Beware of BetrayedCatholics

Please allow me to write a cautionary word on BetrayedCatholics, and on its author, Teresa Stanfill Benns, a self-proclaimed teacher in the Catholic Church. I believe that such is necessary to avoid further scandal, and to put those who are open to hearing the truth, however painful it may be to hear it, on guard against publications from said website and author. 

Basing her contention that immediate jurisdiction is a Protestant heresy on her own interpretation of what Mystici Corporis teaches, Benns has set herself up as a kind of alternative to theologians. In a recent article, Benns wrote the following:  

“A friend recently shared the following quote from Cardinal Billot with me, and while it was not objectionable at the time Billot wrote it, prior to the issuance of Mystici Corporis, it is not something that remains true following Pius XII’s definition on the origin of episcopal jurisdiction.”

That “friend” was me. I am sure it has come as no surprise to many of you that Teresa and I are no longer on speaking terms. She has since told me never to email her again. While that saddens me, we must endure these injuries as best we can for the love of God. But I wish to demonstrate something of vital importance to our Catholic faith, and to surviving this apocalyptic epoch: we must be guided by the light of true Catholic doctrine, which means we must be guided by true Catholic doctors, or teachers. We cannot allow those who claim to be teachers misguide us, however good intentioned they may be, because our faith must be set on rock-solid teaching, not on speculation, supposition, or faulty argumentation. 

The question becomes, who are true Catholic teachers? Well, first and foremost, true Catholic teachers are the parents of their children, who use the catechism to teach their children the truths of the faith. As the child progresses into adulthood—where most of us reading this are—one may build a deeper understanding of the faith through other books intended for our instruction as laity. 

But let me backtrack for a second: I have never said, nor do I now say, that we should not read anything but the catechism. I only want to emphasize that we must progress from elementary knowledge to more advanced, and where the defense of the faith is concerned, it is best to utilize the elementary kind, because it is clearer and makes for a better demonstration and defense of the faith. 

Okay, now let us return to instruction books for further study. There is one such book which a friend of mine shared with me, and which I intend to study after I have at least read the Baltimore Catechism enough times to quote it from memory, and that is Rev. Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. The work was written by Rev. Ott, a priest, theologian, professor, and rector of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, a research institute in Germany. The book was taken from a collection of Ott’s own lecture notes while teaching, and is intended for clergy as well as laity. TAN books considers the Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma to be an essential title, and one which is “widely recognized as one of the greatest summaries of Catholic dogma ever put between two covers.” 

All that is to say is that Ott was a real deal theologian and teacher in the Catholic Church, and his instructional book on the fundamental teachings of the Church is a sure guide for furthering our Catholic education, which I warmly and enthusiastically encourage all of us to do.

So, like I said, my friend shared a passage from Ott’s book, which I reproduce for you now, typed out for your ease of reading. The image supplied for proof of its origin is given after the text.

Excerpt from Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma:  

2. Manner of Conferring

The individual bishop receives his pastoral power immediately from the Pope. (Sent. probabilior.)

In the Encyclical “Mystici Corporis” (1943) Pope Pius XII says of the Bishops: “Each of them is also, as far as his own diocese is concerned, a true Pastor, who tends and rules in the name of Christ the flock committed to his care. In discharging this function, however, they are not completely independent, but are subject to the proper authority of the Roman Pontiff, although they enjoy ordinary power of jurisdiction received directly from the Sovereign Pontiff himself” (quamvis ordinaria jurisdictionis potestate fruantur, immediate sibi ab eodem Pontifice Summo impertita). D. 2287. Cf. D 1500.

This opinion cited (Papal Theory) corresponds best to the monarchial constitution of the Church. When the Pope unites in himself the whole fullness of the pastoral power of the Church, then it corresponds to this that all incumbents of the offices subordinate to him should receive their power immediately from him, the representative of Christ on earth. This conception is favoured by the current practice, according to the which the Pope authorises the bishop nominated or ratified by him to guide the diocese, and requires the clergy and laity to obey him. 

A second opinion (Episcopal Theory) assumes that each individual bishop receives his pastoral power direct from God, as does the Pope. The activity of the Pope in the nomination or ratification of a bishop is claimed to consist simply in that he allocates to the bishop a definite territory in which he is to exercise the power received immediately from God. In order to establish this theory it is argued that the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, receive their power just as immediately from Christ, as the Apostles received their power immediately from Christ, not through the intermediation of Peter. In favor of the second view the historical fact is also exploited that in Christian antiquity and in the early Middle Ages, the choice  of bishop by clergy and people, or the nomination of a bishop by princes was not always and everywhere ratified by the Pope. It is asserted that a tacit ratification and conferring of the episcopal jurisdiction, such as is assumed by the exponents of the former view, is not demonstrable and is improbable. 

The former opinion, which was already approved by Pius VI (D 1500) received a new authoritative confirmation by the Encyclical “Mystici Corporis,” but the question still remains without a final decision. 

Addendum: Position of the Parish Priest.

Only Popes and Bishops possess ecclesiastical jurisdictional power by Divine right. All other Church offices are of Church institution. The view put forward by Gallican theologians, who taught that the office of Parish Priest was inaugurated in the seventy-two Disciples of Christ, in order to derive therefrom a claim to participation in the government of the Church (Parochianism) is without any biblical or historical foundation. Pope Pius VI rejected the doctrine and claim of the pseudo-Synod of Pistoja (1786) et seq. 

There is a lot going on in this quote, but I will only mention a few takeaways from it. First, one reads that there were two (and still are two) theories as to how jurisdiction is received by bishops, either the papal theory or the episcopal theory. Ott tells us that the former theory is more probable, but that there has not been a final decision regarding it. Also, as the addendum addresses Gallicanism, Ott is teaching us that the theories, insofar as they pertain to jurisdiction of Bishops, are not Gallican, but insofar they are applied to Parish Priests are Gallican and are erroneous. 

Benns of BetrayedCatholics would have us believe that we are left with the choice between the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs and the theologians. As she says in the article linked to above: 

“‘It is not the private opinions of theologians but the official decisions of the Church by which we must be guided.’ Yet always, Traditionalists favor the opinions of these theologians even over the clear teaching of the Church.”

The problem with this is a fallacy of false dilemma, because it is false to say that I must choose the opinions of theologians or the teachings of the Church. The theologians are teachers in the Church, like Ott, who have dedicated their lives to extensive academic training in the Catholic Church, and are entrusted by the same Church to inculcate the habit of knowledge of theology in seminarians, clergy, religious, and even the laity. They work at the highest possible level of academia,—research institutes—on the highest possible subject matter, theology. The institute of which Ott was rector was founded in 1472 with the approval of the Pope Sixtus IV, who, among other things, oversaw the construction of the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Archives. 

But there is a choice being made between two mutually exclusive alternatives, exclusive in this case of immediate jurisdiction from God being a Protestant heresy (Benns’s opinion) and immediate jurisdiction from God being one of two theories (Rev. Ludwig Ott’s teaching). You see, the choice is not between Ott or Pius XII. The choice is between Ott or Benns. 

Now, are you obliged by faith to believe Ott? No. That is silly. But I would submit that you are obliged to believe Ott over and against Benns by reason, which reason compels the dispassionate individual to prefer an esteemed and venerable theologian of the highest possible caliber of theological formation, tried and tested by strenuous academic training, and meriting a rectorship at an ancient Catholic institution of research, and who has authored a work on Catholic teaching which many claim is the best ever written, to the mere opinion of a laywoman with only a blog and a bunch of books and a high school diploma.

On Blind Guides

In his “Guiding Principles of the Lay Apostolate,” which Benns quotes from in her article, “Canonical mission granted to the laity,” Pope Pius XII teaches that:

“The catechist is perhaps the classic example of the lay apostle, both by the very nature of his profession and because he makes up for the shortage of priests.”

As a catechist, one is confined to use those teaching materials the Church has provided for the purpose, namely, catechisms and books of instruction for advanced teaching—like The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. I am all for “canonical mission” for the laity, though it must be understood that this canonical mission is not “granted” as Benns asserts, but is mandated by episcopal power of jurisdiction, which none of us have received. But let’s let that slide. The point is, Benns, is relying on materials that are not for the laity—such as theological treatises, the code of canon law, and their respective commentaries—to teach her readers the truths of the faith. This is unprecedented and is dangerous, as is evidenced by the latest debacle of immediate jurisdiction. She believes that she has the requisite training, but where she got that idea is beyond comprehension. Guided by the principles set forth for lay apostolates by Pius XII, Benns would never have thought she had the requisite training to be anything other than a catechist:  

“On the other hand, to acquire the necessary competence, it is obviously necessary to make the effort demanded by serious training. Such training, whose necessity for teachers no one doubts, is just as necessary for every lay apostle, and We have learned with pleasure that the meeting at Kisuba emphatically stressed intellectual formation,” (Pius XII, Guiding Principles of the Lay Apostolate.)  

And later, Pius XII teaches that this training is more than just reading some books from one’s own private library: 

“The training of lay apostles will be cared for by organizations of the lay apostolate itself. These may avail themselves of the help of the secular clergy and the apostolic religious orders. We are certain that they will also have the valuable cooperation of the secular institutes. As regards the formation of women for the lay apostolate, women Religious already have fine achievements to their credit in mission countries and elsewhere,” (Ibid.) 

The point is, that such serious training and intellectual formation must happen in Catholic society, among the clergy, religious orders, and in secular institutes. Training to be a religious teacher requires more than what we have presently, because we lack the Catholic society to pull it off. That is why I believe it is safest and most Catholic to profess and defend the truths of the Faith as they are presented in catechisms and in books of instruction written for laity. 

Benns writes:

“I have my own theological library sporting some 3,000 plus volumes, culled mainly from a seminary library, and have studied some of the best theological works available from it since 1981, often clocking in hours of study per day for decades. My friends and family can testify to this, and I don’t believe that is something most can claim to have done. This is not a boast; the fruits of study can only be judged by God. But I have done my best to “make the effort demanded by serious training” as best I could, since there were no Catholic teachers.” 

One of the bad fruits of Benns’s solitary study of theology, which anyone who is reading this article may judge for themselves, not just God Almighty, is that Benns is squarely contradicted by Ott, who was a true teacher in the Catholic Church. Benns is a blind guide who thinks she is a teacher, but who lacks even the basic self-knowledge to correct some simple mistakes she has published, and who would stand by these claims, even if it means throwing away friendships forged at a distance with fellow pray-at-home Catholics, even if these claims are controverted by exceptionally credentialed and true Catholic teachers, who have left us books to learn the faith by. Let us read these instead of those false teachers who dissent from the teachers of the Church, and who offend us with doctrines at odds with what we have learned. As St. Paul puts it:  

“Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For they that are such, serve not Christ our Lord, but their own belly; and by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent,” (Romans 16:17-18). 

21 thoughts on “Beware of BetrayedCatholics

  1. Hello Robert, I will confess much of this is over my head. I think you are correct in that we need to keep it simple. None of us are trained Catholic theologians. I suspect you are much more intelligent in theology than I am, and I suspect Teresa is as well. Teresa has made errors in the past, and although she admits them now (I’m thinking the papal conclave), I won’t “follow” anyone for fear I will fall into error if I go along with all they write. I often think of what St. Thomas More said, “I will not pin my soul to the back of any man for I know not where he will take it.” In these days when the shepherd has been struck, it is so hard dealing with all of us scattered sheep! May God keep us on the straight and narrow, and may we all stay in the Ark of the True Church until we see God in eternity. Thank you for your defense of the Catholic Faith. God bless you. Anne

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Anne. I really like the quote of St. Thomas More. It is so true. I do not want anyone to pin themselves to my back either! Let us read our catechisms if we haven’t already and study the faith more deeply if we wish by reading those books written for us. But let us never rely on each other to know the faith, because we are not trained theologians like you so truly stated! There are Catholic teachers for that purpose.

      God bless you.


    • I heard that he had brain tumors or something to that effect. I wouldn’t say he was a monster at all. I watched the documentary of him and he struck me as a very simple (I stress simple) man who loved God and thought he might be able to do something about the crisis. I did not perceive malice in him at all. I will definitely pray for his soul. I am sure God, in Bawden’s particular judgment, did chuckle a bit when he appeared before His Divine Majesty’s Court. “So you thought you were Pope, hey?” I can almost hear our Lord ask him with a gleam and a half smile.

      Don’t throw dirt on the dead. Pray for Bawden’s poor soul.


      • ” “So you thought you were Pope, hey?” I can almost hear our Lord ask him with a gleam and a half smile.”
        Huh???? Are you serious? You sound a like a Novus Ordo person (I’m OK; you’re OK). IOW, indifferentism. Robert, I’ll never visit your site again, not even to see your response. Good luck!


      • I am sorry to hear that, Anthony. But just take a perusal of the content of this website (if you ever come back), and you will know that I am not a “I’m OK; you’re OK” kind of Catholic. Admonishing you for calling a dead man a monster because he was trying–in his simplistic way–to salvage the Church is not indifferentism. It is just being human. I wish you God’s blessings. Luck is for the superstitious.


  2. I read the article but still not entirely clear on the conflict, why the BC site decided to “excommunicate” you metaphorically speaking, I understand the theological disagreement a little bit. Pius XII said one thing, before that theologians said another, your view is it’s not clear if this debate is settled or if he was simply teaching one theory of two that have been accepted over time, Benns seems to think Pius XII settled the matter I guess. Are you accused of being a heretic then? Doesn’t sound like heresy, but maybe a lesser theological error (if it was an error). So you should still be able to be in “communion” with each other, is what I was getting at.

    To me this highlights a problem in traditionalism, a lot of the trad leaders seem older, and frankly of a different mindset, and more likely to turn on each other. I don’t know if it’s just age, or if traditionalism just attracts and creates a toxic mindset due to stressors. I realized at one point that when I faced the “novus ordo”, the “conservatives” seemed to have certain vices, which almost turned me away from Christianity entirely, then the non-Catholic “liberals” had their own vices in the opposite direction, and I thought “traditionalists” were able to steer clear of both directions, but at times I have felt like some “trads” just double the seeming faults of the original “conservatives” I wanted distance from.

    Anyway, I think the example of lives of saints need to be looked at. Everything is confusing today, so there kind of needs to be a sense of tolerance like the modernists show, but not to excess like they do. At the same time, there needs to be just judgment like trads show, without going to the excess of being too harsh towards people, when they are facing uncertainty, confusion, stress, etc. today.

    BC and their friends have been around for a while though so I do think they have valuable research and written material that I wouldn’t overlook because they lack certain credentials.

    Fr. Cekada had complained home aloners were violating canon law, I forget what his claim was, but it’s on that site in articles:

    I would hope both sides could pray and God may be the victor in bringing about true unity and reconciliation. I’m definitely not looking forward to seeing all kinds of home alone splinters. (There’s already feeneyites like MHFM, although that’s kind of different).

    I also disagree with BC kind of just going in to the “catacombs”. I think there need to be more home aloners connected with each other. Could be virtually, or in person as communities. People are just needed and appreciated. You may know the example of the Japanese “home aloners” of sorts, they started a lay hierarchy. My vision of “home alone” is to basically carry along with things as normal, as much as possible. Instead I see something else, I don’t know what it is. Well, mostly nothing is going on with home alone stuff. Maybe things will be different going forward.


    • Very good observations, and suggestions. There does need to be more of a community home-alone trend, but the problem is, and I feel it deeply and personally, trust of the other when we do not have the principle of unity holding us together, which is the Holy Father and his bishops and priests. Benns and my disagreements are just one instance of this. I have had my run ins and disagreements with other home aloners.

      The truth is, I don’t know what will happen in the coming years, as a lot of the pioneers will have left us. But I dare say a community building project of some kind between home aloners (even of the younger generation) will never happen, and probably for good reason: we just don’t really know who is Catholic and there is no one to take an erring fellow to as an authority for correction.

      All I can hope for is that CatholicEclipsed to be a beam of borrowed light to penetrate this dark and offer a glimpse of what it really means to be Catholic, but with the understanding that I may get things wrong in the attempt.

      Thank you for your thoughts.


  3. Check OTT’s bibliography, OTT is a modernist, in his next edition he cites Rhaner, Ratzinger, Congar, etc.

    Teresa is right, H.H.Pius XII left infallibly defined that only the Pope’s power of jurisdiction is immediate, he repeats it in 1942, 1943, 1954 and 1958.

    You take for valid that a Pope who repeats in 3 encyclicals that the jurisdiction of the Bishop is not immediate is an opinion, it cannot be an opinion it is a certain sentence.

    It would be better for you to take sides either with H.H. Pius XII or with modernist theologians such as OTT.

    Ask him for forgiveness and return to your friendship.

    Automatic translation from Spanish to English.

    The decisive factor for the knowledge of truth is not the “opinio theologorum”, but the “sensus Ecclesiae”. Otherwise, it would be like turning theologians into quasi “magistri Magisterii”; which is an obvious error.

    Hall of the Swiss, Pontifical Palace of Castel Gandolfo
    Friday, September 14, 1956

    H. Pius XII 1942:
    “…the Vicar of Christ is the center of their unity and the source of their authority, for to him all the other Pastors must be united, WHO IMMEDIATELY RECEIVE FROM HIM THEIR JURISDICTION AND THEIR MISSION; to him it belongs to confirm them in the faith,* as first and universal Pastor, and, as Pastor of Pastors, to prevent and correct abuses, to guard inviolably the deposit of Christ’s doctrine and of the sanctity of morals, to condemn error authentically. He alone, the successor of Peter, the cornerstone of the Church.”
    Discourses and Radio Messages of His Holiness Pius XII Volume II page 390.

    H.H. Pius XII 1943
    “Wherefore the Bishops are not only to be considered as the principal members of the universal Church, as those who are bound by a most special bond with the divine Head of the whole Body and are therefore rightly called ‘principal parts of the members of the Lord,’ but, so far as their own diocese is concerned, they feed and rule as true pastors, in the name of Christ, the flock entrusted to each one; but, in so doing, they are not wholly independent, but are placed under the authority of the Roman Pontiff, although they enjoy ordinary jurisdiction,WHICH THE SUPREME PONTIPHE HIMSELF HAS DIRECTLY COMMUNICATED TO THEM. ”

    H.H. Pius XII 1954:
    “In addition – and this has likewise been established by divine disposition – the power of order (by virtue of which the ecclesiastical hierarchy is composed of bishops, priests and ministers) is acceded to by receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders; THE POWER OF JURISDICTION, FURTHERMORE, WHICH TO THE SUPREME PONTIFICE IS CONFERRED DIRECTLY BY DIVINE LAW, PROVIDES TO THE BISHOPS FROM THE SAME LAW, BUT ONLY THROUGH THE SUCCESSOR OF ST. PETER, to whom not only the simple faithful, but also all Bishops must be constantly subject and bound with the homage of obedience and with the bond of unity. ”

    H.H. Pius XII 1958:
    “… we again referred to this teaching in these words “THE POTHOD OF JURISDICTION WHICH IS CONFERRED DIRECTLY BY DIVINE RIGHT TO THE SUPREME PONTIFICE COMES TO THE BISHOPS BY THAT SAME RIGHT, BUT ONLY THROUGH THE SUCCESSOR OF PETER,to whom not only the faithful but also all the Bishops are bound to be constantly subject and bound both by the reverence of obedience and by the bond of unity.”

    It is more than evident that after the multiple declarations of H.H. Pius XII, making it very clear, the contrary opinion is heretical, after the different opinions of H.H. Pius XII passed from being a certain and infallible sentence.
    He who to this day continues to defend the contrary and takes as mere opinion the repeated sentences of H.H. Pius XII in 1942, 1943, 1954 and 1958, it is evident that he is not in error, but that he is in heresy and obstinate disobedience, under spurious interests such as those of the Traditionalist “bishops”.fevolu


    • Ott says that “Mystici Corporis” has given the Papal theory even more authority, and so we should follow Pius XII’s teaching regarding it. But the point is that it is a probable opinion in theology, not a dogma the denial of which arises to heresy, nor did Pius XII make it a definitive teaching which all are obliged to follow on pain of sin. It should be followed out of reverence for the Holy Father and for his learning. As the BC teaches us:

      BC. 531. That the Pope may speak infallibly, or ex-cathedra:
      1. He must speak on a subject of faith or morals;
      2. He must speak as the Vicar of Christ and to the whole Church;
      3. He must indicate by certain words, such as, we define, we proclaim, etc., that he intends to speak infallibly.

      BC. 532. The Pope is not infallible in everything he says and does, because the Holy Ghost was not promised to make him infallible in everything, but only in matters of faith and morals for the whole Church. Nevertheless, the Pope’s opinion on any subject deserves our greatest respect on account of his learning, experience and dignity.


      • S.S.Pío XII la repite en 1954 y 1958 y cumple absolutamente todas las premisas para se ex-cathedra.
        Here H.H. Pius XII says that it is a doctrine [of the Church].:
        *Quam doctrinam,* datis postea ad vos Litteris Ad Sinarum gentem, iterum memoravimus: “Iurisdictionis potestas, quae Summo Pontifici iure ipso divino directe confertur, Episcopis ex eodem provenit iure, at nonnisi per Petri Successorem, cuyo quidem non sedum christifideles et oboedientiae obsequio et unitatis vinculo constanter subici et adhaerere tenentur”


      • The question is not whether mediated jurisdiction through the Roman Pontiff is a “doctrina,” as it obviously is, since it obviously is a “teaching” of the Roman Pontiff. The question is whether it is an ex-cathedra definitive teaching, or dogma, the denial of which is heresy.

        And no, what is stated here does not absolutely meet all the premises of an ex-cathedra teaching:

        BC. 531. That the Pope may speak infallibly, or ex-cathedra:
        1. He must speak on a subject of faith or morals;
        2. He must speak as the Vicar of Christ and to the whole Church;
        3. He must indicate by certain words, such as, we define, we proclaim, etc., that he intends to speak infallibly.

        Number 3 is not fulfilled. Anyway, the point also is that YOU and Benns and others think you know what the Roman Pontiffs teach and what they define, and you think you know all manner of theological truth, but the fact remains that you do not have the theological training, nor have you been entrusted with teaching the truths of the faith by the hierarchy, nor have you been given the privilege to say what the Roman Pontiffs teach, which is the prerogatives of the theologians, not laypeople without any faculties of any kind. The issue I have is that people who think like you implicitly–or explicitly, as in the case of Benn’s new article, which I intend to obliterate–believe that you know more and are more competent than actual approved teachers in the Church, like Rev. Ott.

        Of course, I wholeheartedly submit my will and intellect to the papal teaching. Even Ott says that it is the authoritative teaching. But it is simply stupid to say it is heresy to deny it. I don’t want the pray-at-home Catholics to be looked on as stupid anymore, so I have distanced myself from those who make such stupid claims.

        Thank you for reading and commenting. I want a fruitful discussion and understanding to come from this, not yet another lame attempt to protect one’s ego. I don’t care if I am wrong. This isn’t about me. This is about listening to a woman in the middle of nowhere with some books over an eminent and proven theologian in the Catholic Church. That us please exercise common sense. Please, for the love of the Holy Roman Pontiffs!


  4. disciplinam dicimus, quae non solum pro Sinis ac regiones- bus Evangelii lumine revisado collustratis, sed pro tota constituta est Ecclesia; quae vi potestatis illius universalis et supremae pascendi, regendi, gubernandi sancita est, quam Dominus Noster Petri Apostoli in munere Successoribus tribuit.


  5. Qua profecto divina voluntate christifideles in duos ordines distribuuntur, clericorum laicorumque ; eademque voluntate duplex constituitur sacra potestas ordinis nempe et iurisdictionis. Ac praeterea — QUOD DIVINITUS PARITER STATUTUM EST — ad potestatem ordinis, qua Ecclesiastica Hierarchia ex Episcopis constat, presbyteris et administris, acceditur per acceptum sacri ordinis sacramentum; IURISDICTIONIS AUTEM POTESTAS, QUAE SUPREMO PONTIFICI IURE IPSO DIVINO DIRECTE CONFERTUR, EPISCOPIS EX EODEM PROVENIT IURE, AT NONNISI PER PETRI SUCCESSOREM,cui quidem non tantum christifideles, sed Episcopi etiam omnes et oboedientiae obsequio et unitatis vinculo constanter subici et adhaerere tenentur.


  6. Robert, surely you agree that even though a question has not been decided, we, the faithful, must side with the Pope, not theologians. We are obliged to give our assent to whatever the pope is teaching concerning faith, morals and discipline, even in his ordinary magisterium, which includes encyclical letters. And since there has been no true pope (that we know of) since Pope Pius XII that supports the opinion that bishops receive jurisdiction directly from God, we must give pious assent to what Pope Pius XII taught in Mystici Corporis. The Pope is the teacher of the Church, and the Vicar of Christ. We cannot pick and choose what to accept when he instructs us or weigh it against what the theologians are opining. In humility, we are to trust what he is saying as coming from Christ Himself.


    • I absolutely agree! That is why I said (repeatedly now in different places, and even in this article) that we should follow Pope Pius XII in his teaching of jurisdiction mediated through the pope. Ott says the same thing, insofar as he says it is an authoritative teaching. This has never been about the pope, Jeff. This is about the theologians and Teresa Benns, who thinks she is one. I am just trying to remove the wool from people’s eyes to see that, in even something so basic as what constitutes a heresy, Benns gets it wrong. But she would have you believe that, if I disagree with her, then I disagree with the pope! How ridiculous! I do not disagree with the pope; I disagree with Benns, not because I think I know more. This isn’t about me. It is because Rev. Ott (in this case, but there are others), disagrees with Benns. Who do you believe, Benns or Ott, and what is the motivation of your belief? In true humility, we ought to look to the theologians (approved teachers) to teach us what the popes say, not ourselves.

      Thank you for commenting. I think it is a good sign when people are thinking about these issues and commenting on them, instead of just reading what others write, and passively believing it.


      • Who do you believe, Benns or Ott?
        To put it differently, Who do I believe Benns, Ott or Robbins? I BELIEVE THE CHAIR OF ST. PETER.


      • That’s good, Jeff. I do, too, believe in the Chair of St. Peter, and my assent is always to all St. Peter’s teachings, no matter what the theologians opine, because the pope’s opinion, even as such, is stronger and demands more assent than all the cardinals, bishops, theologians, and laity combined.

        But, alas, that wasn’t my point. My point was that Benns said that immediate jurisdiction was a Protestant heresy, whereas Ott said it was merely one of two theological opinions. Perhaps this is also instructive: Pious XII didn’t say what immediate jurisdiction was, so in point of fact, Benns wasn’t quoting a pope for her conclusion. She simply inferred it (wrongly) from what the pope said.

        But you follow the Chair of St. Peter. I do, too. But I let Mother Church tell me what St. Peter teaches by my catechism. I hope you do the same.


  7. I remind you that this edition of OTT, the imprimatur is dated October 7, 1954, and the encyclical is dated October 7, 1954 and was not placed in the ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS until January 28, 1955, and the other encyclical is from 1958.

    Therefore you are pointing to a book that is not up to date, whose author in the following editions uses as bibliography Rahner, Yves Congar, Lubac, etc, etc.

    You will know, in your own pride, if you want to make the “opinio theologorum” of OTT outdated, as “magistri Magisterii”, or accept the obvious, if you take the encyclicals S.S.Pius XII is clear as water and says that this doctrine is of divine origin.

    Number 3 is not fulfilled

    Qua profecto divina voluntate christifideles in duos ordines distribuuntur, clericorum laicorumque ; eademque voluntate duplex constituitur sacra potestas ordinis nempe et iurisdictionis. Ac praeterea — QUOD DIVINITUS PARITER STATUTUM EST — ad potestatem ordinis, qua Ecclesiastica Hierarchia ex Episcopis constat, presbyteris et administris, acceditur per acceptum sacri ordinis sacramentum;IURISDICTIONIS AUTEM POTESTAS, QUAE SUPREMO PONTIFICI IURE IPSO DIVINO DIRECTE CONFERTUR, EPISCOPIS EX EODEM PROVENIT IURE, AT NONNISI PER PETRI SUCCESSOREM, cui quidem non tantum christifideles, sed Episcopi etiam omnes et oboedientiae obsequio et unitatis vinculo constanter subici et adhaerere tenentur.


  8. Qua profecto divina voluntate christifideles in duos ordines distribuuntur, clericorum laicorumque ; eademque voluntate duplex constituitur sacra potestas ordinis nempe et iurisdictionis. Ac praeterea — quod divinitus pariter statutum est — ad potestatem ordinis, qua Ecclesiastica Hierarchia ex Episcopis constat, presbyteris et administris, acceditur per acceptum sacri ordinis sacramentum; iurisdictionis autem potestas, quae Supremo Pontifici iure ipso divino directe confertur, Episcopis ex eodem provenit iure, at nonnisi per Petri Successorem, cui quidem non tantum christifideles, sed Episcopi etiam omnes et oboedientiae obsequio et unitatis vinculo constanter subici et adhaerere tenentur.


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 )

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