The 'Counter-Syllabus' Canard

Written by I. Shawn McElhinney

The content of any one thesis of the Syllabus is to be determined according to the laws of scientific interpretation. First of all, one has to refer to the papal documents connected with each thesis. For, in accordance with the peculiar character of the Syllabus, the meaning of the thesis is determined by the meaning of the document it is drawn from. [Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article The Syllabus, (c. 1913)]
[T]he wording of many of the erroneous propositions, as they are drawn up in the Syllabus, gives an apparent breadth to the matter condemned which is not found in the Pope's own words in his Allocutions and Encyclicals. [Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman: Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, (c. 1874)]
If then, I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be to the one to whom I speak a foreigner; and he who speaks a foreigner to me [St. Paul: 1 Cor. 14:11 (c. 54 A.D.)]
Though not in and of itself a Magisterial document, the Syllabus of Errors is an important part of Church history. In issuing his Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura, Pope Pius IX of blessed memory sought to condemn errors that were current to his time. The theological qualification of this encyclical is higher than most encyclical letters due to the circumstances involved. (Since in condemning doctrinal or moral errors, the Apostolic See is preserved by the Holy Spirit from error and Quanta Cura was concerned with condemning such errors.) Though the precise theological qualifications of these condemnations is debatable, it is difficult to see how this encyclical could not be infallible, be it ex cathedra or otherwise. (This writer holds that much of Quanta Cura was definitively set forth as binding teaching to be held for the record.)

There have been charges made by many self-styled 'traditionalists' viz. Quanta Cura that the encyclical supposedly has been controverted by Vatican II or the post-Council papal Magisterium. A number of these assertions were examined by this writer in his treatise A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' and shown beyond a shadow of doubt to be without credible foundation. However, there are other considerations in this vein as well, which any project — even one as detailed, encompassing, and systematical as the aforementioned treatise — could never cover with the detail needed due to space constraints.

This essay intends to look at the Syllabus of Errors, which the aforementioned pontiff attached to his Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura, with the intention of giving a brief synopsis of additional errors previously condemned in his aforementioned Apostolic Letters, Encyclical Letters, and Allocutions. It is important to note first and foremost that the Syllabus itself was not magisterial. However, the errors it contained which the pontiffs previously proscribed were in documents of the papal Magisterium. Therefore, the Syllabus of Errors, though not magisterial, requires profound religious submission of will and intellect by the faithful. (As although not promulgated by Pope Pius IX, it was nonetheless issued with the sanction of the Holy Father.) Therefore, in this light the present writer intends to shine a bit of needed light onto the Syllabus. It is important both for what it represented and also for how many people misperceive it today. There are destructive post-modernists who salivate at what they claim is Vatican II or the post-Council papal Magisterium encapsulating in their teachings a repudiation of the teachings in the Syllabus. The view of these post-modernists is that if the teachings of the earlier popes as they appertain to doctrine could be so blatantly reversed, then current teachings of the present pontiff could likewise be reversed by later popes and councils. (The teaching of Pope Paul VI of blessed memory viz. contraception and the current pontiff John Paul II on the impossibility of ordaining women as priests are two hot-button issues that would be open to debate if the assertions of the post-modernists were valid ones.)

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or CDF) referred to the Vatican II Constitution Gaudium et Spes (GS) as a "counter-syllabus". This reference is unfortunate, not for the truth of the statement properly understood but for the images it conjures. In the minds of those who assert the positions of the post-modernists, it confirms their presumptions, which would (if true) put the entire status of the deposit of Catholic doctrine in peril. Likewise, many well-meaning people who are at a loss to explain the problems of the Church today in a logical manner assert that the teachings of the Council or the Popes since the Council is somehow responsible for the problems we see on all levels. To them these comments by Cardinal Ratzinger about a "counter-syllabus" are often taken to mean that the Syllabus has been controverted in its teachings. Rather, the intended meaning of the Cardinal Prefect was that the condemnation of errors in the Syllabus could logically be seen as being countered by positive teaching in GS that encapsulates the elements of truth contained in the aforementioned errors. Understanding the statement in this light, the negative element of the summary condemnations complimented by the later positive and elaborated teaching encapsulating what elements of truth the previously condemned errors contained results in the climate moving from negative and reactive to positive and pro-active. GS outlined a positive agenda while the Syllabus of Errors (andQuanta Cura which accompanied it) merely condemned errors and outlined no actual agenda.

In this sense the Constitution Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II, and the post-VC II Magisterium indeed "counter" the Syllabus but in a complementary not contradictory sense. Most people are nowhere near as theologically acute as the Cardinal Prefect is, therefore the import of this statement can be lost on them. However, Cardinal Ratzinger is not the first eminent theologian of the Church in recent years to fail to accommodate his discourse to the understanding of average people in a manner that does not come across as troubling on the surface. Indeed as Cardinal Prefect of the most authoritative Congregation of the Holy See (CDF), his position is of second rank in the Church hierarchy as far as authority is concerned. But there have been higher-ranking theologians who have succumbed to this problem both during Vatican II and since the close of the Council. Pope Paul VI had this problem in spades — particularly with regards to the theological qualifications of the Council’s documents. Likewise Pope John Paul II has not himself been completely immune from this problem. (*)

In this examination of the Syllabus of Errors, the finer points of these condemnation and what they hinge upon will be put into bold print to contrast them with Vatican II and the post Council Magisterium. The intent is to show no doctrinal controversion whatsoever between pre and post-Vatican II viz. the teachings of the Syllabus. By this effort, hopefully the absurd suggestions made by some commentators that the Syllabus of Errors has been "abolished" either de facto or de jure will be laid to rest. In these sections, the words of the Syllabus will be in Georgia font and the comments of this writer will be in Times font. For the most part, the citations from other sources used by this author will be in block-quote format.

I - Pantheism, Naturalism and Absolute Rationalism:

1. There exists no Supreme, all-wise, all-provident Divine Being, distinct from the universe, and God is identical with the nature of things, and is, therefore, subject to changes. In effect, God is produced in man and in the world, and all things are God and have the very substance of God, and God is one and the same thing with the world, and, therefore, spirit with matter, necessity with liberty, good with evil, justice with injustice. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

2. All action of God upon man and the world is to be denied. -- Ibid.

3. Human reason, without any reference whatsoever to God, is the sole arbiter of truth and falsehood, and of good and evil; it is law to itself, and suffices, by its natural force, to secure the welfare of men and of nations. -- Ibid.

4. All the truths of religion proceed from the innate strength of human reason; hence reason is the ultimate standard by which man can and ought to arrive at the knowledge of all truths of every kind. -- Ibid. and Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846, etc.

5. Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to a continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the advancement of human reason. -- Ibid.

6. The faith of Christ is in opposition to human reason and divine revelation not only is not useful, but is even hurtful to the perfection of man. -- Ibid.

7. The prophecies and miracles set forth and recorded in the Sacred Scriptures are the fiction of poets, and the mysteries of the Christian faith the result of philosophical investigations. In the books of the Old and the New Testament there are contained mythical inventions, and Jesus Christ is Himself a myth.

Not one single article above has at any time been controverted by the teachings of the papal Magisterium since Vatican II or by the authentic teachings of Vatican II. (Which differ from what post-modernists claim is the "Spirit of Vatican II", which is no different than the very smoke of Satan that Pope Paul VI referred to in 1972.) The existence of God has been repeatedly affirmed by the Magisterium - at and since Vatican II. At no time has either council or pope taught that God is produced in man or that God is identical with the world (and hence evil with good, justice with injustice, or other such Pantheist nonsense). Hence there is no controversion with the first condemnation of error in the Syllabus by the post Council Magisterium.

Since the Church continues to affirm that (i) God is sovereign and that (ii) He interacts with what He chooses in whatever manner He chooses, the second condemnation of error stands uncontradicted. The Church continues to teach that man cannot without God’s assistance do any good at all (and that reason alone is insufficient and not the ultimate arbiter of what is true). Therefore, there is no way the third or fourth condemned errors are in any way affirmed today by the Church. The Church teaches that God is perfect; ergo his Revelation is perfect also. This is in line with the assertion of Bl. Pope Pius IX in condemning the proposition that divine revelation is imperfect (error number five). Likewise the Church today upholds that faith and reason are not contradictory at all. Vatican II taught this, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches this, and Pope John Paul II in his recent Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio has forcefully affirmed this. Hence, the proposition that faith and reason are contrary (point six above) which was wisely condemned by the aforementioned pope of august memory remains so today and always will.

All points condemned in point seven above have remained uncontroverted by subsequent Magisterial judgments. The authenticity of the miracles contained in Sacred Scripture, the mysteries of the Christian faith not being the result of philosophical investigation, and the reality of Our Lord Jesus Christ as real and not a myth need no defending here. (Since anyone who would claim that these assertions have been affirmed by the Magisterium is probably so deluded as to be beyond help at this point.) However, any sane individual can reasonably come to the correct conclusion viz. those points in condemnation seven by a proper reading of the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum. However, the point about the Testaments containing "mythical inventions" is a bit trickier. If by myth we mean imaginary or contrived then certainly this assertion is false. If however we refer to the different stories of the Bible in that not all of them are literal historical accounts, this is not inaccurate provided that we do not err in ascribing errors to the Scripture. What Scripture says is inerrant in its message and the inspired books teach the truth in the manner that God wanted them to and in forms that were germane to the cultures from which the Scriptures were written. There were different literary forms used and also different approaches. As this writer pointed out in his essay Christian Unity and the Role of Authority, there are five types of material preserved in oral traditions for common people, with varying types of controls of the transmission:

1) Middle Eastern people express their values through proverbs, the creating and preserving of wisdom and sayings; 2) Story riddles - a teacher is presented with an unsolvable problem; 3) poetry - a distinct unlettered form of verse. The person who recites this is called a Sajali; 4) parable or story; 5) Well-told accounts of the important figures in the history of the village or community… [1]
There were also three types of flexibility exercised by the community in these five types of traditions:
1) No flexibility — Proverbs and poems…There are reciters who are bound to repeat word for word proverbs and poems. If the reciter quotes a proverb with so much as a word missing, he subjects himself to public correction, and thereby to public humiliation. Exact memorization of these types of traditions are taken for granted, with no changes in wording allowed.
2) Some flexibility - The telling of stories and parables…In a story some flexibility is allowed, and the order of events could be reversed. The flows of the story and its conclusion have to remain the same. The summary punch line is inviolable, as are the names of the characters in the story. Any proverbs within the story have to be repeated verbatim, otherwise the teller would be rejected. The story teller has a certain freedom to tell the story in his own way as long as the central thrust of the story is not changed…To change the basic story line while retelling the account is unthinkable. Historical narratives important to the lives of individuals and villages also fall into this second level of flexibility that provides for both continuity and freedom for individual interpretations of the tradition. Flexibility is possible but authenticity is assured. Many of the Synoptic Gospels narratives and parables would fall into this category of flexibility.
3) Total flexibility - …Here is where exaggerations are possible…[T]his only happens in jokes, casual news of the day, and material that is irrelevant to the identity of the community and is not judged wise or valuable… [2]
The informal yet controlled oral tradition "accounts for both event and interpretation, continuity and discontinuity, fixity and fluidity, and it is our suggestion that it can provide a methodology with which to perceive and interpret the bulk of the material in the Synoptic Gospels" (ibid). This style would also explain the way many of the other Scripture accounts, which seem on the surface to be contradictory are not. (Then there are also points, which can be ascribed to errors in translation, though this assertion should always be made with the greatest possible deference to potential solutions that plausibly resolve any difficulties.) Hence, since different literary forms were used, the importance is in ascertaining as well as possible what the authors intended to assert, since that is the message which is of utmost importance. That there was some flexibility in different accounts of the oral tradition cannot be denied. Differences such as "two thousand baths" being the capacity of the Temple seas (1 Kings 7:26) and "three thousand baths" as recorded in 2 Chronicles 4:5 are one such example. They are either scribal errors in translation or a simple case of the storyteller taking a certain freedom with the story and telling it in his own way — a way that could encompass one storyteller giving an approximation of sea dimensions and the other giving an exact figure.

This writer asserts in all such cases that first recourse must be to the latter assertion (oral uncontrolled format) as errors in Sacred Scripture is not an option if by errors we mean mistakes. If we mean that there are areas that on the surface are difficult to reconcile then that is another kettle of fish altogether. In the view of this writer, the term "surface discrepancies" is a better way of referring to these difficulties since the proposition that Scripture contains no errors has been dogmatically defined by Vatican I. Hence, it is unwise to use the term "error" even if in doing so one properly quantifies their statement to be fully orthodox. The Church still teaches forcefully in both the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum (DV) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church that the accounts in the Gospels are accurate accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry and that Our Lord was not a mythical but indeed a real person. To quote the Catechism on these subjects (Inspiration And Truth Of Sacred Scripture):

105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit." {DV 11}
"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself." {DV 11; cf. Jn 20:31; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pt 1:19-21; 3:15-16}
106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more." {DV 11}
107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures." {DV 11}  [3]
The affirmation that Jesus Christ was a real person and God made man can be seen in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 422-435). Hence the propositions condemned in point seven is in no way affirmed by the Magisterium at any time in her history.

This writer would like to draw the reader’s attention to the absolute nature of these condemnations in some areas. Often a condemned statement hinges on one or two key words signifying an absolute mandate of sorts. This needs to be remembered as the rest of the Syllabus is looked at. Thus far the assertion of the Syllabus being "abolished" or it teachings contradicted is without any merit whatsoever.

II - Moderate Rationalism:

8. As human reason is placed on a level with religion itself, so theological must be treated in the same manner as philosophical sciences. -- Allocution "Singulari quadam," Dec. 9, 1854.

9. All the dogmas of the Christian religion are indiscriminately the object of natural science or philosophy, and human reason, enlightened solely in an historical way, is able, by its own natural strength and principles, to attain to the true science of even the most abstruse dogmas; provided only that such dogmas be proposed to reason itself as its object. -- Letters to the Archbishop of Munich, "Gravissimas inter," Dec. 11, 1862, and "Tuas libenter," Dec. 21, 1863.

The Magisterium has never claimed that human reason and religion are on the same level and that theology must be treated in manner of philosophical sciences. Pope John Paul II in fact says the exact opposite in his Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio:

[T]he truth made known to us by Revelation is neither the product nor the consummation of an argument devised by human reason.  [4]
The affirmative positions in points eight and nine are falsified by this statement. (Which of course is in line with the condemnations of the Syllabus.)

10. As the philosopher is one thing, and philosophy another, so it is the right and duty of the philosopher to subject himself to the authority which he shall have proved to be true; but philosophy neither can nor ought to submit to any such authority. -- Ibid., Dec. 11, 1862.

The Magisterium has never (i) divorced divine revelation from the formulation of dogmas or (ii) claimed that natural reason alone could explain them in full. The popes and Vatican II have never asserted or implied claimed that submission to the Magisterium is contingent upon the philosopher proving the validity of the authority of the Magisterium to demand such submission. Nor have the Popes (or Vatican II) claimed that the Magisterium cannot correct erroneous philosophies. Hence point ten has not been controverted by the Teaching Authority of the Church since Vatican II or by Vatican II’s teachings.

11. The Church not only ought never to pass judgment on philosophy, but ought to tolerate the errors of philosophy, leaving it to correct itself. -- Ibid., Dec. 21, 1863.

The Popes and the CDF since Vatican II have censured several errant theologians. Not only this but they have also stripped the credentials of a few dissident theologians to teach theology. Thus by example the post Council Magisterium has acted contrary to the affirmative position in point eleven. (In other words, they have endorsed by default the judgment of Bl. Pope Pius IX.)

12. The decrees of the Apostolic See and of the Roman congregations impede the true progress of science. -- Ibid.

At no time has the Magisterium endorsed the idea that its decrees impede the sciences. Ergo, the assertion condemned in point twelve stands without contradiction by the Magisterium both at Vatican II and since the Council.

13. The method and principles by which the old scholastic doctors cultivated theology are no longer suitable to the demands of our times and to the progress of the sciences. -- Ibid.

It is certainly possible that some self-styled 'traditionalists' would see in this condemnation a defacto endorsement of scholasticism to the exclusion of all other methods of theology. But hopefully with a little fleshing out of this point, such an assertion can be seen for the red herring that it is.

While Bl. Pope Pius IX gave his approval to scholasticism in a number of his speeches and writings, there was nothing from him written solely on the subject of philosophy. His successor Pope Leo XIII, issued the Encyclical Letter Aeterni Patris, which endorsed the doctrine of St. Thomas as the Church’s normative theology. As a Thomist revival was already underway (having started in the early nineteenth century), this endorsement from the popes (particularly Leo) led to the spread of Thomism throughout the Church. Such a movement of course bore good fruit for the Church; however it was followed by an attitude that would lead to its undoing by the end of the Second Vatican Council.

The condemnation we are dealing with above referred to the "method and principles" of the old scholastic doctors. But what the form of Thomism was in the early twentieth century was not one that could be said to accurately reflect the "methods and principles" of the scholastic doctors. Instead the form of scholaticism that dominated the Roman school was a Thomism of manuals and its adherents sought to impose their views not through persuasion of argument but instead by the naked wielding of authority. Insight and creativity were stifled with an emphasis placed instead on correct expressions of verbal formulation and syllogisms. This frame-work had no use for the ideas of the modern world and took a defensive ad hominem approach towards anyone who was critical of this dominant paradigm of thought. The ideas of the modern world were caricatured and summarily dismissed with rhetorical flourishes, which were tantamount to ignoring them in toto. Those seeking to make a greater use of modern philosophy or science, utilize non-Catholic biblical methods, utilize non-Catholic scholarship, or even other traditional schools of philosophy and theology within the Church were denounced and condemned as "modernists". There is no denying that some of them were in fact of the sort that were rightfully condemned by St. Pope Pius X. However, rather then a calm charitable discussion of the issues at hand all too often bullying tactics were used. The neo-scholastics in positions of influence started using their theological positions as the "measuring stick" of orthodoxy.

After World War II, the neo-scholastics came in conflict again with scholars in the Church who were following other philosophical and theological paths. A common thread of many of these new developments was the desire for a more positive relationship to the world outside the Church. This of course flew in the face of the "Fortress Catholicism" model so commonly espoused in the Counter-Reformation period. The attempts by an assortment of scholars who sought to formulate a ressourcement approach could not logically be considered as philosophically or theologically precise as would be preferable any more then an idea could logically be born fully formed. These matters take time to mature into full form and this should have been obvious to the critics of the so-called "New Theology". But instead, the response on the part of the prevailing neo-scholastics (particularly those in positions of authority within the Holy See) was silencing, denunciations, and other authoritarian tactics. The idea of theological dialogue as has gone on historically with divers theological movements within the Church (i.e. the Dominicans and Jesuits on predestination) was not to be found. Instead, if you were not a neo-scholastic manual theologian, you were suspected of being in collusion with Modernism — a charge rashly thrown around and quite often without any justification for doing so.

Of course once one was suspect it was not easy to get out from under the dark cloud. The irony is that those who made these assertions were neo-scholastics, who in seeking to return to the founts of the schoolmen used methods that were in many ways alien to the masters at the height of scholasticism. The neo-scholastics relied on manuals where they were continually involved in the refining of derivative points. They utilized almost no Scripture at all in their arguments (except indirectly). Nor did they have much use for the Fathers except as cursory references. (Seeming to consider the Patristic witness to have been supplanted — rather then supplemented — by the systematical presentations of the schoolmen.) They seem to have considered the Scholastic period as the only really relevant period in history and refused to even consider the merits of modern philosophical ideas. And finally, they caricatured modern ideas and philosophies, sought to thereby dismiss them as "unworthy", and treated their own theology as the Catholic theology. These actions in every way were completely alien to "the methods and principles" of Saint Thomas — which the Syllabus by implication claimed were relevant to solving modern problems. (And which Pope Leo XIII later coined as perennial in relevancy.)

The "methods and principles" of Saint Thomas (and the other scholastic masters) dealt primarily with the fundamental points of doctrine (building onto them in addressing derivative points). The methods and principles of Saint Thomas utilized Scripture copiously in argumentation, not as an occasional ornament. The methods and principles of Saint Thomas meant having recourse to the Fathers for defending primary points of doctrine as apostolic. The methods and principles of Saint Thomas meant considering the breadth and depth of Church history in its fullness. (Saint Thomas himself did not consider any period of history to be the definitive period as if this meant ignoring all other periods of Church history.) The methods and principles of Saint Thomas meant considering the merits of modern philosophical ideas as well as more ancient ones. (Hence St. Thomas drew from not only Aristotle and the Fathers — particularly Augustine — but also non-Christian philosophers such as Averros, Avicenna, and Maimonides who were nearly contemporaries of his time.) And finally the methods and principles of St. Thomas did not involve caricaturing opposing arguments but instead it involved summarizing them accurately and then addressing them. (At times St. Thomas would phrase and argue an opponent’s position better then they would.) Every method and principle of St. Thomas was directly opposite the tactic taken by the neo-scholastics. However the ressourcement paradigm of the so-called Nouvelle Theologicae was a faithful use of the scholastic method as the masters of the thirteenth century used it (particularly St. Thomas) right down to every area as listed above. The eternal value of the scholastic methods and principles are rooted in common human experience. The simple yea or nea to scholasticism cannot do the issue proper justice since there are scholastic methods that are no longer valid today. (There are also other methods that will always be valid.) Pope John Paul II spoke of the perennial value of St. Thomas’ doctrine in his Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio:

A quite special place in this long development belongs to Saint Thomas, not only because of what he taught but also because of the dialogue which he undertook with the Arab and Jewish thought of his time. In an age when Christian thinkers were rediscovering the treasures of ancient philosophy, and more particularly of Aristotle, Thomas had the great merit of giving pride of place to the harmony which exists between faith and reason. Both the light of reason and the light of faith come from God, he argued; hence there can be no contradiction between them.(44) More radically, Thomas recognized that nature, philosophy's proper concern, could contribute to the understanding of divine Revelation. Faith therefore has no fear of reason, but seeks it out and has trust in it. Just as grace builds on nature and brings it to fulfilment,(45) so faith builds upon and perfects reason. Illumined by faith, reason is set free from the fragility and limitations deriving from the disobedience of sin and finds the strength required to rise to the knowledge of the Triune God. Although he made much of the supernatural character of faith, the Angelic Doctor did not overlook the importance of its reasonableness; indeed he was able to plumb the depths and explain the meaning of this reasonableness. Faith is in a sense an "exercise of thought"; and human reason is neither annulled nor debased in assenting to the contents of faith, which are in any case attained by way of free and informed choice.(46)
This is why the Church has been justified in constantly proposing Saint Thomas as a master of thought and as a model of the right way to do theology. In this connection, I would recall what my Predecessor, the Servant of God Paul VI, wrote on the occasion of the seventh centenary of the death of the Angelic Doctor: "Without doubt, Thomas possessed supremely the courage of the truth, a freedom of spirit in confronting new problems, the intellectual honesty of those who allow Christianity to be contaminated neither by secular philosophy nor by a prejudiced rejection of it. He passed therefore into the history of Christian thought as a pioneer of the new path of philosophy and universal culture. The key point and almost the kernel of the solution which, with all the brilliance of his prophetic intuition, he gave to the new encounter of faith and reason was a reconciliation between the secularity of the world and the radicality of the Gospel, thus avoiding the unnatural tendency to negate the world and its values while at the same time keeping faith with the supreme and inexorable demands of the supernatural order".(47)
(44) Cf. Summa contra Gentiles, I, 7.
(45) Cf. Summa Theologiae, I, 1, 8 ad 2: "cum enim gratia non tollat naturam sed perficiat".
(46) Cf. John Paul II, Address to the Participants at the IX International Thomistic Congress (29 September 1990): Insegnamenti, XIII, 2 (1990), 770-771.
(47) Apostolic Letter Lumen Ecclesiae (20 November 1974), 8: AAS 66 (1974), 680. [5]
The study of the methods and principles of the scholastic doctors is and always will remain viable for addressing societies problems. And far from controverting this proposition the very approach of Vatican II (ressourcement) was along the lines of the methods and philosophy of the greatest of the scholastics (St. Thomas Aquinas) virtually point for point. In this light it cannot be reasonably asserted that this condemned premise has in any way been affirmed by Vatican II or the post-council papal magisterium.

14. Philosophy is to be treated without taking any account of supernatural revelation. -- Ibid.

At no time has the Magisterium ever asserted that supernatural revelation can be divorced completely from philosophy. Thus, since such evidences cannot be brought forward to credibly sustain the assertion of controversion, the assertion condemned in point fourteen stands without contradiction by the Magisterium both at Vatican II and since the Council.

III - Indifferentism, Latitudinarianism:

15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. — Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862; Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846.

17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.

18. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. -- Encyclical "Noscitis," Dec. 8, 1849.

This is a trickier area to reconcile but it is not impossible. To address point fifteen, Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio will be cited:

It should nonetheless be kept in mind that Revelation remains charged with mystery. It is true that Jesus, with his entire life, revealed the countenance of the Father, for he came to teach the secret things of God.(13) But our vision of the face of God is always fragmentary and impaired by the limits of our understanding. Faith alone makes it possible to penetrate the mystery in a way that allows us to understand it coherently.
The Council teaches that "the obedience of faith must be given to God who reveals himself".(14) This brief but dense statement points to a fundamental truth of Christianity. Faith is said first to be an obedient response to God. This implies that God be acknowledged in his divinity, transcendence and supreme freedom. By the authority of his absolute transcendence, God who makes himself known is also the source of the credibility of what he reveals. By faith, men and women give their assent to this divine testimony. This means that they acknowledge fully and integrally the truth of what is revealed because it is God himself who is the guarantor of that truth. They can make no claim upon this truth which comes to them as gift and which, set within the context of interpersonal communication, urges reason to be open to it and to embrace its profound meaning. This is why the Church has always considered the act of entrusting oneself to God to be a moment of fundamental decision which engages the whole person. In that act, the intellect and the will display their spiritual nature, enabling the subject to act in a way which realizes personal freedom to the full.(15) It is not just that freedom is part of the act of faith: it is absolutely required. Indeed, it is faith that allows individuals to give consummate expression to their own freedom. Put differently, freedom is not realized in decisions made against God. For how could it be an exercise of true freedom to refuse to be open to the very reality, which enables our self-realization? Men and women can accomplish no more important act in their lives than the act of faith; it is here that freedom reaches the certainty of truth and chooses to live in that truth.
(13) Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 4.
(14) Ibid., 5.
(15) The First Vatican Council, to which the quotation above refers, teaches that the obedience of faith requires the engagement of the intellect and the will: "Since human beings are totally dependent on God as their creator and Lord, and created reason is completely subject to uncreated truth, we are obliged to yield through faith to God the revealer full submission of intellect and will" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith Dei Filius, III: DS 3008). [6]
Since "freedom is not realized in decisions made against God", logically freedom is not realized in the choosing of any religion but the Catholic religion. However, at the same time, the concept of free will logically indicates a choice made by the agent for or against God. To the extent that the individual is unaware that the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ (in whose name alone is anyone saved) and to whom all the graces of salvation have been committed, they are not culpable for choosing another religion to follow. They have the free will to do this; however, at the same time, they do not exercise true freedom in proportion to their awareness that the Catholic Church was founded by God if they actively choose against joining the Church (or making a decision for God).

There is a difference between being free to embrace an error and the Church permitting people to reach an erroneous conclusion without coercion. This is the principle of double effect, or the understanding that for the sake of concession on a major error that a minor error may have to be tolerated. Pope Gregory XVI did this with the territories he governed before Italy seized the Papal States. To quote the secular historian Sir Nicholas Cheetham with regards to Gregory XVI "no concessions to democracy could be envisioned within the territory governed by him, though [in Gregory’s mind] they might regrettably have to be tolerated elsewhere" (History of the Popes, c. 1981, pg. 255). Also, since religion cannot be confined by the light of reason (but by its very object manifests truths which transcend human reasoning), human reasoning alone cannot be the barometer from which someone embraces a given religion. As far as what constitutes actual freedom, Pope John Paul II in his Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio explained it thusly:

[F]reedom is not realized in decisions made against God. For how could it be an exercise of true freedom to refuse to be open to the very reality, which enables our self-realization? Men and women can accomplish no more important act in their lives than the act of faith; it is here that freedom reaches the certainty of truth and chooses to live in that truth. [7]
No post-Council popes taught otherwise nor did Vatican II and evidences to substantiate controversion on this point are non-existent. Therefore, the condemnation in point fifteen has not been controverted. According to the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article on the fifteenth article in the Syllabus "the fifteenth thesis, ‘Everyone is free to adopt and profess that religion which he, guided by the light of reason, holds to be true’, admits in itself of a right interpretation." To clarify this point further, the article also notes the following:
[O]n consulting the Apostolic Letter "Multiplices inter", dated 10 June, 1851, from which this thesis is taken, it will be found that not every possible meaning is rejected, but only that particular meaning which, in 1848, Vigil, a Peruvian priest, attached to it in his "Defensa". Influenced by Indifferentism and Rationalism, Vigil maintained that man is to trust to his own human reason only and not to a Divine reason, i. e. to the truthful and omniscient God Who in supernatural revelation vouches for the truth of a religion. In the sense in which Vigil's book understands the fifteenth thesis, and in this sense alone does the Syllabus understand and condemn the proposition.  [8]
And at no time to the knowledge of this writer has the post-Council Magisterium endorsed this understanding of the thesis. (Thus those who would assert that the magisterium has are the ones pushing the Sysphian stone of proof not those who assert that the magisterium has remained consistent on this point.) Point sixteen is not difficult if you read the condemnation carefully. No man can arrive at eternal salvation by the observance of any religion whatsoever. Vatican II taught that people can be saved in spite of their religious professions by the elements that their respective religions contain of the truth which the Catholic Church retains in its fullness. This is perfectly in line with St. Paul’s teachings in Romans 2 on the Gentiles not possessing the law being saved by doing what the law prescribes which is to love one another with fraternal charity.

Likewise, the Pope St. Pius X Catechism (written by the saintly pontiff of happy memory) dealt with the question of "if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved?" (Pope St. Pius X Catechism: Question 29 from the section titledThe Church in General, c. 1910). The response given in the catechism was that "[i]f he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God’s will as best he can, such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation (ibid. Response to Q 29, c. 1910). And as this author has outlined in a thesis on Justification, charity and not faith alone saves a man precisely as all the NT personages teach (including the often-misrepresented Saint Paul). Therefore, since neither Vatican II nor the post Council popes teach that salvation by any religious profession is possible, it cannot be credibly asserted that point sixteen of the Syllabus has been contradicted in teaching since the Council. (Even if some who misunderstand the Council’s teachings on religious liberty and ecumenism have taught this — either out of ignorance or deliberate malice.)

As for point seventeen, it is teaching basically a form of universalism and no pope nor Vatican II even remotely has taught this error. (In fact, they all teach to the contrary and in line with Bl. Pius IX’s teaching. More on this point later.) Point eighteen is directly refuted by the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, which states in paragraphs fourteen and fifteen that:

This holy Council first of all turns its attention to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself on scripture and tradition, it teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it.
Fully incorporated into the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who--by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion--are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but "in body" not "in heart."… All children of the Church should nevertheless remember that their exalted condition results, not from their own merits, but from the grace of Christ. If they fail to respond in thought, word and deed to that grace, not only shall they not be saved, but they shall be the more severely judged…
Catechumens who, moved by the Holy Spirit, desire with an explicit intention to be incorporated into the Church, are by that very intention joined to her. With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own.
The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but who do not however profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.(14) For there are many who hold sacred scripture in honor as a rule of faith and of life, who have a sincere religious zeal, who lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and the Saviour,(15) who are sealed by baptism which unites them to Christ, and who indeed recognize and receive other sacraments in their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them possess the episcopate, celebrate the holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion of the Virgin Mother of God.(16) There is furthermore a sharing in prayer and spiritual benefits; these Christians are indeed in some real way joined to us in the Holy Spirit for, by his gifts and graces, his sanctifying power is also active in them and he has strengthened some of them even to the shedding of their blood. And so the Spirit stirs up desires and actions in all of Christ's disciples in order that all may be peaceably united, as Christ ordained, in one flock under one shepherd.(17) Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may be achieved, and she exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the Church.  [9]
The first paragraph of LG §14 speaks for itself. To understand LG §15 properly, the footnoted citations need to be considered. Here they are:
(14) Cfr. Leo XIII, Epist. Apost. Praeclara gratulationis, 20 iun. 1894; ASS 26 (1893-94) P. 707.
(15) Cfr. Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl. Satis cognitum, 29 iun. 1896: ASS 28 (1895-96) P. 738. Epist. Encycl. Caritatis studium, 25;iul. 1898: ASS 31 (1898-99) P. 11. Pius XII, Nuntius radioph. Nell'alba, 24 dec. 1941: ASS 34 (1942) P. 21.
(16) Cfr. Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Rerum Orientalium, 8 sept. 1 928: AAS 20 (1928) P. 287. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl Orientalis Ecclesiae, 9 apr. 1944: AAS 36 (1944) P. 137.
(17) Cfr. Inst. S.S.C.S. Officii, 20 dec. 1949: AAS 42 (1950) P. 142. [10]
Footnote fourteen is to Pope Leo XIII’s Apostolic Letter Praeclara Gratulationis, which affirms precisely what Lumen Gentium indicates that it does. Footnote fifteen refers to several magisterial documents that are in the Acta Apostolis Sedis: Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Letter Satis Cognitum among them. (The latter encyclical of Pope Leo was mismarked as an Encyclical Epistle.) The tone of the latter encyclical is apologetic of course, as was the case with many encyclicals and other papal documents of this period, which addressed the topic of Christian unity. (This present writer’s essay on Christian unity is also in some ways apologetic in tone — a method that has its proper place in certain times and circumstances.) The context of the encyclical was an address to the universal church and the Fathers of the Council obviously were referring to Leo’s reference to there being people who are outside the body of the Church who desire to follow the Lord. (This writer was unable to find the document by Pope Pius XII which footnote fifteen refers to.) There is also a reference to Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Epistle Caritatis Studium addressed to the clergy and faithful of Scotland, which also refers to the good will of those who seek and strive to follow God who are not numbered among the body of the Catholic faithful:
Great praise is due to the Scottish nation, as a whole, that they have always shown reverence and love for the Inspired Writings. They cannot therefore be unwilling to listen to a few words which in Our affection We would address to them on this subject with a view to their eternal welfare; since We find that in revering the Sacred Scriptures, they are in agreement with the Catholic Church. Why then should this not be the starting-point for a return to unity? [11]
Footnote sixteen above refers to two encyclical letters, one by Pope Pius XI and one by Pope Pius XII. Both dealt with the relations of the Oriental churches (or the churches of the East) with the Roman Church. And far from endorsing a watered down form of extra ecclesia nulla salus, Lumen Gentium actually stated the following with regards to the salvation of those who are not members of the Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience--those too may achieve eternal salvation. (19)
(19) Cfr. Epist. S.S.C.S. Officii ad Archiep. Boston.: Denz. 3 86972. [12]
The proper reading of the Council document is "may" and not "many". (The author will not speculate on this is an accidental or deliberate error in translation.) This interpretation is definitively proven in that the Vatican web-site has a different English translation of the text where the word "may" is replaced with "can". (This specifically excludes the possibility of endorsing anything but a possibility of salvation for those in a state of ignorance that is invincible.) The distinction here is an important one.

After all, that someone may achieve salvation hardly sounds like "good hope" but at most merely "hope". That alone would demonstrate that Vatican II did not affirm a proposition condemned in the Syllabus. The Council outlined the ways in which non-Catholics may be joined in some imperfect manner to the Catholic Church either in re (reality) or in voto (desire). But even the summary statement in the Syllabus does not do full justice to the finely nuanced teaching of Bl. Pope Pius IX in the encyclical letter referenced. For far from stating that there is "good hope" for such a person the Encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore (QCM) merely states the possibility of salvation for those who are "labouring in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion" (QCM §7). Thus the encyclical carefully quantifies it as Vatican II does and refers to those who are somehow in the Church joined to either the body and/or the soul.

Both QCM and Vatican II affirm that there is no salvation outside the Church. QCM does so in both the same paragraph where it simultaneously teaches the possibility of invincible ignorance as well as forcefully reinforcing the necessity of the Church for salvation in the following paragraph. Vatican II does it in reverse: reinforcing the necessity of the Church for salvation in LG §14 and speaking of possible extraordinary circumstances in LG §15 and LG §16. The latter two are an in-depth nuanced discussion on what used to be referred to as "the soul" of the Church. Bl. Pope Pius IX touched on this element in QCM, St. Pope Pius X discussed it briefly in his Catechism, and Pope Pius XII spoke of the soul of the Church in its greatest pre-Vatican II dissertation in the Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis Christi (see §103). These encyclicals show the continuity between the pre-Vatican II papal magisterium and Vatican II. The Council, in developing this doctrine further, nevertheless did so in a faithful adherence to the Tradition of the Church. Every source spoke of the possibility (and in no case made a claim of "good hope" at all, merely "hope") and the possibility of achieving salvation joined to the soul of the Church. Since the treatment on this subject by Vatican II and the post-council papal magisterium bases all of its expositions on the presumption that all salvation to some degree involves an affiliation with the Church, any claims of "good hope" postulated (if any is to be found) is not based in any way on those "not at all in the true Church of Christ" (Syllabus #17). Therefore, the teaching of Vatican II and the post council popes is in conformity with the condemnation of Bl. Pope Pius IX.

As for point eighteen, one needs to only look at the hornets nest that the CDF stirred up in its Declaration Dominus Iesus last year. In reasserting the literal teachings of Vatican II viz. ecumenism and extra ecclesia nulla salus, the statement was reiterated that the Protestant denominations unlike the Orthodox communities are not churches properly so-called. This hardly amounts to an admission that Protestantism is in any way equal to the Catholic Church. In fact, it explicitly indicates that Protestantism is inferior to Catholicism.

In summary, points fourteen through eighteen stand condemned by both Vatican II and the post-Council papal Magisterium. (Much as the points previous to them do.)

IV - Socialism, Communism, Secret Societies, Biblical Societies, Clerico-Liberal Societies:

Pests of this kind are frequently reprobated in the severest terms in the Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846, Allocution "Quibus quantisque," April 20, 1849, Encyclical "Noscitis et nobiscum," Dec. 8, 1849, Allocution "Singulari quadam," Dec. 9, 1854, Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863.

Many of the errors condemned in this section were from a time when the popes were both Supreme Pontiffs of the universal church and also temporal princes in their own rights. (Bl. Pope Pius IX was the last pope who was also a temporal prince.) The Italian army seized the Papal States in 1870 and the popes were basically confined to the Vatican until 1929 when the independent Vatican City state was created by the Lateran Treaty of 1929. (Based on a Concordant between the Holy See and the Italian government under Benito Mussolini.) Because of these circumstances, many of these errors are not applicable today as they were when they were issued due to the changed political landscape. This is a significant nuance that is often not taken into account by detractors to the Magisterium — be they 'traditionalist' or otherwise.

V - Errors Concerning The Church And Her Rights:

19. The Church is not a true and perfect society, entirely free- nor is she endowed with proper and perpetual rights of her own, conferred upon her by her Divine Founder; but it appertains to the civil power to define what are the rights of the Church, and the limits within which she may exercise those rights. -- Allocution "Singulari quadam," Dec. 9, 1854, etc.

20. The ecclesiastical power ought not to exercise its authority without the permission and assent of the civil government. -- Allocution "Meminit unusquisque," Sept. 30, 1861.

Vatican II specifically stated in Lumen Gentium §22 that:

The college or body of bishops has for all that no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head, whose primatial authority, let it be added, over all, whether pastors or faithful, remains in its integrity. For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church,  a power which he can always exercise unhindered. [13]
Vatican II also taught that the Pope and the Apostles received their authority from Jesus Christ the Son of God. ("In order to shepherd the People of God and to increase its numbers without cease, Christ the Lord set up in his Church a variety of offices which aim at the good of the whole body." — Lumen Gentium §18.) Supreme and universal power is not contingent upon the Caesaro-papist notion that the pope and the Church receive their power from an authority other than God. And the popes since 1929 have maintained their sovereignty from other nations, thus being entirely free of undue influences. Hence points nineteen and twenty are falsified by demonstration and the condemnations of Bl. Pope Pius IX affirmed.

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.

Vatican II taught the following with regards to the Catholic religion:

[T]he sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic,(12) which our Savior, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care (Jn. 21:17), commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it (cf. Matt. 28:18, etc.), and which he raised up for all ages as "the pillar and mainstay of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.(13)
(12) Cfr. Symbolum Apostolicum: Denz. 6-9 (10-13); Symb. Nic.-Const.: Denz. 86 (150); coll. Prof. fidei Trid.: Denz. 994 et 999 (1862 et 1868).
(13) Dicitur "Sancta (catholica apostolica) Romana Ecclesia ": in Prof. fidei Trid., 1. c. et Concl. Vat. I, Sess. III, Const. dogm. De fide cath.: Denz. 1782 (3001). [14]
Footnote thirteen of Lumen Gentium §8 refers to Vatican I’s Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius which heavily implies throughout that the Catholic religion is the only true religion. Hence, Vatican II agrees by implication with the assertion that the Catholic religion is the only true religion - contra assertion twenty-one - since the "sole Church of Christ" subsists in her in its entirety.

22. The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church. -- Letter to the Archbishop of Munich, "Tuas libenter," Dec. 21, 1863.

Interestingly enough, most self-styled 'traditionalists' often act as if they agree with proposition twenty-two above. The Popes in their Professions of Faith published since the Council call for far more obedience then the minimal outline in point twenty two. By implication this concurs with the condemnation of Bl. Pius IX.

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 II in Lumen Gentum §22 affirms both the full and supreme authority of the Roman ontiff as well as his infallibility in pronouncing definitively on doctrines of faith or morals (cf. LG §25). Hence this condemnation is not controverted by the Council or the subsequent popes.

24. The Church has not the power of using force, nor has she any temporal power, direct or indirect. -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.

25. Besides the power inherent in the episcopate, other temporal power has been attributed to it by the civil authority granted either explicitly or tacitly, which on that account is revocable by the civil authority whenever it thinks fit. -- Ibid.

Since 1870, this condemnation is no longer applicable. Vatican City has no army and the Swiss Guard are hardly invasion-force material to put it bluntly. Since Vatican City is a sovereign state, there is some temporal power, however limited. Thus by example all popes since 1929 have exercised some temporal power, and that is adequate to refute the assertion that the Church has no temporal power. As for point twenty-five, Vatican II taught that the episcopate was invested with power from God, not temporal governments. Also, at no time has the Church taught that she has no right to possess temporal power. The Papal States were seized by Italy in 1870 and the popes since that time have had to live with that fact. By no means does this accommodation imply granting assent to condemned proposition twenty-five though. And as this writer dealt with in his treatise, Gaudium et Spes did not contradict point twenty-five of the Syllabus in any way. (Despite the pretensions of some self-styled 'traditionalists' that GS had done this.)

26. The Church has no innate and legitimate right of acquiring and possessing property. -- Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856; Encyclical "Incredibili," Sept. 7, 1863.

The Church possesses property and at no time have the post-Council popes (or Vatican II) claimed that she has no legitimate right to do so. (In fact, the Church bulletins that say "remember the Church in your will" are perfectly in line with the assertion of Bl Pius IX that the Church does have a right to both acquire and possess property - the implication of the converse assertion being condemned.)

27. The sacred ministers of the Church and the Roman pontiff are to be absolutely excluded from every charge and dominion over temporal affairs. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

The simple act of running Vatican City - which is a sovereign state - flies in the face of this assertion.

28. It is not lawful for bishops to publish even letters Apostolic without the permission of Government. -- Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.

29. Favours granted by the Roman pontiff ought to be considered null, unless they have been sought for through the civil government. -- Ibid.

30. The immunity of the Church and of ecclesiastical persons derived its origin from civil law. -- Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

At no time has the Church affirmed that bishops require the permission of any government to publish letters or that the Pope’s granting of favours depend upon civil approval (points twenty-eight and twenty-nine). It is difficult to know in what context the Pope was referring to immunity in point thirty here (since this writer was unable to find the document in question). But it is not possible for this writer to comprehend in any way how Vatican II or the post-Council popes could have somehow affirmed it. And since assertions of controversion cannot rest on an ambiguity (but instead must have some solid evidence buttressing it) without such evidence point thirty stands uncontroverted.

31. The ecclesiastical forum or tribunal for the temporal causes, whether civil or criminal, of clerics, ought by all means to be abolished, even without consulting and against the protest of the Holy See. -- Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856; Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.

Obviously no pope is going to stand for secular authority infringing upon his authority in ecclesiastical matters. But without knowing which tribunals are being referred to, this point is as questionable as to its precise meaning as point thirty. (And like point thirty, this writer cannot think offhand of any possible contradictions between pre and post VC II on this point.)

32. The personal immunity by which clerics are exonerated from military conscription and service in the army may be abolished without violation either of natural right or equity. Its abolition is called for by civil progress, especially in a society framed on the model of a liberal government. -- Letter to the Bishop of Monreale "Singularis nobisque," Sept. 29, 1864.

Okay, this casts some light on the previously obscure point thirty; though again this writer was unable to find the document in question. Odds are quite good that it referred to immunity from military conscription and service in the army also. Another point that has no seeming relevance to the so-called "contradictions" between the teachings of Vatican II and the condemned errors of the Syllabus.

33. It does not appertain exclusively to the power of ecclesiastical jurisdiction by right, proper and innate, to direct the teaching of theological questions. -- Letter to the Archbishop of Munich, "Tuas libenter," Dec. 21, 1863.

Vatican II upheld the authority of the episcopate and the prerogatives of episcopal jurisdiction. (See the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium §21-22.) Hence this condemnation stands intact.

34. The teaching of those who compare the Sovereign Pontiff to a prince, free and acting in the universal Church, is a doctrine which prevailed in the Middle Ages. -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.

If by "prevailed", the reference is to a greater development thereof then this assertion is true. If by "prevailed", the reference is to the teaching somehow "winning out" among other "competing doctrines" then the assertion is clearly false. Vatican II reaffirmed the teaching of Vatican I on the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff: a teaching which includes full ordinary and extraordinary jurisdiction. Since this writer could not find the Apostolic Letter from which this condemnation was drawn, the precise context of the point cannot be ascertained. This makes the author wonder even more how those who claim there are "obvious contradictions" between the Syllabus and Vatican II in any of its decrees can be so arrogant. Unless they have all the documents referenced in the Syllabus and are able to check the context of the statement being condemned, they cannot make any accurate judgments on the matter. Yet this does not stop the really radical and dissident ones from doing this very thing.

Point thirty-four, like a couple of the other points already noted, is capable of both an orthodox and a heterodox interpretation. Hopefully the danger in proof-texting a document like the Syllabus (which is in and of itself only a short list of propositions with reference points with little context applied to them) is becoming glaringly apparent. There is no evidence thus far with the thirty four points covered of any "contradictions" between pre-Vatican II and Vatican II-post VC II teachings. Let us now resume this examination.

35. There is nothing to prevent the decree of a general council, or the act of all peoples, from transferring the supreme pontificate from the bishop and city of Rome to another bishop and another city. -- Ibid.

36. The definition of a national council does not admit of any subsequent discussion, and the civil authority can assume this principle as the basis of its acts. -- Ibid.

"It is the prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to convoke such councils, to preside over them and to confirm them" (Lumen Gentium §22). Since the popes have at times annulled either specific teachings or even entire Ecumenically convoked synods, obviously what prevents point thirty-five from being realized is that the final word rests with the pope not with the rest of the council or even the general population. Also taught in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium §22 is the following:

The college or body of bishops has for all that no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head, whose primatial authority, let it be added, over all, whether pastors or faithful, remains in its integrity. For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered. [15]
By reaffirming the teaching of Vatican I on the primacy of the Pope, the condemnations in points thirty -five and thirty-six remain affirmed.

37. National churches, withdrawn from the authority of the Roman pontiff and altogether separated, can be established. — Allocution "Multis gravibusque," Dec. 17, 1860.

This condemnation of Bl. Pius IX was also upheld by Vatican II:

This sacred synod, following in the steps of the First Vatican Council, teaches and declares with it that Jesus Christ, the eternal pastor, set up the holy Church by entrusting the apostles with their mission as he himself had been sent by the Father (cf. Jn. 20:21). He willed that their successors, the bishops namely, should be the shepherds in his Church until the end of the world. In order that the episcopate itself, however, might be one and undivided he put Peter at the head of the other apostles, and in him he set up a lasting and visible source and foundation of the unity both of faith and of communion.(1) This teaching concerning the institution, the permanence, the nature and import of the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching office, the sacred synod proposes anew to be firmly believed by all the faithful, and, proceeding undeviatingly with this same undertaking, it proposes to proclaim publicly and enunciate clearly the doctrine concerning bishops, successors of the apostles, who together with Peter's successor, the Vicar of Christ(2) and the visible head of the whole Church, direct the house of the living God.
(1) Cf. Vatican Council I, Session IV, Const. Dogm. Pastor aeternus: Denz. 1821 (3050f).
(2) Cf. Council of Florence, Decretum pro Graecis: Denz. 694 (1307) and Vatican Council I, ibid.: Denz. 1826 (3059). [16]
38. The Roman pontiffs have, by their too arbitrary conduct, contributed to the division of the Church into Eastern and Western. -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.

There is nothing in this condemnation that forbids people from holding that the Popes contributed to the division of Christendom and substantially at that. (After all, it does take two to tango.) The condemnation refers specifically to the popes contributing to the division "by their too arbitrary conduct". As long as this assertion as it is worded is not affirmed, there is no contradiction since this condemnation does not remove from the Pontiffs all responsibility for the division. Nor does it forbid people from thinking that the Popes may have had more to do with the split then the Easterns: a position that one can hold and still be in good standing with the Church. And there is also the statement about the Church of Christ being partitioned into pieces: a notion rejected by Vatican II in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium (LG §8) and since that time reaffirmed in the Declaration Dominus Iesus. Hence, points thirty-seven and thirty-eight remain intact without controversion.

VI - Errors About Civil Society, Considered Both In Itself And In Its Relation To The Church:

39. The State, as being the origin and source of all rights, is endowed with a certain right not circumscribed by any limits. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

40. The teaching of the Catholic Church is hostile to the well- being and interests of society. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846; Allocution "Quibus quantisque," April 20, 1849.

41. The civil government, even when in the hands of an infidel sovereign, has a right to an indirect negative power over religious affairs. It therefore possesses not only the right called that of "exsequatur," but also that of appeal, called "appellatio ab abusu." -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851

42. In the case of conflicting laws enacted by the two powers, the civil law prevails. -- Ibid.

Lumen Gentium teaches that the Pope and bishops received their authority from God (contra point thirty-nine). Further, the CDF released in 1990 an instruction on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian, which specifically states that the Magisterium is not a burden to theology but a stimulus to it. In like manner, the teachings of the Church are not "hostile" to the well being of society. Dissident theologians today have made the same complaints viz. theology and the Magisterium that the nineteenth century liberal anti-clericals made about the Church’s teachings being "hostile" to society. The Constitution Gaudium et Spes noted that "[t]he common good of humanity finds its ultimate meaning in the eternal law" (GS §78). And earlier in the Constitution, it states the following:

The Church, for her part, founded on the love of the Redeemer, contributes toward the reign of justice and charity within the borders of a nation and between nations. By preaching the truths of the Gospel, and bringing to bear on all fields of human endeavor the light of her doctrine and of a Christian witness, she respects and fosters the political freedom and responsibility of citizens. [17]
That ought to be adequate to show continuity with the teaching of Bl. Pope Pius IX in his condemnation of points forty and forty-one. The Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph 2032 directly controverts point forty-two; hence being in line with the position as espoused by Bl. Pope Pius IX in condemning the aforementioned proposition.

43. The secular Dower has authority to rescind, declare and render null, solemn conventions, commonly called concordats, entered into with the Apostolic See, regarding the use of rights appertaining to ecclesiastical immunity, without the consent of the Apostolic See, and even in spite of its protest. -- Allocution "Multis gravibusque," Dec. 17, 1860; Allocution "In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850.

44. The civil authority may interfere in matters relating to religion, morality and spiritual government: hence, it can pass judgment on the instructions issued for the guidance of consciences, conformably with their mission, by the pastors of the Church. Further, it has the right to make enactments regarding the administration of the divine sacraments, and the dispositions necessary for receiving them. -- Allocutions "In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850, and "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

This writer challenges any reader to show where the Magisterium at any time has affirmed the condemned proposition forty-three. As for proposition forty-four, we have already gone over the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff over the universal church. Vatican II confirmed it and that is all we need to show conformity with the teaching of Bl. Pope Pius IX on this point.

45. The entire government of public schools in which the youth- of a Christian state is educated, except (to a certain extent) in the case of episcopal seminaries, may and ought to appertain to the civil power, and belong to it so far that no other authority whatsoever shall be recognized as having any right to interfere in the discipline of the schools, the arrangement of the studies, the conferring of degrees, in the choice or approval of the teachers. -- Allocutions "Quibus luctuosissimis," Sept. 5, 1851, and "In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850.

46. Moreover, even in ecclesiastical seminaries, the method of studies to be adopted is subject to the civil authority. -- Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.

47. The best theory of civil society requires that popular schools open to children of every class of the people, and, generally, all public institutes intended for instruction in letters and philosophical sciences and for carrying on the education of youth, should be freed from all ecclesiastical authority, control and interference, and should be fully subjected to the civil and political power at the pleasure of the rulers, and according to the standard of the prevalent opinions of the age. -- Epistle to the Archbishop of Freiburg, "Cum non sine," July 14, 1864.

48. Catholics may approve of the system of educating youth unconnected with Catholic faith and the power of the Church, and which regards the knowledge of merely natural things, and only, or at least primarily, the ends of earthly social life. -- Ibid.

49. The civil power may prevent the prelates of the Church and the faithful from communicating freely and mutually with the Roman pontiff. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

50. Lay authority possesses of itself the right of presenting bishops, and may require of them to undertake the administration of the diocese before they receive canonical institution, and the Letters Apostolic from the Holy See. -- Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.

51. And, further, the lay government has the right of deposing bishops from their pastoral functions, and is not bound to obey the Roman pontiff in those things which relate to the institution of bishoprics and the appointment of bishops. ? Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852, Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

52. Government can, by its own right, alter the age prescribed by the Church for the religious profession of women and men; and may require of all religious orders to admit no person to take solemn vows without its permission. -- Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.

53. The laws enacted for the protection of religious orders and regarding their rights and duties ought to be abolished; nay, more, civil Government may lend its assistance to all who desire to renounce the obligation which they have undertaken of a religious life, and to break their vows. Government may also suppress the said religious orders, as likewise collegiate churches and simple benefices, even those of advowson and subject their property and revenues to the administration and pleasure of the civil power. -- Allocutions "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852; "Probe memineritis," Jan. 22, 1855; "Cum saepe," July 26, 1855.

54. Kings and princes are not only exempt from the jurisdiction of the Church, but are superior to the Church in deciding questions of jurisdiction. -- Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

All points in this section which discuss the civil authority having greater authority or competence then the Church are easily refuted by reference to the teachings on papal authority in Lumen Gentium §22, which was covered earlier. The same goes for the points, which speak of rulers having "rights" to interfere in matters pertaining to the Constitution of the Church. (That would be points forty-five, forty-six, and forty-nine through fifty-four.) Of the remaining points, the error in point forty-seven was the assertion that the system outlined above was "the best system". Obviously it is not and the Church does not affirm that it is. Point forty-eight basically endorses an education which focuses primarily on the temporal and not the spiritual order. The Church does not support this notion either; indeed she teaches that of a school "its proper function is to create for the school community a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and charity, to help youth grow according to the new creatures they were made through baptism as they develop their own personalities, and finally to order the whole of human culture to the news of salvation so that the knowledge the students gradually acquire of the world, life and man is illumined by faith" (Declaration Gravissimum Educationis §8). It is incontrovertible that points forty-three through fifty-four stand uncontroverted with the Church’s position today being solidly congruent to that of Bl. Pope Pius IX.
55. The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.
It is asserted by some that this proposition is affirmed by Vatican II in the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae (DH). In reality, this is not the case at all. To quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the matter:
If, in view of peculiar circumstances obtaining among peoples, special civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional order of society, it is at the same time imperative that the right of all citizens and religious communities to religious freedom should be recognized and made effective in practice. [18]
The catechism in citation eighteen section is quoting DH §6 verbatim. In speaking further on the right to religious liberty, the Catechism makes the following clarifications:
The right to religious liberty can of itself be neither unlimited nor limited only by a "public order" conceived in a positivist or naturalist manner.(39) The "due limits" which are inherent in it must be determined for each social situation by political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good, and ratified by the civil authority in accordance with "legal principles which are in conformity with the objective moral order. (40)
(39) Cf. Pius VI, Quod aliquantum (1791) 10; Pius IX, Quanta cura 3.
(40) DH 7 # 3. [19]
Notice that the Catechism quotes the pre-council magisterium of Pope Pius VI, Bl. Pope Pius IX’s Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura, and Vatican II’s Declaration Dignitatis Humanae in the same paragraph indicating how each source was to be properly understood. (Though they would appear perhaps on the surface to not be reconcilable.) Proposition fifty-five of the Syllabus is of a similar model. Therefore, a reference to the actions of a contemporary of the time could shed some light on this proposition as it was intended to be understood:
In 1864, Pius IX had issued his Syllabus of Errors. Among the condemned propositions was that "the church should be separated from the state and the state from the church." Archbishop Spalding of Baltimore issued a pastoral letter stating that the pope "evidently intended" his words "for the stand-point of European radicals and infidels," who sought to undermine the Church. Far different, he argued, was the First Amendment that laid "down the sound and equitable principle that civil government, adhering strictly to its own appropriate sphere of political duty, pledged itself not to interfere with religious matters, which it rightly viewed as entirely without the bounds of its competency." Spalding distributed his pastoral not only to the American hierarchy and government officials but also to Roman officials, from whom he requested a clarification. While he never received the clarification he desired, he also received no rebuke.  [20]
Archbishop Spaulding received no rebuke from Rome for his interpretation of point fifty-five of the Syllabus where he pointed out that the target of the condemnation was "European radicals and infidels who sought to undermine the Church." It therefore cannot be taken in and of itself as a condemnation of the sort of separation that a constitutional republic would make between church and state. (This is not a reference to the liberal exaggerated separation that has no foundation either in the U.S. Constitution itself or the writings of the Framers of the Constitution.) Of course those who claim that this proposition has been controverted now have the burden of proof placed heavily on their shoulders. The interpretation above is a reasonable one and it is clearly against the interpretation of this proposition often trumpeted about by those who do not bother acquiring a proper theological acumen before they attribute error to the divinely-guided magisterium of the Church.

VII - Errors Concerning Natural And Christian Ethics:

56. Moral laws do not stand in need of the divine sanction, and it is not at all necessary that human laws should be made conformable to the laws of nature and receive their power of binding from God. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

57. The science of philosophical things and morals and also civil laws may and ought to keep aloof from divine and ecclesiastical authority. -- Ibid.

58. No other forces are to be recognized except those which reside in matter, and all the rectitude and excellence of morality ought to be placed in the accumulation and increase of riches by every possible means, and the gratification of pleasure. -- Ibid.; Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863.

59. Right consists in the material fact. ALL human duties are an empty word, and ALL human facts have the force of right. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

In addressing points fifty-six through fifty-nine, the Constitution Gaudium et Spes will be cited:

Only in freedom can man direct himself toward goodness. Our contemporaries make much of this freedom and pursue it eagerly; and rightly to be sure. Often however they foster it perversely as a license for doing whatever pleases them, even if it is evil. For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the divine image within man. For God has willed that man remain "under the control of his own decisions," so that he can seek his Creator spontaneously, and come freely to utter and blissful perfection through loyalty to Him. Hence man's dignity demands that he act according to a knowing and free choice that is personally motivated and prompted from within, not under blind internal impulse nor by mere external pressure. Man achieves such dignity when, emancipating himself from all captivity to passion, he pursues his goal in a spontaneous choice of what is good, and procures for himself through effective and skillful action, apt helps to that end. Since man's freedom has been damaged by sin, only by the aid of God's grace can he bring such a relationship with God into full flower. Before the judgment seat of God each man must render an account of his own life, whether he has done good or evil. [21]
The first bolded sentence refutes points fifty-eight and fifty-nine above. The last bolded sentence refutes point fifty-six above. As for point fifty-seven, the Council declared in Lumen Gentium §14 the principle of "no salvation outside the Church"; therefore, by logical extension moral matters are subject to ecclesiastical authority. Hence, the condemnations of points fifty-six through fifty-nine are upheld by Vatican II.

60. Authority is nothing else but numbers and the sum total of material forces. -- Ibid.

61. The injustice of an act when successful inflicts no injury on the sanctity of right. -- Allocution "Jamdudum cernimus," March 18, 1861.

62. The principle of non-intervention, as it is called, ought to be proclaimed and observed. -- Allocution "Novos et ante," Sept. 28, 1860.

63. It is lawful to refuse obedience to legitimate princes, and even to rebel against them. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1864; Allocution "Quibusque vestrum," Oct. 4, 1847; "Noscitis et Nobiscum," Dec. 8, 1849; Apostolic Letter "Cum Catholica."

64. The violation of any solemn oath, as well as any wicked and flagitious action repugnant to the eternal law, is not only not blamable but is altogether lawful and worthy of the highest praise when done through love of country. -- Allocution "Quibus quantisque," April 20, 1849.

In addressing point sixty, the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be cited:
Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy.{GS 27 # 1} If it does not respect them, authority can rely only on force or violence to obtain obedience from its subjects. It is the Church's role to remind men of good will of these rights and to distinguish them from unwarranted or false claims. [22]
Since "[a]uthority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself" (CCC 1930), the Magisterium cannot be said to in any way endorse precept sixty. As for point sixty-one, the Catholic Church teaches that all injustice inflicts injury. (See the Catechism sections on social justice for one such example.) By no means can point sixty-one be affirmed and the Church at no time in her history has affirmed such things.

It is not possible to know the context of proposition sixty-two without seeing the document it was drawn from. But like points thirty, thirty-one, thirty-two, and forty-three earlier, the burden of proof is on those who would claim that the Church today sanctions the errors cited in the contexts that they are cited. (After all, some statements can have both an orthodox and an unorthodox understanding.) This writer asserts that the track-record outlined thus far in this essay should be presumed in the absence of hard evidences to the contrary. The Magisterium after all, does deserve the benefit of the doubt in areas where hard evidences are inconclusive.

Point sixty-three seems to be a mantra of the self-styled 'traditionalists' today who profess obeying "eternal Rome" rather than the living Magisterium of the Church. However, as the Catechism notes, it can have an orthodox interpretation:

If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, 'authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.' [23]
We have no reason to presume that the Magisterium today would understand proposition sixty-three in a different sense completely then the one condemned by Bl. Pope Pius IX. Point sixty-four is repudiated by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which teaches in accord with Bl. Pope Pius IX:
It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.  [24]
Points sixty, sixty one, and sixty-four remain condemned in the sense that the Pope condemned them (much as points fifty-six through fifty-nine earlier). Points sixty-two and sixty-three are of course capable of an orthodox and a heterodox interpretation. We must assume of course that the Church retains the orthodox understanding of them as we should with points thirty, thirty-one, thirty-two, and forty-three. The rest of the points covered thus far can be shown to be in accordance with the mind of Bl. Pope Pius IX.

VIII - Errors Concerning Christian Marriage:

65. The doctrine that Christ has raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament cannot be at all tolerated. -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.

66. The Sacrament of Marriage is only a something accessory to the contract and separate from it, and the sacrament itself consists in the nuptial benediction alone. -- Ibid.

Points sixty-five and sixty-six are easily demonstrated to be rejected by the Catholic Church today by reviewing the section of the Catechism on matrimony. (Since they involve appropriating to the civil authority regulation of the sacrament of matrimony — a prerogative of the Church alone.) Here is the link:

67. By the law of nature, the marriage tie is not indissoluble, and in many cases divorce properly so called may be decreed by the civil authority. -- Ibid.; Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.

To unpack this condemnation further, consideration of the context of the statement is necessary. For this the Catholic Encyclopedia on the subject of divorce will be referenced:

No Catholic can doubt that even according to the natural law of marriage is in a certain sense indissoluble. The following proposition is condemned in the Syllabus of Pius IX (Proposition LXVII): "According to the natural law, the bond of marriage is not indissoluble, and in certain cases divorce in the strict sense can be sanctioned by civil authority." The meaning of this condemnation is clear from the document whence it has been taken. This is the papal Brief ("Ad apostolicæ sedis fastigium", 22 August, 1851, in which several works of the Turin professor, J. N. Nuytz, and a series of propositions defended by him were condemned, as is expressly said, "deApostolicæ potestatis plenitudine"…
[T]hat part of the proposition condemned by Pius IX, in which it is asserted, "And in certain cases divorce in the strict sense can be sanctioned by civil authority", need not necessarily be understood of marriage according to the purely natural law, because Nuytz, whose doctrine was condemned, asserted that the State had this authority in regard to Christian marriages… [25]
The doctrine of Professor Nuytz in other words held that the state had the authority of dissolving Christian marriages. There may well be self-styled 'traditionalists' who claim that the situation today with the Church in some cases allowing civil divorces is akin to the attitudes condemned in the Syllabus. This could not be further from the truth since the state deals only with marital matters under secular law. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes it clear that sacramental marriages are indissoluble:
Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ - "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" [Mk 10:11-12] the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence. [26]
Hopefully this will be adequate to lay to rest the idea that proposition sixty-seven of the Syllabus has in any way been affirmed by the Church.

68. The Church has not the power of establishing diriment impediments of marriage, but such a power belongs to the civil authority by which existing impediments are to be removed. -- Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

69. In the dark ages the Church began to establish diriment impediments, not by her own right, but by using a power borrowed from the State. -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.

Points sixty-eight and sixty-nine are easily demonstrated to be rejected by the Catholic Church today by reviewing the section of the Catechism on matrimony. (Since they involve appropriating to the civil authority regulation of the sacrament of matrimony — a prerogative of the Church alone.) Again, here is the link to the Catechism:

70. The canons of the Council of Trent, which anathematize those who dare to deny to the Church the right of establishing diriment impediments, either are not dogmatic or must be understood as referring to such borrowed power. -- Ibid.

71. The form of solemnizing marriage prescribed by the Council of Trent, under pain of nullity, does not bind in cases where the civil law lays down another form, and declares that when this new form is used the marriage shall be valid.

As for points seventy and seventy-one, the Catechism in restating the teachings of Vatican II taught the full and supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff. This in and of itself is in line with the condemnations in point seventy and point seventy-one.

72. Boniface VIII was the first who declared that the vow of chastity taken at ordination renders marriage void. -- Ibid.

With regards to point seventy-two, the Church has taught and continues to teach that she can establish impediments to a valid marriage. Presumably the error in the above point viz. Boniface VIII had to do with the time the impediment was established. Even if this is not the case, where has the Church since Vatican II affirmed what Bl. Pope Pius IX condemned in point seventy-two???

73. In force of a merely civil contract there may exist between Christians a real marriage, and it is false to say either that the marriage contract between Christians is always a sacrament, or that there is no contract if the sacrament be excluded. -- Ibid.; Letter to the King of Sardinia, Sept. 9, 1852; Allocutions "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852, "Multis gravibusque," Dec. 17, 1860.

74. Matrimonial causes and espousals belong by their nature to civil tribunals. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9 1846; Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851, "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851; Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.

Points seventy-three and seventy-four are easily demonstrated to be rejected by the Catholic Church today by reviewing the section of the Catechism on matrimony. (Since they involve appropriating to the civil authority regulation of the sacrament of matrimony — a prerogative of the Church alone.) The Catechism link was posted twice previously so there is no need to repeat it here a third time.
In brief, points sixty-five through seventy-one and seventy-three through seventy-four can be shown to be in accord with the teachings of Vatican II. (As neither the Council nor the popes since the Council have affirmed in any way what Bl. Pope Pius IX condemned.) As for point seventy-two, those who claim the Syllabus has been controverted have the burden of proof to prove that it was affirmed by Vatican II or the post-Council papal magisterium.
IX - Errors Regarding The Civil Power Of The Sovereign Pontiff:

75. The children of the Christian and Catholic Church are divided amongst themselves about the compatibility of the temporal with the spiritual power. -- "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.

76. The abolition of the temporal power of which the Apostolic See is possessed would contribute in the greatest degree to the liberty and prosperity of the Church. -- Allocutions "Quibus quantisque," April 20, 1849, "Si semper antea," May 20, 1850.

Presumably point seventy-five refers to the assertion that there is no compatibility of the temporal and the spiritual power. (A point that the Church continues to deny to this day in continuity with the judgment of Bl. Pope Pius IX.) As for point seventy-six, as long as the words in caps are not affirmed, the statement can be affirmed without fear of censure. Remember, condemnations are precisely worded. However, even by removing the words in caps it would be quite difficult (if it is at all possible) to prove that the Church has taught the assertion.
And as for the actual condemned statement, this writer can think of no document of the Magisterium that has ever affirmed it. As points seventy-five and seventy-six cannot be proven definitively either way to have been controverted by the Magisterium since the Council or at the Council, the faithful Catholic would not presume a priori that they have been without some substantial proof. Mother Church deserves the benefit of the doubt in any situation where a particular judgment places her in any bad light. And the assertion that the Magisterium since the Council has contradicted the Syllabus of Errors is definitely such an assertion that should receive substantial proof from sources quoted in context and not short snippets with the expressed purpose of promoting an agenda of rebellion against the Church of the Living God.
X - Errors Having Reference To Modern Liberalism:

77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. -- Allocution "Nemo vestrum," July 26, 1855.

Point seventy-seven is difficult to affirm since there is a greater degree of republican forms of government today. The Church at Vatican II in the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae (DH) stated the following about the moral duty of men and societies towards the true religion (aka Catholicism):

Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore [the Vatican Council] leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies towards the true religion and towards the one Church of Christ.
Over and above all this, the council intends to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society. [27]
Since the traditional doctrine of the moral duty of men and societies towards the true religion was expressly declared to be "left untouched", it is impossible for the Council to have sanctioned a contradiction in the teaching of the popes viz. the condemnation as espoused in point seventy-seven. Since this error has been often promoted by renegade 'traditionalist' factions, this writer since he was unable to find the Allocution being referenced to check for context will rely on the witness of a contemporary of the period. Therefore, the explanation of the great theologian Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman from his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk will be referenced as Newman spoke on this theme:
When we turn to the Allocution, which is the ground of its being put into the Syllabus, what do we find there? First, that the Pope was speaking, not of States universally, but of one particular State, Spain, definitely Spain; secondly, that he was not noting the erroneous proposition directly, or categorically, but was protesting against the breach in many ways of the Concordat on the part of the Spanish government; further, that he was NOT referring to any work containing the said proposition, NOR contemplating any proposition at all; NOR, on the other hand, using any word of condemnation whatever, NOR using any harsher terms of the Government in question than an expression of "his wonder and distress". And again, taking the Pope's remonstrance as it stands, is it any great cause of complaint to Englishmen, who so lately were severe in their legislation upon Unitarians, Catholics, unbelievers, and others, that the Pope merely does not think it expedient for every state from this time forth to tolerate every sort of religion on its territory, and to disestablish the Church at once? For this is all that he denies. As in the instance in the foregoing section, he does but deny a universal, which the "erroneous proposition" asserts without any explanation. [28]
That is sufficient to refute the notion that point seventy-seven is at odds with Vatican II or the post-council papal magisterium.

78. Hence it has been wisely decidedby law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.

In dealing with point seventy-eight, we need to make a distinction between the toleration of evil and evil’s right to exist in and of itself. Error does not have rights in and of itself. However, erroneous people do have the right to not have their consciences violated by being coerced into acting against it. There is also the important question of law in Catholic countries. This therefore is an injunction against the civil authority of a Catholic nation. The error is presuming that in a Catholic country it is wise to promulgate civil laws to declare the non-Catholic to have public exercise of their religion. Vatican II, with the subject of religious liberty, dealt with the rights of individuals to freedom from coersion from practicing their religion provided that they were not disturbing the public order. Here is how public order was defined by DH:

The right to religious freedom is exercised in human society: hence its exercise is subject to certain regulatory norms. In the use of all freedoms the moral principle of personal and social responsibility is to be observed. In the exercise of their rights, individual men and social groups are bound by the moral law to have respect both for the rights of others and for their own duties toward others and for the common welfare of all. Men are to deal with their fellows in justice and civility.
Furthermore, society has the right to defend itself against possible abuses committed on the pretext of freedom of religion. It is the special duty of government to provide this protection. However, government is not to act in an arbitrary fashion or in an unfair spirit of partisanship. Its action is to be controlled by juridical norms which are in conformity with the objective moral order. These norms arise out of the need for the effective safeguard of the rights of all citizens and for the peaceful settlement of conflicts of rights, also out of the need for an adequate care of genuine public peace, which comes about when men live together in good order and in true justice, and finally out of the need for a proper guardianship of public morality.
These matters constitute the basic component of the common welfare: they are what is meant by public order. [29]
The distinction between the two is a finely drawn one. The Second Vatican Council was very limited in its advocation of religious liberty and did not controvert the teachings of the papal magisterium on these matters from previous periods. Fr. Brian W. Harrison has dealt with this subject in his writings and the reader is advised to go there for a much more detailed exposition on this topic if they so desire it. Those who refuse to do this and continue to propagate this kind of slanderous filth will have to answer to God for their part in casting lots to divide the seamless cloak of Christ (Matt. 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23-24).
79. Moreover, it is false that the civil liberty of every form of worship, and the full power, given to all, of overtly and publicly manifesting any opinions whatsoever and thoughts, conduce more easily to corrupt the morals and minds of the people, and to propagate the pest of indifferentism. -- Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.

In fleshing out point seventy-nine to assess the sitz im leben of the condemnation, it is important to again reiterate an important hermeneutic principle at work here. The absolute character of these prohibitions needs to be taken into account by the reader for an accurate assessment of what is being stated. First, "every form of worship" is ridiculously broad and could include not only a Protestant ecclesial group such as the Presbyterians but also cannibalism. "Every form of worship" is that broad of an expression and obviously taken to that extent it would be false and thus rightfully condemned. But is that what Vatican II actually said??? Objections by "trads" of a supposed controversion of this precept would almost certainly be based on a perceived incongruency of the Syllabus with the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae (DH) . Therefore what needs to be considered is the context and aims of the document itself.

DH could be said to be asserting that the human dignity of non-Catholics gives them a prima facie claim to be left free by other human beings in carrying out activity that may well be subjectively meritorious in the sight of God. Certainly we must presume that the motivation of non-Catholics is out of a sense of obedience to Almighty God, however misguided they happen to be. (As it would be contrary to charity to antecedently presume otherwise.) The traditional norm of public law as not uncommonly espoused by theologians before Vatican II asserted that public diffusion of religious error in predominantly Catholic countries was deemed a sufficiently serious threat to the common good as to warrant legal repression. A commonly espoused interpretation of the pre-conciliar teaching on this theme can be summed up in the following statement from Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:

It is quite plain that, by the simple fact of their being in error, the followers of a false religion do not enjoy any natural right to immunity (from coercion). Let me illustrate this truth by a concrete example. If you felt moved to repress the public prayer of a group of Moslems in the street, or even to interrupt their worship in a mosque, you would possibly sin against charity, and certainly against prudence, but you would not do these believers any injustice. [30]
Vatican II taught that there would be injustice in such treatment unless the aforementioned Moslems (in Lefebvre’s example) were disrupting the public order. St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae summed up the Archbishop’s position — and that of many if not most self-styled 'traditionalists' in the following objections. (The subject: Whether it belongs to the human law to repress all vices.):
Objection 1. It would seem that it belongs to human law to repress all vices. For Isidore says (Etym. v, 20) that "laws were made in order that, in fear thereof, man's audacity might be held in check." But it would not be held in check sufficiently, unless all evils were repressed by law. Therefore human laws should repress all evils.
Objection 2. Further, the intention of the lawgiver is to make the citizens virtuous. But a man cannot be virtuous unless he forbear from all kinds of vice. Therefore it belongs to human law to repress all vices.
Objection 3. Further, human law is derived from the natural law, as stated above (95, 2). But all vices are contrary to the law of nature. Therefore human law should repress all vices. [31]
Before the assumption is given by this reader that St. Thomas supported the contentions of the Archbishop, it should be noted what his responses were to the above objections. To again quote the Summa:
Reply to Objection 1. Audacity seems to refer to the assailing of others. Consequently it belongs to those sins chiefly whereby one's neighbor is injured: and these sins are forbidden by human law, as stated.
Reply to Objection 2. The purpose of human law is to lead men to virtue, not suddenly, but gradually. Wherefore it does not lay upon the multitude of imperfect men the burdens of those who are already virtuous, viz. that they should abstain from all evil. Otherwise these imperfect ones, being unable to bear such precepts, would break out into yet greater evils: thus it is written (Ps. 30:33): "He that violently bloweth his nose, bringeth out blood"; and (Mt. 9:17) that if "new wine," i.e. precepts of a perfect life, "is put into old bottles," i.e. into imperfect men, "the bottles break, and the wine runneth out," i.e. the precepts are despised, and those men, from contempt, break into evils worse still.
Reply to Objection 3. The natural law is a participation in us of the eternal law: while human law falls short of the eternal law. Now Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i, 5): "The law which is framed for the government of states, allows and leaves unpunished many things that are punished by Divine providence. Nor, if this law does not attempt to do everything, is this a reason why it should be blamed for what it does." Wherefore, too, human law does not prohibit everything that is forbidden by the natural law. [32]
It would not seem to this writer that Archbishop Lefebvre and other self-styled 'traditionalists' who think as he does are in accordance with the views of the Angelic Doctor on this subject. But let us take a slightly different approach to this. Let us look not at the example that the Archbishop supplied but one that is a little bit more personal. Rather then arbitrarily disrupting the worship of Muslims at a mosque (which would be contrary to the logic of the Angelic Doctor as noted above), let us look at the Archbishop’s statement on a personal level. If indeed "[i]t is quite plain that, by the simple fact of their being in error, the followers of a false religion do not enjoy any natural right to immunity (from coercion)", then the father raising his son in objective error would not have the right to freedom from coercion in doing so. This writer cannot see how the Archbishop’s statement on a personal level would not equate to this very proposition. After all, if Islam is a false religion, then if the proposed father in following it would not enjoy a natural right to immunity from coercion from others in how he raises his child. (Error after all has no rights.) But St. Thomas in the Summa Theologiae explicitly denies the right of Christian rulers to take Jewish or Moslem children away from their parents in order to save them from false religious teaching (cf. Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 10, art. 12). Implicit in this teaching was a distinction between a right to do something and a right to immunity from human interference in doing it.

Those with objections to religious liberty could claim that in these injunctions St. Thomas was not advocating religious freedom as wide in scope as even the narrowly defined scope of Vatican II in DH. However, they would be pushing at an open door here since a whole host of "objections" could be made as to what the Angelic Doctor or any other theologian of high repute in earlier times may have thought about subjects that were decided upon in subsequent periods of history. (With conditions they were in no way familiar with.) In St. Thomas’ time the Catholic Church was the faith of primacy in Western Christendom. However, he still did not recognize the rights of a parent to instruct their children to be violable — even if that parent was instructing their children in non-Catholic beliefs. The Angelic Doctor likewise did not endorse the notion that human law should repress all vices. This is a step in the direction of religious liberty as understood by Vatican II and is certainly not out of conformity with it. However, it would seem out of conformity with the way in which Archbishop Lefebvre and other like-minded 'traditionalists' (self-styled of course) have expounded on the 'traditional' belief of the popes prior to Vatican II.

There is no controversion in teaching between DH and the preconciliar popes and only by a most untraditional rigorous interpretation of pre-council magisterial documents on this subject can such a controversion be fabricated. In light of the aforementioned observations, only the most theologically ignorant or partisan person would dare claim that point seventy-nine has been controverted by the Magisterium either at Vatican II or since by the papal Magisterium. That brings us to point eighty but first a review of the previous seventy-nine points covered.

It can be demonstrated that with the exception of points thirty, thirty-one, thirty-two, forty-three, sixty, sixty-one, sixty-two, and seventy-two: the Syllabus of Errors without question stands uncontroverted by Vatican II or the post Council Magisterium. These exceptions are points which are too vague to be able to affirm or disprove outright. Therefore, barring possession of the documents cited (to check for context) these condemnations must be presumed to be upheld as well. Anyone who would not grant the benefit of the doubt to the Church on this issue is no faithful child at all but is instead they are a rebellious child looking for any excuse to not obey. If parents of the temporal order have the right to chastise their children for blatant disobedience, so does Mother Church in the spiritual order. (Through censures, suspensions, excommunications, and the like.) The previous points one through seventy-nine can be accurately incapsulated in proposition eighty, which we will now address.

80. The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.- -Allocution "Jamdudum cernimus," March 18, 1861.
This point will be addressed with another reference to Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman’s Letter to the Duke of Norfolk on the subject of the Syllabus of Errors:
Another of Mr. Gladstone's "stringent Condemnations" (his 18th) is the Pope's denial of the proposition that "the Roman Pontiff can and ought to come to terms with Progress, Liberalism, and the New Civilization." I turn to the Allocation of March 18, 1861, and find there no formal condemnation of this Proposition at all. The allocution is a long argument to the effect that the moving parties in progress, liberalism, and new civilization, make use of it so seriously to the injury of the faith and the Church, that it is both out of the power, and contrary to the duty, of the pope to come to terms with them. Nor would those prime movers themselves differ from him here; certainly in this country it is the common cry that Liberalism is and will be the Pope's destruction, and they wish and mean it so to be. This Allocution on the subject is at once beautiful, dignified, and touching: and I cannot conceive how Mr. Gladstone should make stringency his one characteristic of these condemnations, especially when after all there is here no condemnation at all. [33]
Notice that nowhere does it say that the Roman Pontiff could not to a limited degree come to terms with the areas listed above. And since there was no formal condemnation of the proposal at all in the Allocution referenced, self-styled 'traditionalists' cannot crecibly use this as a whipping stick on Vatican II. Let us now review now what has been covered in this essay.
Ninety percent of these condemnations (seventy-two of them) are easily shown to be still retained by the Church today. The remaining eight cannot be affirmed or denied based on the scant evidences of the contents of the Syllabus themselves. It should be painfully obvious that self-styled 'traditionalists' who claim that the Syllabus of Errors has been controverted or abolished have not the slightest shred of an idea what they are talking about. But then that is hardly an irregular occurrence by any stretch really. It is in fact a point amply demonstrated in many writings on the web — perhaps in greatest systematic detail in this writer’s treatise A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism'.

As far as the subject of the Syllabus of Errors goes, hopefully, the foolish notion that it has been contradicted will be laid to rest once and for all by those who have read this essay who are of good will. For all others this author can only recommend prayer and fasting to cast out their demons of dissidence (Matt. 17:14-20; Mark 9:13-28; Luke 9:37-43).

Dedicated to Bl. Pope Pius IX and Bl. Pope John XXIII of Immortal Memory

[(*) Originally this essay had an appendix section which discussed authority, infallibility, and Vatican II. Since the treatise above deals in copious detail with these subjects - and as it was recently revised and further detailed on these subjects - it seemed expedient to delete the Appendix section originally written for this essay and direct the reader there for more details on these subjects. - I. Shawn McElhinney 1/25/03]


[1] I. Shawn McElhinney: excerpt from the essay "Christian Unity and the Role of Authority" (c. 2001), citing the essay Oral Tradition and its Reliability, written by "Matt1618" (c. 1997)

[2] I. Shawn McElhinney: excerpt from the essay "Christian Unity and the Role of Authority" (c. 2001), citing the essay Oral Tradition and its Reliability, written by "Matt1618" (c. 1997)

[3] Catechism of the Catholic Church: §105-107 (January 25, 1993)

[4] Pope John Paul II: Encyclical Letter "Fides et Ratio" §15 (September 14, 1998)

[5] Pope John Paul II: Encyclical Letter "Fides et Ratio" §43 (September 14, 1998)

[6] Pope John Paul II: Encyclical Letter "Fides et Ratio" §13 (September 14, 1998)

[7] Pope John Paul II: Encyclical Letter "Fides et Ratio" §13 (September 14, 1998)

[8] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "The Syllabus", (c. 1913)

[9] Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" §14-15 (November 21, 1964)

[10] Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" §15 footnotes (November 21, 1964)

[11] Pope Leo XIII: Encyclical Letter "Caritatis Studium" §5 (July 25, 1898)

[12] Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" §16 with footnote (November 21, 1964)

[13] Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" §22 (November 21, 1964)

[14] Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" §8 with footnotes (November 21, 1964)

[15] Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" §22 (November 21, 1964)

[16] Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" §18 with footnotes (November 21, 1964)

[17] Vatican II: Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et Spes" §76 (December 7, 1965)

[18] Catechism of the Catholic Church: §2105 (January 25, 1993)

[19] Vatican II: Declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" §6 (December 7, 1965)

[20] Fr. Gerald P. Fogarty, S.J.: "The Theology of Tradition in the American Church" Part II (c. 1996)

[21] Vatican II: Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et Spes" §17 (December 7, 1965)

[22] Catechism of the Catholic Church: §1930 (January 25, 1993)

[23] Catechism of the Catholic Church: §1903 (January 25, 1993)

[24] Catechism of the Catholic Church: §1756 (January 25, 1993)

[25] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "Divorce (in Moral Theology)" (c. 1913)

[26] Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "Divorce (in Moral Theology)" (c. 1913)

[27] Vatican II: Declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" §1 (December 7, 1965)

[28] Ven. Cardinal John Henry Newman: "Letter to the Duke of Norfolk", pg. 285 (c. 1874)

[29] Vatican II: Declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" §7 (December 7, 1965)

[30] Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre: "They Have Uncrowned Him" pg. 95 (c. 1987)

[31] St. Thomas Aquinas: "Summa Theologiae" I-II, q. 96, art. 2 (c. 1270-1273)

[32] St. Thomas Aquinas: "Summa Theologiae" I-II, q. 96, art. 2 (c. 1270-1273)

[33] Ven. Cardinal John Henry Newman: "Letter to the Duke of Norfolk", pg. 285 (c. 1874)

Other Notes:

The citations from the author's essay "Christian Unity and the Role of Authority" were obtained at the following link:

The citations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church were obtained at the following link:

The citations from Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical letter "Fides et Ratio" were obtained at the following link:

The citations from the Catholic Encyclopedia article "The Syllabus" were obtained at the following link:

The in-text citations from the Pope St. Pius X Catechism were obtained at the following link:

The citations from the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" were obtained at the following link:

The citation from Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Letter "Caritatis Studium" was obtained at the following link:

The citation from the Second Vatican Council's Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et Spes" were obtained at the following link:

The citation from the Second Vatican Council's Declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" were obtained at the following link:

The citation from Fr. Gerald P. Fogarty’s essay "The Theology of Tradition in the American Church" was obtained at the following link:

The citations from the Catholic Encyclopedia article "Divorce (in Moral Theology)" were obtained at the following link:

The citations from Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman’s "Letter to the Duke of Norfolk" were obtained at the following link:

The citation from Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s book "They Have Uncrowned Him" was taken from page 95. Fideliter 03110 Escurolles, France, 270 pp, 95FRF (c. 1987)

The citations from St. Thomas Aquinas’ "Summa Theologiae" were obtained at the following link:

©2001, "The Counter-Syllabus Canard", written by I. Shawn McElhinney. This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.

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