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Famous Theologians Concur:
The Faithful Must Resist Bad Shepherds

In response to the great interest our readers are showing for the foundation of our position of resistance against the progressivist authority, we bring more famous authors who counsel Catholics to respectfully resist the bad religious authority.

Fr. Francisco Suarez, S.J.

“If [the Pope] gives an order contrary to good customs, he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it will be licit to resist him; if he attacks by force, by force he can be repelled, with a moderation appropriate to a just defense” (De Fide, disp. X, sec. VI, n.16, in Opera omnia, Paris: Vivès, 1958, vol. 12, p. 321).

Fr. Cornelius a Lapide, S.J.

The renowned Jesuit shows that St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Bede, St. Anselm and other Fathers teach that St. Paul resisted St. Peter publicly “so that the public scandal given by St. Peter was amended by a likewise public reprehension” (Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram, Ad Galatas 2:11, Paris: Ludovicus Vivès, 1876, vol. 18, p. 528).

Later on, a Lapide argues that “superiors can be reprehended, with humble charity, by their inferiors in the defense of truth; that is what St. Augustine (Epistula 19), St. Cyprian, St. Gregory, St. Thomas and others cited above declare about this passage (Gal 2:11). They clearly teach that St. Peter, being a superior, was reprehended by St. Paul. ... With good reason, therefore, St. Gregory said: ‘Peter kept quiet so that, being first in the Apostolic Hierarchy, he would also be first in humility’ (Homilia 18 in Ezechielem).

"And St. Augustine wrote: ‘By teaching that superiors should not refuse to be reprehended by inferiors, St. Peter gave posterity a rarer and holier example than that of St. Paul as he taught that, in the defense of truth and with charity, inferiors may have the audacity to resist superiors without fear’ (Epistula 19 ad Hieronyrnum).”

Dom Prosper Guéranger, Abbot of Solesmes

“When the shepherd turns into a wolf, it falls to the flock first to defend itself. Doctrine normally flows from the Bishops down to the faithful people, and subjects should not judge their chiefs. But, in the treasure of Revelation, there are certain points that every Christian necessarily knows and must obligatorily defend” (L’année liturgique - Le temps de la septuagesime, Tours: Maison Mame, 1932, pp. 340-341).

Frs. Francisco Wernz S.J. & Pedro Vidal, S.J.

These famous theologians at the beginning of the 20th century, citing Suarez, admit the licitness of resisting a bad Pope: “The just means to be employed against a bad Pope are, according to Suarez (Defensio Fidei Catholicae, lib. IV, cap. 6, nn. 17-18), a more abundant assistance of the grace of God, the special protection of one’s Guardian Angel, the prayer of the Universal Church, admonishment or fraternal correction in private or even in public, as well as the legitimate self-defense against aggression, whether physical or moral” (Ius canonicum, Rome: Aedes Universitatis Gregorianae, 1927, vol. II. p. 436).

Fr. Antonio Peinador, C.M.F.

This known pre-Vatican II Spanish theologian adopts the sentences of those who preceded him: “‘Also a subject may be obliged to fraternally correct his superior’ (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q.33, a.4). For also a superior can be spiritually indigent, and nothing prevents him from being liberated from such indigence by his subjects. Nevertheless, ‘in the correction in which subjects reprehend their Prelates, they must act in a proper manner, that is, without insolence and harshness but with meekness and reverence’ (ad 2)” (Cursus brevior Theologiae Moralis, Madrid: Coculsa, 1946, vol. I, p. 287).


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Posted on April 16, 2011
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