unity of person as long as a plurality of natures existed, just as he established that there was one person of the Godhead and humanity in Christ, so he asserted that there was one nature, meaning that before the union there was a duality of natures, but in the assumption they passed over into one nature, with the greatest blasphemy and impiety granting either that humanity was turned into Godhead, or Godhead into humanity. It also anathematizes, execrates, and condemns Macarius of Antioch and all who hold similar views; although he had a correct understanding of the duality of natures and the unity of person, yet he erred greatly concerning the operations of Christ when he said that in Christ there was one operation and one will on the part of both natures. All these, together with their heresies, the Holy Roman Church anathematizes, affirming that there are two wills and two operations in Christ.

It firmly believes, professes, and teaches that no one conceived of man and woman was ever freed of the domination of the Devil, except through the merit of the mediator between God and men, our Lord Jesus Christ; He who was conceived without sin, was born and died, through His death alone laid low the enemy of the human race by destroying our sins, and opened the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, which the first man by his own sin had lost with all succession; and that He would come sometime, all the sacred rites of the Old Testament, sacrifices, sacraments, and ceremonies disclosed.

It firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after our Lord’s coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts that they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors. Therefore, it commands all who glory in the name of Christian, at whatever time, before or after baptism, to cease entirely from circumcision, since, whether or not one places hope in it, it cannot be observed at all without the loss of eternal salvation. Regarding children, indeed, because of danger of death, which can often take place, when no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil and adopted among the sons of God, it advises that holy baptism ought not to be deferred for forty or eighty days, or any time according to the observance of certain people, but it should be conferred as soon as it can be done conveniently, but so ,that, when danger of death is imminent, they be baptized in the form of the Church, early without delay, even by a layman or woman, if a priest should be lacking, just as is contained more fully in the decree of the Armenians.

It believes firmly, professes, and proclaims that “every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving” [I Tim. 4:4], since, according to the word of the Lord [Matt. 15:11], “not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man”, and it asserts that the indifference of clean and unclean foods of the Mosaic law pertains to the ceremonials which, with the rise of the Gospel passed out of existence and ceased to be efficacious. And it says also that the prohibition of the apostles “from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood and from things strangled [Acts 15:29] befitted that time in which one Church arose from the Jew s and the Gentiles, who before lived according to different ceremonies and customs, so that even the Gentiles observed some things in common with the Jews, and occasion was furnished for coming together into one worship of God and one faith, and ground for dissension was removed; since to the Jews, by reason of an ancient custom, blood and things strangled seemed abominable, and they could think that the Gentiles would return to idolatry because of the eating of things sacrificed. But when the Christian religion is so propagated that no carnal Jew appears in it, but all passing over to the Church, join in the same rites and ceremonies of the Gospel, believing “all things clean to the clean” [Tit. 1:15], with the ending of the cause for this apostolic prohibition, the effect also ended. Thus it declares that the nature of no food, which society admits, is to be condemned, and no distinction is to be made by anyone at all, whether man or woman, between animals, and by whatever kind of death they meet their end; although for the health of body, for the exercise of virtue, for regular and ecclesiastical discipline many things not denied should be given up, since, according to the Apostle, “all things are lawful, but all things are not expedient” [I Cor. 6:12; 10:22].

It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.

  • Kathleen DeJaco

    I feel bless that this document clarifies belief on the Trinity. I am confused on the language on who will be dammed in the last paragraph of this document and the CCC 847. Can you help clarify?

  • Donald E. Flood

    Kathleen,

    The quote above in bold is from a book written by Saint Fulgentius (who died in 533 AD) called “To Peter on the Faith.” The original (translated) text from that book reads as follows,

    “Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only all pagans, but also all Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.”

    The Council of Florence elevated Saint Fulgentius’ teaching to that of the Solemn Magisterium of the Catholic Church, which made it forever infallible, and per the following solemn definition given at the First Vatican Council,

    Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 3, Chapter 4, ex cathedra: “Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.”

    we are forever restricted to understanding the solemn definition given at the Council of Florence as it was defined at that time. Saint Fulgentius’ words are, I think, pretty self-explanatory, as is the text from the Council of Florence.

  • William

    Pray to Our Most Sacred and Loving Mother for me. I feel that I am losing my faith.

  • Greg

    http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul03/p3subli.htm
    Desiring to provide ample remedy for these evils, We define and declare by these Our letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, to which the same credit shall be given as to the originals, that, notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved;
    should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.

    http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/indig-romanus-pontifex.html
    \The Roman pontiff, successor of the key-bearer of the heavenly kingdom and vicar of Jesus Christ, contemplating with a father’s mind all the several climes of the world and the characteristics of all the nations dwelling in them and seeking and desiring the salvation of all,
    wholesomely ordains and disposes upon careful deliberation those things which he sees will be agreeable to the Divine Majesty and by which he may bring the sheep entrusted to him by God into the single divine fold, and may acquire for them the reward of eternal felicity, and obtain pardon for
    their souls. This we believe will more certainly come to pass, through the aid of the Lord, if we bestow suitable favors and special graces on those Catholic kings and princes, who, like athletes and intrepid champions of
    the Christian faith, as we know by the evidence of facts, not only restrain the savage excesses of the Saracens and of other infidels, enemies of the Christian name, but also for the defense and increase of the faith vanquish them and their kingdoms and habitations, though situated in the remotest parts unknown to us, and subject them to their
    own temporal dominion, sparing no labor and expense, in order that those kings and princes, relieved of all obstacles, may be the more animated to the prosecution of so salutary and laudable a work… We (therefore)
    weighing all and singular the premises with due meditation, and noting that since we had formerly by other letters of ours granted among other things free and ample faculty to the aforesaid King Alfonso — to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans
    WHATSOEVER, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to
    reduce their persons to perpetual slavery,…\

    To reconcile these two decrees we have to assume that Nicholas V assumed that all non-Christians were \enemies of Christ\ and that latter Popes corrected this. The same applies to Pope Eugene. He assumed that all non-Catholics were culpable for their state

  • Greg,

    You are comparing apples to oranges, and also forgetting an important dogmatic truth.
    The decrees you cite are disciplinary in nature. The Conciliar decree from Florence is dogmatic. Even if there were certain flawed presuppositions on the part of the pope or council defining, what is defined itself is infallibly true and dogmatically binding. (I’m not saying there were flawed presuppositions here, but am merely noting this for the sake of argument.)

    Also, the dogmatic truth that renders your argument moot is that it does not matter at all how culpable one is for not having faith. Faith is a prerequisite for salvation, and to say that we are all somehow owed salvation without faith is pelagian.

  • Paul

    But if this part of Cantate Domino is infallible then the RC Church no longer believes in its own infallible teaching here. It also contradicts the Second Vatican Counsel. RCC authority is made to look silly.I need to find some way to show this paragraph of Cantate Domino not to be infallible teaching or Papal infallible teaching cannot be supported.

  • The Philosopher

    Paul: People SAY that Vatican II contradicts this text. But according to Pope Benedict XVI’s “Hermeneutic of Continuity,” there is no contradiction between Vatican II and the previous Magisterium.

    Could you PROVE an outright contradiction by where, specifically, Vatican II
    contradicts Cantate Domino?

    If you CAN clearly show this — that a pastoral council contradicted an infallible dogmatic proposition of the Magisterium — then what you will have proven is that the pastoral council, which did not define dogma, was not only non-infallible, but also wrong.

    This is all hypothetical, of course, since nothing has been proven yet. However, even if the hypothetical instance in the last paragraph is shown to be a reality, the doctrine of infallibility is not touched, since Vatican II did not invoke infallibility in its decrees.

  • Paul

    Thanks so much for that clarification about Vat Two. But clearly the Church in general does not believe that a Christian who gives his life as a martyr for Christ outside the RCC (Ecvclesial unity”) must spend eternity in Hell. Even though Vat Two is not infallible the problem still remains.

    I do accept Vat Two but not this part of Cantate Domino.

    I would be verz grateful if you can explain how that tart of Cantate Domino may not be infallible. It is obviously false.

    Paul

  • schmenz

    As Robert de Mattei has recently written, it is very easy for Pope Benedict to say that Vatican II does not contradict the previous Magisterium, but he needs to demonstrate that. I, for one, would be happy to have some clarity on the point.

  • You are not alone in wanting this clarity, Schmenz.

  • The Philosopher

    You’re welcome, Paul. I’m afraid I cannot help you to justify the statement that Cantate Domino’s definition is “obviously false” or non-infallible. It is neither fallible nor false.

  • Paul

    If that paragraph in Cantate Domino is neither false nor fallible as you say then current teaching since Vatican Two and indeed a large body of catholic tradition on the subject is false including even St. Augustine.

    Also my own conscience as best as I can inform it and my experience of non RCC Christians tells me that that part of Cantate Domino is a mistake. It seems that if you are correct then the whole edifice of RCC infallible authority collapses. Can you suggest a way around this dilemma please? Thanks so much for your help!

  • Paul

    It is only that part that deals with Jews etc and those giving their lives for Christ to the death but who are not in the RCC ecclesial community that I question.
    If this part must be accepted within the infallible definition then RCC current teaching on the subject is wrong. My conscience and expüerience aligns with current teaching and with St. Augustine on the subject but not with Cantate Domino. How do I resolve this dilemma?

  • The Philosopher

    I assure you that Saint Augustine does not agree with you on the salvation of non-Catholics.

    Your “experience” cannot tell you who is saved and who is not, since you are still in this veil of tears and not yet in the Beatific Vision (unless there’s Internet in Heaven and that’s where you’re writing from).

    The way to resolve the dilemma is to accept the dogmatic truth, admitting that you don’t fully understand God’s providential designs for man’s salvation.

  • mark fera

    I am 58 years old, I remember in third grade we were taught by the good Augustian nuns that “there is no salvation out side of the catholic church” that was in 1963.Than along comes vatican 2 .and one thousand nine hundred and sixty three years of catholic tradition “evolved” to contradict the previous infallible teachings such as this papal bull. The Bible clearly says that in the end times even the elect will be deceived” And Saint Paul said that even if an angel should preach another gospel ,other than he deliverd to them to reject it. Pope pius said that he “feared that the smoke of satan had entered the church.

  • John S

    I am 58 years old as well. I had the identical experience. That is why we have dogmas. Without the FINALITY of dogma the gates of hell would prevail during turbulent periods. Dogmas are DIVINE. Vatican II was noise pollution.

  • Donald E. Flood

    Paul,

    We have some examples in Christendom from the Middle Ages of those “kidnapped kiddos” who, in encounters with the Moors, were carted off to Islamic lands to be raised as Muslims, even though they had been sacramentally baptized as infants. What was their eternal fate? Were they destined to fall into mortal sin? Was the prayers of their parents, siblings, friends, the Church militant, and those in Paradise all in vain for them? And, given the fact that “anyone whatsoever” can validly baptized, how many infants over the centuries who were raised in Judaism, Islam, Buddism, or any other “ism” for that matter, were sacramentally baptized at some time during their infancies, and how could you or I or anyone else ever prove that such did NOT occur with respect to any particular individual? And, how about “salutary repentance” at death’s door, especially, for those who have been baptized in water?

    Do you see the point that I am trying to make here? As for Vatican II, it reaffirmed the decrees of the Council of Florence:

    “This Sacred Council accepts with great devotion this venerable faith of our
    ancestors regarding this vital fellowship with our brethren who are in heavenly glory or
    who having died are still being purified; and it proposes again the decrees of the Second Council of Nicea, the Council of Florence and the Council of Trent…” (Lumen Gentium, 51)

    So, if Vatican II contradicted Cantate Domino, then it contradicted itself. Even the 1949 Holy Office letter, referenced at Vatican II and in the present Catechism of the Catholic Church, states the following:

    “Now, among those things which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach is contained also that INFALLIBLE STATEMENT by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church.”

  • Paul Kiernan

    In response here to your kind reply: I have no problem with the “no salvation outside the Church” That term can include the baptised who are not subject to the Roman Pontiff. But Cantate Domino specifically states no salvation unless all are submitted or subject to the Roman Pontiff even if they gave their lives for Christ. That is the apparent contradiction with Vatican Two which I need to get my head around so as to be able to offer a reasonable defence of the church on Papal infallibility to those challenging it. We appear to no longer believe in one of our infallible Papal ex cathedra statements. It makes us look silly. Vatican Two does not require all baptised Christians to be subject to the Roman Pontiff in order to avoid hell. I was talking about believing baptised CHRISTIANS NOT SUBMITTED to the Pope. The RCC does recognise their status as being Christian and having been saved as such but cantata DOMIONO DOES NOT AND INFLLIBLY SO: THIS SI S SUCH A CONTRADICTION.

  • John S

    IT IS NOT A CONTRADICTION BY AN EQUAL USE OF AUTHORITY. Vatican II, being non-infallible, must give way to or be interpreted by, that which is infallible. Every non-infallible papal encyclical (some encyclicals are dogmatic) must give way to or be interpreted by that which is infallible. Vatican II was a huge disappointment for those of us who lived through it. It would have been big news if even one dogma had been pronounced. Alas we got endless drivel.
    The recognition of a valid baptism does not equal “being saved.” Additional requirements need to be fulfilled as well.
    When a pope chooses to not use the power of the Keys it creates a huge problem. Just look at this mess! 50 years later and people are still trying to figure the mess out. Do you think any of this confusion would be here if either of the popes at Vatican II had said, even once, “We declare define and pronounce……” or “If anyone holds a contrary opinion notwithstanding what we have pronounced know that he has suffered spiritual shipwreck” or “if anyone says …. let him be anathema” The confusion was intentional so as to create an artificial crisis. Once a crisis is present very loose laws and discipline are the rule of the day.
    We should not be any more afraid of calling Vatican II what it really is, irredeemably fake, than the Machabees were of calling that which was foisted upon them as fake. In our own day Cardinal Biffi alluded to Vatican II (everybody knows it in their heart) when he spoke of an ecumenical council for the goals of the antichrist at the lenten mission for Pope Benedict XVI and the curia. (you might want to google Cardinal Biffi’s bombshell)

  • John S

    It is interesting to note something about the “science of subversion.” Quite often a “fact” is established ARTIFICIALLY. (of course) Upon said “fact” an edifice of error is built up and maintained. Tear the mask from the key “fact” and the entire edifice crumbles. So it is with the holocaust to zionism, the hypothesis of evolution to naturalism, and the so-called holy office letter of 1949 to the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. The third one was done crudely, and in a hurry. It has required a lot of maintenance over the last 65 years to make it APPEAR credible. Imagine how the scholars of previous ages would have laughed to scorn the proffering of an item of private correspondence as support for new doctrinal position, universally binding yet.

  • D.A. Howard

    The pope is the interpreter of Sacred Tradition, not you or me. Secondly the statement of no salvation outside the Church was written to former Catholics and current Catholics as a warning. Context is king. Anagogical analysis is necessary. Remember what Saint Paul said about the “altar to an unknown god.” “For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.”

    Invincible ignorance is a factor. Sister whomever, was not a pope, therefore her Catholic School interpretation is not binding.

  • John S

    David: Whoever is pope is capable of speaking in two capacities; the capacity of a private theologian, and the capacity of the Vicar of Christ. Whatever is said in the first is editable by the second whether or not it is the same pontiff, a previous pontiff, or a future pontiff.

    “the statement of no salvation outside the Church was written to former Catholics and current Catholics as a warning” Sooo… What is your point. Is this your way of saying, by way of suggestion, that said proposition does not demand the assent of the intellect called Faith? The possibility of a dogma requiring “interpretation” is ludicrous. If interpretation is required for an officially and solemnly declared interpretation then God’s institution, The Catholic Church, is intrinsically defective in it’s assignment to Go and teach all nations…
    Invincible ignorance? Invincible to whom? Invincible to God who wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth? I am not convinced. Neither am I required to give credibility to something with no doctrinal support from scripture or tradition.

  • Dean Nestor

    there’s no such thing as invincible ignorance; here’s a quote from Lateran IV in the year 1215; the first pronouncement of the dogma “extra ecclesiam…”There is indeed one universal church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.” Therefore since no one “at all” is saved outside of the true Church there are no exceptions to the dogma. It’s heretical to believe that the dogmas are not binding for all time; extra ecclesiam…is the thrice proclaimed dogma (IV Lateran, Unam Sanctam and Cantate Domino) and as the Church teaches, dogmas are universal (not preached to certain Catholics at a certain time as you erroneously assert) and the faith is unchanging, nullifying your point about “former Catholics and current Catholics as a warning.” Of course it’s a warning but it’s a dogma which all Catholics at all times must believe. In his Syllabus of Errors Pope Pius IX condemned the notion that the Church can err in teaching “21. The Church has not the power of
    defining dogmatically that the religion of the Catholic Church is the only true religion. — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.” and ”

    23. Roman pontiffs and ecumenical
    councils have wandered outside the limits of their powers, have usurped the rights of princes, and have even erred in defining matters of faith and morals. — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.

    Vatican I teaches us that the faith is unchanging ” 5. This doctrine is to be believed and held by all the faithful in accordance with the ancient and unchanging faith of the whole church.”

    It’s undeniable that Vatican II does not adhere to the “unchanging faith” of the Catholic Church

  • Dean Nestor

    agreed. Do you accept Vatican II or do you accept that it is a false council and the men who promulgate it and defend it are ipso facto false popes?

  • Dean Nestor

    Cantate Domino is a part of the Council of Florence which is an Ecumenical Council of the church. Nothing in it contradicts church teaching. Therefore we must accept all of it’s teaching since there are no errors in it as Pius IX says in his Syllabus of Errors condemning the modernist belief that; “23. Roman pontiffs and ecumenical
    councils have wandered outside the limits of their powers, have usurped the rights of princes, and have even erred in defining matters of faith and morals.
    — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.” Clearly it is an error to believe that one of the 20 Ecumenical Councils of the Church (approved by the Church) has taught errors in defining matters of faith. Vatican II (which you cling to) contradicts several Ecumenical Councils and infallible Papal Decrees. They cannot both be catholic; it’s either 2000 years of Church teaching is wrong; or the novelties at Vatican II are wrong; they cannot be reconciled (as you have intimated).

  • Paul Kiernan

    An Ex cathedra decree is not open to re interpretation. The interpretation was as in Unam sanctum of Pope Bonifice the 8th, that submission to the Roman Pontiff was required even if you were to give your body to be burnt for Christ as stated in Cantata Domino. The term Catholic Church may be broadly treated as in the Church subsisting there but that unfortunately is not the wording nor the original interpretation of the part of cantata Domino in question here.

  • Paul Kiernan

    So according to the Vatican One definition of Ex cathedra I and most Catholics and clergy in the world today are anathema and should not be receiving the sacraments. I find your position logical but unacceptable. In conscience I must agree with the current magisterium except where it seems to state it supports this Cantata Domino ex cathedra decree. It clearly does not and such decrees are not open to re interpretation. sadly though in love the Church and want to assent to all its dogmas I cannot in conscience do so. Nor can I defend my Church on this matter which is disconcerting too. It is serious.

  • Paul Kioernan

    But according to Vatican One no Ex cathedra decree is open to re interpretation. An ex cathedra decree and its interpretation cannot be infallible until a later Pope decides to re interpret it as you suggest.
    If that were tzhe cvase we could not assume any such decree and its interpretation were infallible as at any future date it could be over ruled byx a later Pope as you suggest. I wish the solution to this very serious matter was a simple as you suggest.

  • to bad the author of this article believes in a heresy. Return to the Church,.Stop this stupid reading of old documents from a 21st century sensibility. One has to understand the semantics of the day. Failing to do that only make one a fool. Fr Feeney, in the 1940s, was excommunicated fore holding this heresy. Read what was really going on: http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=316548&Pg=&Pgnu=&recnu

  • The author of this article is Pope Euguene IV, Brother.

    Father Leonard Feeney was not excommunicated for heresy. While the excommunication itself was questionable for weighty reasons, it was issued explicitly for disciplinary and not doctrinal reasons. When Paul VI lifted any and all censures which Father Feeney may have incurred (including the “excommunication”), Father Feeney did not have to recant anything.

    I suggest you read this:

    http://catholicism.org/our-status-in-the-church.html

  • I suggest that you and your organization return to communion with the Church and stop this ignorant misreading. You do not have the authority to official interpret any Church document. But, why am I bothering to answer. Just beating head against wall as those not in communion with the Church cannot be reasoned with. They are like 13 year olds.

  • John S

    “One has to understand the semantics of the day.”
    This line is quite entertaining. In order for a Dogma to be a Dogma one of the four requirements is that the pope (or the pope in Council) must be addressing all Christians.
    But wait! Bro.Ignatious Mary says, it matters not that the Vicar of Christ, from the heignt of his authority, is addressing you clearly and precisely. You must suspend the assent of your intellect until a lower authority edits what the ultimate authority has given us. We are not a Divine Institution but, rather, we are a corporation. We do not have the luxury of knowing anything for certain, or with any sort of finality. No, we are a corporation and we must call corporate headquarters to see what the forever changing corporate policy is today. What a miserable existence is yours. You arise every morning knowing nothing for certain.

  • I’m sorry that you resorted to insults to make your point. Had you read what I had suggested you read, you would know that our community in Richmond, N.H., is in communion with the Catholic Church.

    So, too, is St. Ann’s House in Still River in communion with the Church. Ditto for Saint Benedict’s Abbey in Still River and Saint Benedict Center in Still River — all in the Worcester, MA., Diocese, and all disciples of Father Leonard Feeney.

    You say “those not in communion with the Church cannot be reasoned with. They are like 13 year olds.” Do you consistently apply that to actual non-Catholics, or just to Catholics whom you yourself judge not to be in communion with the Church?

    Either way, an aprioristic dismissal of your interlocutor’s ability to reason strikes me as odd in one who lists on his web site “evangelism” and “apologetics” among his various skills, as you do, Brother.

  • Hamalot

    Do you, Br. Ignatious Mary, EVER recite this Dogma in any context other than explaining it away? Do you ever share with your Protestant brethren the words, inspired by God, “[The Church} firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not
    living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and
    heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but
    will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and
    his angels”?
    If not why not? Surely you’re not ashamed to pronounce God’s Word?

  • Lionel

    You might call it “in communion” but that is not the same as being canonically recognized. Past & PRESENT Bishops have all stated such. SBC has nothing to do with the NH Diocese & vice versa. Be truthful!

  • It’s not that “we might call it ‘in communion'” It’s that we are in
    communion with the Catholic Church. It’s not subjunctive, it’s
    indicative.

    Your comments are not entirely true. The Bishops — the last two — have
    allowed a priest to offer Mass and hear confessions here.

    Our community is not recognized by the diocese as a religious congregation. We make no pretense that it is. It is only a private association of the faithful, as we readily admit.

  • Neihan

    It might be helpful for you to read their article regarding their status in the Church, and to pay particular attention to the third sentence. Here’s a link to Canon 299 which deals with private associations of the faithful.

    They’ve been perfectly forthright and honest. You’re tilting at windmills, Lionel.

  • John S

    When you are starving do you seek food that “subsists” or rather food with some other mode of existence?
    For those who need to concern themselves about saving their soul, only One Church exists and that is an incarnational one. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.

  • Dawna G

    Neihan, the following is from “Mancipia May 2001”
    “Saint Benedict Center’s Status in the Catholic Church
    We are often asked about out ‘legal status’ in the Catholic Church. The following answer to an inquiry from a gentleman should help to clarify this issue. You ask the following question: ‘Are you, your group, and your organization in full communion with the Catholic Church and Pope John Paul II and the bishops recognized by him?’ The answer is yes. We are in communion with the Holy Father because we are baptized Catholics who hold the Catholic faith. The congregation is not presently, nor has it ever been, nor are any individuals in it, cut off from the Catholic Church by excommunication. Since Pope John Paul II is the present visible head of the Church, we are in communion with him. We pray for him, as well as for our local bishop, Bishop John McCormack, in all of the Masses in our chapel. Of course, we realize that legitimate authority can be abused and that the occupants of even the highest office in the Church can fail on a number of points. Therefore, we can distinguish what we are bound to obey and what we are bound to reject. In both the case of our local Bishop and the Holy Father himself, we have major points of disagreement, none of which jeopardize the Holy Father’s infallibility or primacy of jurisdiction, or the fact that both he and Bishop McCormack actually do occupy the offices they claim to occupy. We do not reject the authority of the hierarchy. We respect their offices and do what we can to obey, short of betraying our principles, which are based on fidelity to the Deposit of Faith. Obedience is a moral virtue based on justice; it is not above the Theological virtue of Faith, but is inferior to it. Father Feeney’s policy and ours is that our congregation will willingly submit to a bishop whom believes Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. Until then, we respect their authority, but will oppose their liberalism. Below are links to three graphic. . . . . . . . .”
    Yes, this does sound forthright and honest.

  • SententiaeDeo

    One of the greatest Church documents of all time!

    Also, it’s interesting to note that it forbids circumcision for any reason. Catholic cannot circumcise or be circumcised!

  • Maroun

    with all my respect, but if outside the Church no salvation was written to former Catholics and current Catholics just as a warning, then the words but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become
    participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire
    which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41],dos not make sens, but we know that they do make perfect sens and for 1900 years that sens was very clear for every Catholic. For some incomprehensible reason though, only after Vatican II,it dosent make that same sens anymore, indeed, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church ( the new one ) it says exactly the contrary, that Jews, Muslims schismatics and even Atheists are saved and can be saved even if they do not belong to the Catholic Church, now if that is not contradiction i don`t know what else it is… Also all the Church fathers and all the Popes have always believed and taught that the Noah`s arch was a symbol of the Church and only those ( 8 ) who were inside of it were saved and everyone outside of it perished. It dos`ent matter if everyone outside the arch knew that they had to enter it to be saved, what matters is that whosoever was outside of it was destroyed. So again, your invincible ignorance mumbo jumbo does not excuse nor save anyone outside the Church, just like invincible ignorance did not save anyone outside the Noah`s arch…

  • I, sir, am a loyal and obedient servant of the Pope and the Catholic Church. I believe what the Church believes. You should try it sometime

  • You are not in communion with the Church. You can protest that you are until the cows come home but it will not make it so. Repent of your arrogance and schism and return to fidelity and union with Pope Francis.

  • catholicism.org is not in communion with Rome. It does not matter what the technical issues are with Feeney. The point is, and you well know my point, is the arrogance to assert in disobedience with the Church that one must be a card-carrying Catholic to be saved. You cannot set-up yourself as your own magisterium to declare what you wish. You, we, must submit in obedience to the Magisterium that is currently Pope Francis and all those bishops in union with him. OBEDIENCE is the first tradition. You and those like you are hypocrites as you are not obedient. Titus 3 applies to people like yourself. Thus, this is ended as there is no obedient ear to listen.

    “9 But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. 10 As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

  • As the scholastics say: ipse dixit.

    Prove it, please.

  • A web site cannot be in or out of communion with Rome. (HTML and PHP code are impersonal things.) A person may be in or out of communion with Rome. I am, and so are the other MICM who write for this site — as well as the wonderful lay folks who write for us.

    Your ecclesiology is wanting, dear Brother.

    Should you like to know that the local diocese says about us, it is here:

    http://www.catholicnh.org/about/faq#benedict

  • Thank you for a dictionary example of disingenuous obfuscation. You win a spot in my book on obfuscation, again. Anyone with an IQ above 25 knows that I am referring to the content of this site and the people behind it. But, thanks for such a beautiful example of cowardly obfuscation.

    My ecclesiology is union with the Pope and Magisterium. Yours is schismatic

    LOL, that statement from the diocese DOES NOT say your organization is in communion with Rome. But, this illustrates the depth of your disingenuous.

    The bishop has granted permission for an individual priest, who is not in schism, to say Mass and her confessions. This is not a statement that you are in union with Rome. The bishop has approved the construction of building. The bishop said, “approval of the space does not change the status of Saint Benedict Center or the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The space has not been approved as a “chapel” or an “oratory,” and therefore cannot be referred to as a “chapel” or “oratory,” as those terms have particular meaning under Church law.”

    And finally. the bishop is trying hard to bring you schismatic organization into communion with Rome when he says he will, “continue to work with Saint Benedict Center to identify a way for the identity and the work of the Center to resonate with the mission of the Universal Church.”

    Here is what the statement actually says:
    ——————–
    The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, has granted permission to a priest in good standing to celebrate Mass and hear Confessions at Saint Benedict Center for the residents and their guests. The Bishop has approved a recently constructed building as an appropriate worship space; his approval of the space does not change the status of Saint Benedict Center or the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The space has not been approved as a “chapel” or an “oratory,” and therefore cannot be referred to as a “chapel” or “oratory,” as those terms have particular meaning under Church law. .

    Assisted by his delegate and by others, it remains Bishop Libasci’s sincere desire to continue to work with Saint Benedict Center to identify a way for the identity and the work of the Center to resonate with the mission of the Universal Church, and in particular, the Diocese of Manchester.
    —————————-

    This conversation is closed in obedience to St. Paul in Titus 3. We will certainly pray for you and continue to warn the Internet community that the your organization is not in Communion and that the information on your website cannot be trusted and is often schematic in its rhetoric.

    good bye

  • Since you are schismatic, the burden of proof is yours not mine

  • The statement also says something that you omitted, namely, that “The individuals who work and reside at Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, NH, are Catholic men and women who live in community according to their own chosen set of rules.”

    Are you saying that the Diocese would declare that a bunch of schismatics are Catholic, and would supply them with the sacraments from a priest in good standing?

  • I see how it is. You call us schismatic. I ask for proof. You tell me that, since we are schismatic, we have to prove that we are not.

    This is like a Protestant caricature of the Inquisition.

  • schmenz

    “good bye”, says Br Ignatius.

    May we count on that, at last?

  • Paul Vasilak

    Modernist garbage!
    I suppose you think Fr Brian Harrison, a theologian, reads Cantate Domino in a stupid and outdated fashion. See here: Fr. Harrison corrects the Wanderer …etc.
    http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/index.php/topic,3436623.0.html

    At least the editor of the Wanderer had the humility to take correction. Will you practice Pope Francis like humility and do the same? I won’t hold my breath.

  • Joanie

    Brother Ignatius Mary does not seem to understand the difference between heresy and schism. First he calls us one; then the other. They are not the same, Brother Ignatius. Perhaps you need a bit of a brushing up on Catholic terms. Take some time to do that and quit using insults. You would be a much better Catholic apologist and evangelist if you knew the basics.

  • Joanie

    PS. You could also brush up on your spelling, Brother Ignatius.

  • ST PETER

    Hello Bro Ignatius Mary,

    If you are calling Andre Marie and other traditional Catholics; schismatics and Protestestants, We traditional Catholics, according to Vatican II, are ok where we are, (that’s of course if we are schismatics and Protestants), please observe:

    Question 1

    “You sound like Protestants. You disobey the Church, you find your own excuses for doing so, and you reject the Pope and his teachings. You’re nothing but Protestants in reverse!”

    Answer: 

    This answer will have two parts. First, let us assume this were true. Let us assume that, yes, we are just Protestants in reverse, we’re Martin Luther to the other extreme. So what? The Vatican II Church does not have a problem with that. In fact, Vatican II even says (see Vatican II’s Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 3) that as Protestants,we as Sedevacantists and the SSPX :

    “are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church” and — note well! — we “have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation” because “the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using [us] as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.”

    There you have it! Lighten up already! We are very honored to be Protestants, since even God Himself makes use of us to save souls! In fact, when we baptize someone, we are using a liturgical action that “must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation,” so stop complaining about us being Protestants. You should be proud that we are Protestants! We expect you to give us episcopal rings and pectoral crosses, sign theological agreements with us, hold joint vesper services with us, and, when one of us passes to eternity, we expect you to imitate Benedict XVI and declare him to have been a “faithful servant” and to have “attained eternal joy”!

    Now to the second answer. Let’s be serious here. Do Sedes and the sspx assist at or promote an invalid Protestant-modernist worship service? No.

    Do Sedes and the sspx sign theological agreements with Protestant heretics? No.

    Do Sedes and the sspx say that the Holy Ghost uses Protestant sects as means of salvation? No.

    Does anyone at the CMRI or at the sspx act as though Protestants had an apostolic mandate to preach the Gospel or make society a better place? No.

    Do the CMRI or SSPX give away Catholic symbols such as episcopal rings or pectoral crosses and hand them to Protestant laymen dressed up as clergy? No.

    Do the CMRI or SSPX invite Protestant clergy to have joint ecumenical worship services and even allow for the building of joint Catholic-Protestant churches, as John Paul II’s Directory on Ecumenism says (nos. 137-140)? No.

    Do the CMRI or SSPX help any heretic celebrate his false worship “worthily” by lending him whatever may be necessary for it, as John Paul II said his bishops may do (no. 137)? No.

    Do the CMRI or sspx deny, compromise, or equivocate on any doctrine, esp. as taught by the Council of Trent against the Protestants? No.

    The Novus Ordo Church does all that, The CMRI and SSPX doesn’t. And yet we are the Protestants? The Novus Ordo Church is a neo-Protestant church. It is not the Catholic Church, and that is why we have nothing to do with it.

    The Vatican II heresy is the Arian heresy all over again.

    Our Lady of LaSalette

    “Rome will lose the faith and will become the seat of the anti-christ, the church will be in eclipse”

  • Geraldine Duddleston Young

    Unless I am mistaken, a papal bull is not infallible. Plus, the social and ecclesial conditions that existed in 1445 and the contemporary philosophical ideas must be considered when reading documents from then (or any historic document). No need to create disharmony where non exists.

  • John S

    The document “type” matters very little. What matters is if a said document contains the four requirements of an infallible pronouncement. Some documents are initially non-infallible and are later elevated to the status of infallibility as was the case with the syllabus of errors by Pope Pius IX.
    Disharmony does not apply. Contradiction does.
    The documents of Vatican II were deliberately vague and deliberately authored in a way that allowed contradiction. Please do not take my word for it. Cardinal Walter Kasper actually bragged about it less than a year ago.
    What is declared to be contained in the Deposit of Faith (as every dogma is so contained) is and always will be true in the exact way it is stated in the dogma. No possible qualification of the logical extensions can be entertained without peril to one’s soul. (By logical extensions I mean the things that make up an idea) “All those” can never mean some of those etc..

  • Garret Kade Dupré

    Catholics are not allowed to circumcise?

  • I understand this to mean it’s not allowed for religious reasons. It’s usually done for hygienic reasons.

  • That is correct. Florence is anathematizing the Jewish ritual. As all OT sacraments, it is both “dead and deadly,” and therefore mortally sinful for Catholics to practice. (It is not a sin for Jews.)

    Medical circumcision is not proscribed by this.

    But the AMA practice of circumcizing every boy born is arguably an unnecessary, cruel, and dangerous practice. Food for thought:

    http://www.catholicsagainstcircumcision.org/

    (If you have any questions on the content on that site, ask them.)

  • Garret Kade Dupré

    That’s what I read Dr. Sungenis say as well. I do find the motivation behind the prevalence of modern Christian circumcision very suspect, though.

  • “Professes, believes, preaches” ….

    This is the formula for an ex cathedra statement which is infallible and binds all Catholics forever.