Methodist Ordinations at the Catholic Altar: ‘Sink and Common Sewer of all Errours’?

New Catholic wrote: “The good news is there was a large ordination ceremony in the Roman Catholic Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas. The bad news is it was conducted by the United Methodist Church.”

Commentators then followed with a great deal of understandable anxiety over the news.

Later Sancte Alphonsus said…

“Guys, please don’t blame this on the Bishop – he is only being obedient to the Vatican directives on ecumenical activities entitled, Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism.  [citing]

“Specifically he is abiding by DAPNE #137:However, if priests, ministers or communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church do not have a place or the liturgical objects necessary for celebrating worthily their religious ceremonies, the diocesan Bishop may allow them the use of a church or a Catholic building and also lend them what may be necessary for their services. Under similar circumstances, permission may be given to them for interment or for the celebration of services at Catholic cemeteries.’

Don’t shoot the faithful Bishop.”

Sancte Alphonsus is right in stating what he presents as the current “law” of the Church.

But is it really valid law?

Consider the 1928 Encyclical of Pope Pius XI in which, condemning eccleticism and ecumenism (also called Syncretism or Pan-Christianity), he states in part:

“[T]here can be no true religion other than that which is founded on the revealed word of God * * *

[T]he Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in [Protestant] assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ. * * *

Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? * * * ”

The Anglican Clement Walker (d. 1651) described Syncretism of the day as a “Sink and Common Sewer of all Errours.” Oxford English Dictionary.

Therefore the legal question presented by the Houston Methodist ceremonies conducted in the Catholic cathedral is this: “Does the 1928 Papal Bull still stand or was it repealed by the newer ecumenical norms?

I don’t know, but perhaps there are those out there who can answer.

A Cruce Salus

Judge Bartley

P.S.  Pius XI also wrote in the same encyclical on Atheism: “in distorting the idea of true religion [eclectics] reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.


Further research on the subject of the 1928 Encyclical, papal infallibility, and the principle of ex cathedra (from the chair of Peter) strongly endorses the conclusion that it was ex cathedra and therefore infallible and unchangeable.

From one source (I haven’t searched everywhere) we read:

 “It should be noted, though, that Church documents may contain infallible [1] teaching even though they make no “ex cathedra” pronouncements. In addition to the extraordinary magisterium, specifically expressed “ex cathedra” by popes and ecumenical councils, the Church also speaks infallibly through her ordinary magisterium, the teaching authority of popes and bishops who teach the unchanging Catholic Faith. Such pronouncements are more difficult to authenticate, in that they must be compared to, and found to agree with, the body of the Church’s traditional teaching. Obviously, they must not contradict the ex cathedra teachings of popes and councils, or any of the teachings of immemorial tradition.

Two contrary examples by way of illustration:

1) In Mortalium animos, even though he made no ex cathedra pronouncement, Pope Pius XI exercised the Church’s Ordinary Magisterium in reaffirming the single and non-negotiable nature of God’s truth. Pope Pius’ teaching can be seen to be consistent with the authentic teachings of the Church about this subject, going all the way back to God’s direct revelations in the Old Testament.4

 (2) On the contrary, the recent encyclical Ut unum sint of Pope John Paul II gives out previously defined articles of dogma as though they were up for discussion.5 Obviously, this is not the Church’s Magisterium contradicting itself, but represents the current Pope’s own personal opinions and errors.

In summary, [the authors say] while a papal document may contain infallible truths, the entire document is not infallible. Infallible truths are discerned by their conformity to the unchanging teachings of the Church; unless, of course, they are clearly contained in an “ex cathedra” pronouncement, in which case such discernment becomes unnecessary.”

And from the 1928 enccyclical itself Pope Pius XI wrote:

“For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.”

 I therefore conclude that “Mortalium Animos” remains and will remain Law forever; and it is contradicted by Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism 137 cited above. Consequently that part of the Directory (and perhaps others) is null and void.


Judge Bartley


[1] Fr. Hardin: “INFALLIBILITY. Freedom from error in teaching the universal Church in matters of faith or morals. As defined by the First Vatican Council, “The Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra – that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals; and therefore such definitions are irreformable of themselves, and not in virtue of consent of the Church” (Denzinger 3074).

The bearer of the infallibility is every lawful Pope as successor of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. But the Pope alone is infallible, not others to whom he delegates a part of his teaching authority, for example, the Roman congregations.

The object of his infallibility is his teaching of faith and morals. This means especially revealed doctrine like the Incarnation. But it also includes any nonrevealed teaching that is in any way connected with revelation.

The condition of the infallibility is that the Pope speaks ex cathedra. For this is required that: 1. he have the intention of declaring something unchangeably true; and 2. he speak as shepherd and teacher of all the faithful with the full weight of his apostolic authority, and not merely as a private theologian or even merely for the people of Rome or some particular segment of the Church of God.

The source of the infallibility is the supernatural assistance of the Holy Spirit, who protects the supreme teacher of the Church from error and therefore from misleading the people of God.

As a result, the ex cathedra pronouncements of the Pope are unchangeable “of themselves,” that is, not because others in the Church either first instructed the Pope or agree to what he says. (Etym. Latin in-, not + fallibilis; from fallere, to deceive: infallibilis, not able to deceive, or err.)”

Published in: on June 4, 2013 at 10:23 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: