Blogger "Introibo ad Altare Dei" Taken to Task
(A Response to a "Rebutal" Against Me)

A gentleman wrote to me, asking me to respond to an article titled “Doubting Yourself – In the Extreme” published by an anonymous blogger going by the name of Introibo ad Altare Dei. Introibo’s article purports to refute an article that I wrote titled “Traditional Catholics – Do Your Clergy Possess Valid Orders?”

The author of this article, Introibo ad Altare Dei, has chosen to hide his identity. If you go to Introibo’s blog and look up his profile, you’ll find a blank page. There’s zero information about him. Whoever he is, he is hiding. Interesting. The devil hides. Members of Freemasonry and other secret societies hide. Spies hide. Thieves, robbers, murders, rapists and other criminals hide. However, Catholics don’t hide. Christ didn’t hide. His Apostles didn’t hide. Except perhaps during times of serious persecution, the Saints, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the Popes, the Bishops, the Missionaries... didn’t hide. Catholics are bound to profess their faith, so that’s what they do. So why is Introibo hiding? Why has he chosen to align himself with those who hide? As you go through this article, the answer will become obvious. Introibo is both theologically incompetent and morally dishonest. I don’t say that lightly. There is plenty of proof of both below. Incompetent and dishonest people tend to hide.

Being that Introibo’s article is riddled with errors from head to foot, to properly address most of the errors, even if in a somewhat cursory manner, required a fairly lengthy response, for which I apologize in advance.

1. Fabricated Criterion

Blogger Introibo starts his attack on my article by stating this:

First False Principle: Freemasonic membership = positive contrary intention.” [emphasis in original]

Introibo then attributes this principle to me. This is false. What I had written was this:

"General Presumption: Masonry = Adverse Sacramental Intention" [bold in original]

They don't even remotely mean the same thing. The position stated in my article is that the probability of high ranking Masons of intending to “do what the Church does” in conferring Holy Orders is doubtful to such a degree that moral certitude is lacking. This topic, in fact, is one which Introibo completely sidestepped.

In his article, Introibo uses the phrase of “positive contrary intention” in his opening argument, in his closing paragraph, and seven other times throughout the article. He seems to think that in refuting the notion that Masons must of necessity have a “positive contrary intention” of doing what the Church does in conferring the Sacraments, that he refutes my article. But it has no relevance to my article at all because I’ve never used the term “positive contrary intention” at any time or in any place. The reason for that is because I don’t believe in the notion that Masons must of necessity have a positive contrary intention of doing what the Church does when they attempt to confect the Sacraments. Introibo just made this “positive contrary intention” thing up and falsely attributed it to me. As the reader will shortly see, making up things is one of Introibo’s trademarks. So Introibo’s basic premise is false. This is what is known as “arguing beside the point.” He proves nothing germane to the topic of my article, let alone refutes it, because he never addresses the actual issues raised in my article.

It is further noteworthy that the many quotes cited by Introibo as evidence that Masonic membership does not equal a “positive contrary intention” are not evidence at all. He boldly states this premise and then quotes authorities who do not even address Masons, let alone their Sacramental intention. It’s a red herring. He’s trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the reader, as we shall see.

2. Yet Another Fabricated Criterion

Introibo writes:

“When a bishop confers Holy Orders using correct matter and form, he must be presumed to have had a sacramental intention sufficient to confect the sacrament — that is, at least "to have intended to do what the Church does. This is the teaching of Pope Leo XIII in his pronouncement on Anglican orders:

‘Now, if a person has seriously and duly used the proper matter and form for performing or administering a sacrament, he is by that very fact presumed to have intended to do what the Church does.’ (Bull Apostolicae Curae, September 13, 1896; Emphasis mine)”

Introibo continues:

“The theologian Leeming says this passage recapitulates the teachings of previous theologians who

‘...all agreed that the outward decorous performance of the rites sets up a presumption that the right intention exists.… The minister of a sacrament is presumed to intend what the rite means…’ ”

The reader will notice that Introibo states that if correct matter and formed are used, then a valid sacramental intention “must be presumed.” The reader will also note that neither quote provided by Introibo supports his “must be presumed” criterion. “Is presumed” and “sets up a presumption” do not mean the same thing as “must be presumed,” as anyone versed in theology will attest to. “Must be presumed” was simply fabricated by Introibo. He fabricates a lot of things.

The reason why Leo XIII and Catholic theologians don’t use the term “must be presumed” in this context, is because “must be presumed” allows for no exceptions. Yet Leo XIII, in the very sentence that preceded the one Introibo quoted (but conveniently left out), stated an exception: an externally manifested intention contrariwise. All of this is gone over in detail in my article, so I won’t burden the reader with it here except to give this short summary:

The argument made in my article is that a person who joins a Freemasonic society is indeed externally manifesting something, i.e., hostility towards Catholicism. This hostility is a fact attested to by numerous popes. And this very hostility towards Catholicism, externally manifested by virtue of their membership in Masonry, calls into doubt whether they would “intend to do what the Church does” in conferring Holy Orders. But Introibo doesn’t refute this argument; rather he simply chooses to hide from his readers the exception Leo XIII clearly stated, and he does this by carefully selecting only a small portion of Leo XIII’s quote and leaving the rest out, even though what he left out is critically relevant. Very deceptive, especially considering that it is the very thing that I complained about in my article (an article he purports to have read).

3. Introibo Tries to Deceive

Immediately after quoting Leo XIII, Introibo cites a quotation from Fr. Bernard Leeming:

“The theologian Leeming says this passage recapitulates the teachings of previous theologians who

‘...all agreed that the outward decorous performance of the rites sets up a presumption that the right intention exists.… The minister of a sacrament is presumed to intend what the rite means… This principle is affirmed as certain theological doctrine, taught by the Church, to deny which would be at least theologically rash.’ (Leeming, Principles of Sacramental Theology [Westminster MD: Newman 1956], 476, 482.)’ ”

Now let’s take a look at what Introibo left out at the second set of ellipses (in italics):

“...all agreed that the outward decorous performance of the rites sets up a presumption that the right intention exists. Some, indeed, like Farvacques, maintained that this presumption could never be overthrown, against the judgment of the vast majority;..” (bold mine)

It would seem that Introibo is fully aware that the position he is taking is “against the judgment of the vast majority,” but he apparently didn’t want his readers to know that little tidbit of truth, so he just left it out. How about that.

And at the third set of ellipses:

“Principle XV - THE MINISTER OF A SACRAMENT IS PRESUMED TO INTEND WHAT THE RITE MEANS: NEVERTHELESS, IF IN FACT HE RESOLVES NOT TO DO WHAT THE CHURCH DOES, HE HAS NOT SUFFICIENT INTENTION AND THE SACRAMENT IS INVALID. This principle is affirmed as certain theological doctrine, taught by the Church, to deny which would be at least theologically rash.” (Upper case and underline in original. Italics mine)

So here we go again. Introibo makes yet another attempt to deceive the reader by extracting the second half of Principle XV as given by Fr. Leeming. Leeming devoted 14 pages to proving this principle, 13 pages of which was devoted to the second part of it, the part that Introibo conveniently left out.

What he did to Fr. Leeming’s quote is a clear case of deceit. Leeming doesn’t support his ridiculous position, but Introibo wanted the reader to think otherwise, so he chopped and diced it to make it fit. In doing so, Introibo demonstrated that he is dishonest and and has ZERO regard for the truth. It appears that he has an agenda to peddle and certainly isn’t going to let something as minor as truth or Catholic doctrine get in his way. I suspect that he was banking on the fact that his readers would not have a copy of the now out-of-print book of Fr. Leeming and that consequently he could pull a quick one over them. It’s called deceit and deception. Does he think that he can deceive God too? Unbelievable. Now we can see why he chooses to publish his rubbish anonymously – he can behave dishonestly and yet keep his “good” name (if indeed he has one).

4. I wish, I wish...

Introibo further wrote:

“According to theologian Gasparri, a bishop is never presumed to have a positive contrary intention unless proven by those who assert such.

‘In performing an ordination the minister is never presumed to have such an intention of not ordaining, as long as the contrary would not be proved. For no one is presumed evil unless he is proven as such, and an act — especially one as solemn as an ordination — must be regarded as valid, as long as invalidity would not be clearly demonstrated." (Gasparri, Tractatus de Sacra Ordinatione [Paris: Delhomme 1893], 1:970--Emphasis mine [Introibo's]).’

Gasparri does not state that Masonic membership is a presumption of evil such that the minister would be "clearly demonstrated" as having a positive contrary intention.”

This is what I referred to in my article as “Wish Upon a Star Theology.” Gasparri doesn’t mention Masonry at all and so he does nothing to support Introibo’s position regarding Masons. Introibo simply wished it to be there; but it’s not there and all the wishing in the world can’t change that.

Further, Introibo highlighted in the quote above “For no one is presumed evil unless he is proven as such...” If the unanimous and constant teaching of the popes for nearly two centuries that Masons are evil isn’t proof, then what is? Are we to wait for a Divine Revelation?

Further, the citations Introibo published state the general maxim that presumption favors validity. Of course it does. No one contests this and it is something that I clearly stated in my article more than once:

“That presumption favors the validity of a Sacrament is not debated. This is the general rule and I am unaware of anyone who denies this. The fact that the pro-validity group keeps making this an issue is bewildering and seems to serve no other purpose than to provide them with a straw-man to beat up. No one denies that in the ordinary course of events, that when a bishop performs ordinations and consecrations, that they are to be accepted as valid – that’s the norm.”

It appears that Introibo didn’t really read the article he purports to have refuted, because if he had read it, presumably he would not have devoted several paragraphs attempting to prove something that is uncontested, unless, of course, he just wanted to create yet another straw man to beat up.

5. Introibo Contends that the Sacraments of Satanists Must be Accepted!

In an effort to illustrate how absurd the notion is that the external execution of the Sacraments must of necessity imply a valid intention, I introduced in my article the founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LeVey, and asked (under the hypothetical that he obtained a valid consecration) if we should accept his Sacraments as valid, provided that he performed them correctly exteriorly? Introibo addressed this as follows:

“As to the hypothetical concerning Anton LeVey, if he seriously performed the Catholic rite, we must accept him as having the requisite intention unless he specifically states the contrary. Is it crazy to think so? Hardly. Why wouldn't he want priests to confect the Eucharist so as to desecrate it? Why not ordain a priest that he knows to be unworthy and will bring scandal to the Church?”

Wrong, Introibo. It is absolutely crazy! There’s a maxim in scholasticism which states that if someone’s conclusion is absurd, then one or more of his premises is erroneous. This is a good case in point. Introibo would have us believe that LeVey can ordain priests to desecrate the Eucharist and bring scandal to the Church, but that he is somehow incapable of faking the ordination priests unless he “specifically states the contrary.” Good grief. I would love to see him provide an authoritative citation to support this.

Let’s take this hypothetical to its final logical step. Let’s substitute in place of the Satanist, Anton LeVey, Satan himself in human form. Introibo:

“As to the hypothetical concerning Satan, if he seriously performed the Catholic rite, we must accept him as having the requisite intention unless he specifically states the contrary. Is it crazy to think so? Hardly. Why wouldn't Satan want priests to confect the Eucharist so as to desecrate it? Why not ordain a priest that Satan knows to be unworthy and will bring scandal to the Church?”

St. Thomas disagrees:

“I answer that the devil, if he appeared as a man, could perform the ceremonies of Baptism, but not confer the sacrament, and this for two reasons... Secondly, if the devil pretended to baptize, there would always be the fear that he did not do so with the intention of baptizing, which is needful for the sacrament, but with the intention of deceiving; because it is unlikely that he would secure so great a good for a man as is spiritual rebirth.” (D. 5, q. 2, a. 3, sol. 1)

The reason St. Thomas gives is “because it is unlikely that he would secure so great a good for a man as is spiritual rebirth.” Ditto for Holy Orders, “because it is unlikely that he would secure so great a good for” the Church as to supply it with bishops (who by default are exorcists!) Now since Satanists and Masons (at least high-ranking ones such as Lienart) are evil and do evil works, the same line of reasoning would seem to aptly apply to them both, i.e., that it is unlikely that they would secure so great a good for man as to provide the Church with bishops and priests.

Finally we have this condemnation from Pope Alexander VIII:

“Baptism is valid which is conferred by a minister who observes all the external rite and the form of baptizing but within his heart resolves: ‘I do not intend what the Church does.’ ” (Denzinger, 1318)

Note: Alexander VIII doesn’t require that the minister “specifically states the contrary” as Introibo contends, but only that he “within his heart resolves.”

6. False Synonyms

Introibo next suggests substituting the term “Freemason” with “Modernist” in an effort to show that what I contend holds for Freemasons would also, of necessity, hold for Modernists too, i.e., if Masons confer the Sacraments doubtfully, then so must Modernists; which he states is absurd. He writes:

“Keep in mind Modernism also seeks the destruction of the Catholic Faith:

‘Still it must be confessed that the number of the enemies of the Cross of Christ has in this days increased exceedingly, who are striving, by arts, entirely new and full of subtlety, to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, if they can, to overthrow utterly Christ's kingdom itself.’ (See Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 1907).

Therefore [Introibo continues], if the Modernists want to "overthrow utterly Christ's kingdom itself," they too wish the destruction of the Church, like the Masons. Should we therefore consider any Modernist as having a positive contrary intention?”

Pius X does not say that Modernists want to “overthrow utterly Christ’s kingdom,” he says that about “the enemies of the Cross of Christ.” Accuracy in theology is important.

Introibo continues:

“Considering that a majority of the prelates in 1962 were Modernists (suspected of heresy, or "in the closet" until Vatican II) what doubt would that place on most sacraments the world over? Cardinal Frings was the de facto leader of the Modernist faction at Vatican II. Must we consider all his sacraments as being invalid for having a positive contrary intention since Modernists wish to destroy the Church also?”

Accuracy again, Introibo. My argument is that Masonic sacraments are “doubtfully valid,” not “invalid.” Theologically speaking, there is a very notable difference between the two, which is why the two terms are not interchangeable.

Introibo quotes me:

“Without repeating everything in the above article, I will try to demonstrate this by giving a short synopsis of the pertinent controlling issues:

And to this Introibo replies:

“Replace ‘Freemasons’ with ‘Modernists’ in his above syllogism, and we would necessarily have to hold all their sacraments ‘dubious’ or ‘invalid’ as well. This would mean that the hierarchy would be suspect beginning in the latter half of the 18th century. Does he really expect any thinking person to accept this nonsense?”

Firstly, I did not offer the above as a syllogism, but as a synopsis. Secondly, Masons and Modernists are not interchangeable terms. If they were, then Masons would have been listed as one of the offspring of Modernism and vice versa, but they are not:

“To proceed in an orderly manner in this somewhat abstruse subject, it must first of all be noted that the Modernist sustains and includes within himself a manifold personality; he is a philosopher, a believer, a theologian, an historian, a critic, an apologist, a reformer. These roles must be clearly distinguished one from another by all who would accurately understand their system and thoroughly grasp the principles and the outcome of their doctrines.” (Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi, para 5)

The reader will notice that St. Pius X does not list “Freemasons” as one the manifold personalities of Modernism. Again, that’s because Freemasons are not the same thing as Modernists. So if Freemasons and Modernists are not the same, then Introibo’s replacing “Freemasons” with “Modernists” would be tantamount to adding a fourth term to his “syllogism,” which of course would invalid it. Scholasticism 101. So Intoibo’s “syllogism” isn’t a syllogism at all. It doesn’t work.

7. Yet Another Straw Man

Introibo wrote:

“Fact: Not all Masons wanted to destroy the Church. Of the many French clergy involved with Masonry, historian Henri Daniel-Rops says:
‘There is no reason to think all were, or considered themselves to be, bad Catholics. On the contrary, there must have been a great many of them who saw no incompatibility between their faith and their Masonic membership, and who even regarded Freemasonry as a weapon to be employed in the service of religion. One of these, in Savoy, was Joseph de Maistre, orator of his lodge at Chambéry; he dreamed of creating within the bosom of Masonry a secret staff which would have made the movement a papal army at the service of universal theocracy.’ (Church in the Eighteenth Century, 63.)”

Here we go again with yet another straw-man argument. Nowhere do I claim that “all” Masons want to destroy the Church. Nevertheless, that Masonry, considered as a whole, seeks to destroy the Church, is not just my personal opinion but rather the conclusion of countless Popes. These papal teachings cannot be overcome by the opinion of a historian.

In addition, the Mason is question here, Lienart, was no low-level Mason. He rose to the rank of a 30 degree Freemason and the fact that he sought to destroy the Church is a matter of historical evidence, not speculation, as witnessed and testified to by Marcel Lefebvre himself.

8. And Another Straw Man

Introibo wrote:

“No citation is given to the alleged death bed "confession" of Lienart wherein he asserts he held a positive contrary intention.”

Straw men ad nauseam. Introibo, do you know how to read? Nowhere in my article did I state that Lienart “held a positive contrary intention.” What I had written was that Lefebvre’s friend and chauffeur, Max Barret, published an article which stated that:

“Liénart not only confessed his Masonic membership, but that he further requested the Canon to make the fact of it public, and in order to facilitate this, he released Canon Descornets from the seal of the confessional.”

Introibo continues in the same paragraph:

“The only place I found such stated (unsourced) was in a blog by Hutton Gibson, father of actor Mel Gibson, and one of the first Home Aloners.”

Then you didn’t look very hard. Right in my article I cited the publication: “Le Courrier Tychique, October 25, 2009.” It can be googled without any problem. Here is it for those who want a direct link: Le Courrier. As an aside, I’ve never read what Hutton Gibson wrote.

Introibo concludes this paragraph by stating that my article doesn’t have:

“one pre-Vatican II theologian to back up his false presumption about Masonry and defect of intention.”

Actually, in support of my position I presented a very well respected pre-Vatican 2 theologian, Augustin Lehmkuhl. I will delve into him later in this article. Introibo, on the contrary, can’t provide any theologians to support his position, which is why he had to resort to misquoting them.

9. And Yes, Another Straw Man Still!

Introibo writes:

Yet Another Falsehood: Distorting the teachings of the theologians [emphasis in original]
"Bp." Joe is taking citations out of context to "prove" something the quoted theologians never taught.

This is almost funny. The reader having already seen how Introibo manipulated the quotes of Leo XIII, Fr. Leeming and others to deceive his readers into believing that these men taught something other than that which they actually did, he has the audacity to accuse me of distorting the teachings of theologians! This is what is known as rank hypocrisy. Besides which it is totally false, as I will shortly demonstrate.

Introibo continues:

He ["Bp. Joe"] writes:

‘According to the almost general opinion of modern theologians, an inner intention is necessary for the valid administration of the Sacraments… The mere external intention is not compatible with the concept of doing what the Church intends, or with the status of the minister as a servant of Christ, or with the religious determination of the sacramental sign…’ (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott, 1955)”

“What he conveniently left out was this, "Objectively considered, the intention of doing what the Church does suffices. The minister, therefore, does not need to intend what the Church intends, namely, to produce the effects of the sacraments, for example, the forgiveness of sins; neither does he need to intend to execute a specific Catholic rite. It suffices if he has the intention of performing the religious action as it is current among Christians (Catholics)." (See Ott, pg. 344--page number left out by "Bp" Joe!--word in parenthetical [sic] mine)
Why would Joe do this, you ask? Simple: It gives the lie to a later passage when he claims that consecrating bishops without Ordinary Jurisdiction would produce a defect in intention! He writes:”

‘We have already covered earlier in this article the Church’s minimal requirement for a valid sacramental intention, that of simply intending "to do what the Church does." This is not a difficult hurdle to get over. In fact, it is such a low hurdle, that one does not even have to know what is the Church’s intention regarding any particular Sacrament, it suffices simply to intend “to do what the Church does” in bestowing that Sacrament. That’s all that is required.

Nevertheless, "to do what the Church does" in conferring a Sacrament means to do it according to the mind of the Church. That is self-evident. If one intentionally does something differently than the mind of the Church, he cannot claim that he has the intention of "doing what the Church does.

Now the undisputed theological truth that the Sacraments "signify the grace which they effect and effect the grace which they signify" (Apostolicae Curae, Leo XIII, 1896) forces us to conclude that the Sacrament of Episcopal Consecration, which signifies the bestowal of the power to teach and to rule, actually bestows these two powers, else it would not effect what it signifies. Therefore, it follows that all validly consecrated Latin Rite Catholic bishops posses the three powers of sanctifying, of teaching, and of ruling. (The distinction between possessing the power and to have the authorization to exercise the power is not germane here because our Sacraments only bishops not only deny authorization [another topic], but they further deny possession.)

But our Sacraments only bishops don’t believe that this power to rule and to teach applies to them. They openly proclaim that they do not posses it. Therefore it stands to reason, that when they confer or receive episcopal consecration, that they do not intend to bestow or receive these two powers. This calls into question the sufficiency of their intention. The mind of the Church is to bestow the three powers of sanctifying, teaching and ruling, as the Sacrament of Consecration clearly shows. The mind of our Sacraments only bishops is simply to bestow the power of sanctifying while omitting the other two powers of teaching and ruling. In so doing, they clearly intend something different than what the Rite itself intends.’

“But, wait a minute--if you don't need to intend to produce the effects of the sacraments (such as forgiving sin in confession) as theologian Ott teaches, why would you need to intend to give bishops the power to teach and rule?”

Once again, Introibo is creating straw men to beat up. Nowhere do I claim “that consecrating bishops without Ordinary Jurisdiction would produce a defect in intention!” Consecrating bishops without ordinary jurisdiction has been going on for centuries, if not for nearly two millennia. If Introibo equates that which I said to “consecrating bishops without ordinary jurisdiction,” then he is clearly ignorant about the most fundamental principles of ecclesiastical jurisdiction and bishops.

Further, that which Introibo claims I slyly excluded from my quote above is a bogus accusation, arising from Introibo’s ignorance of theology. There’s an old axiom that says that the crimes we accuse others of committing are usually our own. Introibo is a case in point. He intentionally misquotes, as has already been demonstrated, and then accuses me of his own moral crime. Oh the hypocrisy.

The reason that I did not include the paragraph Introibo accuses me of deceitfully leaving out is because it was an entirely different paragraph in an entirely different subsection of the book than the one I quoted from. The reason that Ott had the quote in a different paragraph and in a different subsection is because the one that I left out deals with the “Nature of the Intention,” not with the “Inadequacy of the intentio ‘mere externa’ ” which was what I was addressing.They are not the same thing, as anyone competent in theology would know.

The reason Introibo thinks that he hit on something big here is because he apparently is unable to distinguish between “producing the effects” of a Sacrament, as mentioned by Ott, and “possessing” the effects of a Sacrament, which is what I was addressing. They are two distinct and different things. I will try to demonstrate this for the reader.

Every validly ordained priest “possesses” the power to forgive sins, but unless he has received jurisdiction (faculties) for absolving sins and actually does absolve sin, he doesn’t “produce” the effect of the Sacrament of ordination in that regard. In fact, throughout history there have always been in the Church “simplex priests,” i.e., priests who never hear confessions, but despite that fact, still possessed the power to forgive sins, because all priests possess the power to forgive sins. Now if an ordaining bishop and a cleric about to be ordained a priest both profess before ordination that the Sacrament of Ordination will not bestow upon the newly ordained priest the power to forgive sins, then we have a situation analogous to “Sacraments only bishops.” In this scenario we would have a defect in the Sacrament, because to ordain a priest who lacks the power to forgive sins is not “doing what the Church does,” which is a requirement for a valid intention. The Church does not create priests who lack the capacity to forgive sins. She never has and never will, because the power of priests to forgive sins was instituted by Christ, not by the Church; and that which Christ instituted, the Church has no power change. So all priests “possess” the effect of the Sacrament of ordination, i.e., they all possess the power to forgive sins; but only those priests “produce” the effect of the Sacrament of ordination who are granted jurisdiction to absolve sins and in fact exercise that jurisdiction by actually forgiving sins. Ditto for bishops. All bishops, as an effect of the Sacrament of consecration, possess the power to teach and to rule, but only those bishops produce that effect who receive jurisdiction to teach and to rule.

Lastly, the final part of Introibo’s quote of Ott further disproves Introibo’s assertion that our Sacraments only bishops have certain Holy Orders:

“It suffices if he has the intention of performing the religious action as it is current among Christians.”

It is not current nor has it ever been current in the Church to consecrate “Sacrament only bishops.” This is obvious. Sacraments only bishops are a total novelty without theological or historical precedent.

10. Augustine Lehmkuhl

Introibo quotes this from my article:

“This issue of Masonic Sacramental intention was indirectly addressed by a respected theologian, Augustin Lehmkuhl, in an actual case regarding a priest named Fabricius, who had become a member of a forbidden society. While Lehmkuhl does not specifically mention Masonry by name, that Masonry is a forbidden society is disputed by no Catholic, and so Lehmkuhl’s conclusion on the sacraments conferred by someone who had joined a forbidden society is justifiably and appropriately applied to Masonry as well, for no rational argument can be made as to why it would not apply.
‘Lehmkuhl gives an interesting case of conscience on the point. A certain priest had lost his faith and had joined a forbidden society, after which time he began to perform his priestly duties in an external manner only. He religiously observed the correct and exact performance of the matter and the form in the sacraments he administered, but inwardly he intended not to do what the Church does and what Christ instituted. The solution of the case declares that the sacraments conferred by the priest were null and to be repeated absolutely.’ (The Dogmatic Theology on the Intention of the Minister in the Confection of the Sacraments by Rev. Raphael De Salvo, O.S.B., S.T.L. 1949, referencing Casus Conscientiae, Vol. II, p. 14, Casus 7, Augustin Lehmkuhl, 1903)”

To this Introibo responds:

“I have fully referenced the citations. Lehmkuhl appears in DeSalvo's work on page 103 as an example of a merely external intention being insufficient to confect a valid sacrament. Lemkuhl NEVER declares sacraments conferred by those in secret societies to be invalid or dubious.
In the case of Fabricus ("fabricating" sacraments? Sorry, I couldn't resist!) of course all his sacraments were invalid; not due to his membership in a secret society or even his loss of faith, but because he withheld his intention and manifested it!

Having “fully referenced the citations” and boldly stating that Fabricus “withheld his intention and manifested it,” then surely Introibo can show us where in the citations it states that Fabricus “manifested” his adverse intention. But he doesn’t so that. How about that. The reason that he doesn’t do that is because, once again, he just made it up. The citations don’t say that at all. Nowhere in De Salvo’s book does it state that Fabricus “manifested” his adverse intention; neither does Lehmkuhl’s original work which De Salvo quotes from (Casus Conscientiae, Ad usum confessariorum compositi et soluti, Vol. 2: Casus de sacramentis, editio tertia ab auctore recognita, Lehmkuhl, Augustino, Friburgi Brisgoviae 1907, p. 14-15). Wish upon a star theology strikes again. Introibo once again simply wished a non-existent fact into existence.

The actual citation states exactly what I wrote in my article that it said about Fabricus, namely that “INWARDLY he intended not to do what the Church does...” End of story.

Introibo continues:

“Furthermore, the theologian DeSalvo does not draw the same conclusion as the ersatz "theologian" "Bp" Joe. Having cited Lehmkuhl, he concludes on page 107 with this following principle: ‘Provided the minister seriously performs all the sacramental rites, there is no need for being doubtful about the validity of the sacraments, for it is presumed that the minister has the requisite intention, unless he externally manifests the contrary.’ ”

For the umpteenth time – this is exactly what a 30 degree membership in Masonry does; it externally manifests an intention of hostility towards Catholicism.

Introibo concludes:

“I'll go by DeSalvo's conclusion over Joe and the pseudo-theologians whom also go around propagating this nonsense. They also commit the logical fallacy of "post hoc, ergo proper hoc" ("after this, because of this"). They wrongly assume that it was Fabricus joining the secret society that caused his contrary intention. This is analogous to saying, ‘The rooster crowed when the sun rose, so it was the rooster that caused the sunrise.’ No such principle of membership in secret societies and automatic lack of intention was stated by either Lehmkuhl or DeSalvo.”

Then tell me, Introibo, from all of the evidence presented by Lehmkuhl, what caused Fabricus to have an invalid intention?

The Church’s approved theologians choose their words very carefully and with much precision. They neither add superfluous terms nor omit necessary ones. For example, in Introibo’s article, he takes it upon himself to correct a quote given to us by Ludwig Ott:

“The minister, therefore, does not need to intend what the Church intends, namely, to produce the effects of the sacraments, for example, the forgiveness of sins; neither does he need to intend to execute a specific Catholic rite. It suffices if he has the intention of performing the religious action as it is current among Christians (Catholics).” (...word in parenthetical [sic] mine [Introibo’s])

Ott chose the term “Christians” and not “Catholics” intentionally, because valid Sacraments are not the exclusive domain of Catholics. There are many non-Catholic Christian sects that have had valid Sacraments for centuries and continued to preserve them by using their own rites. So had Ott used the term Catholics instead of Christians, his sentence would have been inaccurate. Christians is the proper term here, and that’s why Ott used it. They choose their words carefully.

Now to Lehmkuhl. In Lehmkuhl’s quote about Fabricus, he states that Frabricus had “lost his faith and had joined a forbidden society.” No other information is given as to why Fabricus inwardly intended not to do what the Church does when he administered the Sacraments. Therefore, one must conclude that Lehmkuhl either 1) found Fabricus’ intention insufficient due to his loss of faith and membership in a forbidden society, or 2) that Lehmkuhl included a purely superfluous fact that had no bearing on his intention whatsoever, but failed to include the necessary fact as to why his intention failed. Lehmkuhl, being a well-respected theologian, would not have committed such a blundering mistake; Introibo, yes, but Lehmkuhl, no.

11. Talleyrand

Introibo writes:

“ ‘Bp.’ Joe comes up with all kinds of fanciful theories as to why the Church accepted the bishops consecrated by Freemason Talleyrand; e.g., he was reconciled to the Church and then Church authorities secretly re-ordained/consecrated them, he allegedly declared before he died that he did not withhold his intention, etc. As to the fanciful theories (hypotheticals, actually) advanced regarding Talleyrand, a few comments are in order: Talleyrand died reconciled to the Church. But isn't it possible he lied about not withholding his intention to make it SEEM like he was reconciled to the Catholic Church, thereby fooling people into thinking his consecrations must have been valid, and thereby better serve Satan?”

In my article I gave a number of hypothetical examples about Talleyrand to counter that which the pro-validity group was propagating as the only one, possible explanation of Talleyrand, i.e., Masonic Holy Orders are necessarily valid. My hypothetical examples were meant to show that other explanations are just as probable as the one put forth by the pro-validity group, and they do just that.

Further, the fact that Talleyrand was reconciled to the Church before his death is not a “fanciful theory” or a “hypothetical”; it’s a historical fact. It is also a historical fact that Talleyrand wrote in his memoirs his desire to preserve Holy Orders in France. If Introibo has historical facts contrariwise, then he should produce them. Since he hasn’t produced any, then the historical evidence already presented stands and his Talleyrand “possibly lied” argument fails.

12. Failed Attempts to Rehabilitate Bishop Thuc

Introibo then moves on to Bishop Thuc:

“Did Archbishop Thuc have enough mental awareness? (Yes... That Abp. Thuc was lucid in 1981 was testified to by Fr. Noel Barbara and by Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy, a Board Certified psychiatrist, among others)”

And there are others who stated that he was not of sound mind, some of whom I quoted in my article. Since his mental state is contested, it continues to remain an open question. Regarding Coomaraswamy, he didn't become a phychiastrist until after the death of Bishop Thuc and consequently never had an opportunity to professionally examine him.  As an aside, this is the same Coomaraswamy who is quoted in an interview as saying (among other non-orthodox things):

"As it was impossible for me to live as a Hindu in America at that time, and as living without any traditional affiliation was in my mind to live on an animal level, I entered Catholicism which I found completely compatible with my Hindu outlook." Joaquin Albaicin Interview of Rama

Introibo continues:

“Did he [Thuc] simulate sacraments? In a word; No. The only proof offered for his alleged simulation of a consecration is a hearsay statement made in The Angelus, an anti-sedevacantist publication of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX).”

This is becoming moronic. The Angelus magazine is the most widely read traditionalist publication on earth. Just because they reject sedevacantism, like 99.9999% of the world does, doesn’t mean that whatever they say about sedevacantists is erroneous (if Bishop Thuc was even a sedevacantist). If the reader follows Introibo’s rationale to its logical conclusion, then they must reject everything Introibo has written about the validity of Holy Orders of Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Thuc, because he is anti-those who question the validity of their Orders. In fact, they must reject everything Introibo writes about anything, unless it is something that he is not “anti” about. That’s his logic. If the Angelus magazine is to be rejected offhand because they are anti-sedevacantist, then it follows that the same applies to Introibo.

The double standard throughout Introibo's article is nauseating. Introibo quoted in his article “For no one is presumed evil unless he is proven as such...” (bold and underscore in Introibo’s original). But this is exactly what he did regarding the author of the Angelus magazine. Without providing any proof whatsoever, he insinuates that the author fabricated the story, simply because the magazine he wrote for is “anti-sedevacantist.” “For no one is presumed evil” unless, apparently, Introibo happens not to like what is said. And in that scenario, not only can Introibo presume evil, but he apparently feels he also has the God-given right to publicly defame such persons. “As you judge others, so shall you be judged.” Think about it Introibo.

Introibo continues:

“As to his [Thuc] simulating the Novus Bogus, a false charge. He refused to receive ‘communion’ at the service and therefore, ‘simulated’ it. Thuc simply misspoke. He NEVER claimed to have withheld his intention or had a positive contrary intention.”

Introibo is referencing a quote I had in my article from “Fr.” Jenkins, who personally interviewed Thuc friends and defenders: Drs. Hiller and Heller. Jenkins publicly stated that he had it in writing and on tape from Hiller and Heller that Bishop Thuc “felt that he owed it to him [Vatican 2 bishop of Toulon] to concelebrate the new mass with him... Thuc told them [Hiller and Heller], for what it is worth, that he withheld his intention in the process of doing this, that is, he simulated the sacrament of consecrating.”

So what is Introibo “refuting” Hiller and Heller’s statement with? Nothing. Not a darn thing. He does not provide a shred of evidence to disprove Jenkins or to back up his own claim that Thuc only refused “Communion.” Once again, he just made it up. Once again, without any proof, he presumes evil of someone, this time it’s Jenkins. And once again, we see another example of Introibo’s fabricated “positive contrary intention” playing its dutiful role as a red herring in misleading his readers.

And to add absurdity to absurdity, Introibo attempts to absolve Thuc by twice stating the Thuc simply “misspoke.” Good grief! This has to be one of the most inane arguments that I’ve ever heard. Introibo apparently believes that by claiming someone misspoke, that somehow this completely nullifies everything that person said. You see, Pilate didn’t really condemn Christ to death, he “simply misspoke.” The Jews really didn’t ask that Christ’s blood be upon them and their children, they “simply misspoke.” And where is Introibo’s evidence that Thuc misspoke? Did Thuc himself ever make the claim? No. As per usual with Introibo, no evidence is presented. Once again, he appears to have just made it up. Yet another example of “Wish Upon a Star Theology.” Those who embrace this theology are not deterred by the lack of evidence supporting their position because they can always supply evidence out of the thin air. No facts? No problem! I’ll just create some.

13. Conclusion

The Church’s standard for judging the validity of Holy Orders is a high one. At a minimum, there must at least be moral certitude regarding them, i.e., that certitude “which excludes all prudent fear of error, such that the opposite is reputed as altogether improbable.” (St. Alphonsus, Theologia Moralis – Probable Conscience - English translation).

Personally, when I weigh the evidence regarding Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Thuc against the Church’s standard of moral certitude, I find that moral certitude is lacking in both men. That’s my opinion. If the reader disagrees with me, that’s perfectly fine. I don’t claim to be infallible. Nevertheless, each individual must consider the gravity of what’s at stake here, because it is a sin against religion to expose a Sacrament to “the peril of nullity.” (Moral Theology, Vol. 1, Callan & McHugh, 1929, p. 239) Now when someone with doubtful Holy Orders attempts to confect a Sacrament, by definition that doubt will expose each and every Sacrament attempted to “the peril of nullity.” That’s not permitted; neither for the minister nor for those attending.

I made my position quite clear in my article. Based upon the factual evidence and the teachings of the Church, I contend that there is doubt regarding validity. Then Introibo comes along, an unknown person hiding behind a fictitious name, who has been demonstrated to be both theologically incompetent and morally deceitful, telling people they ought to freely go to those of doubtful Holy Orders and receive doubtful Sacraments, because we have “his” assurance that the Holy Orders in question are certainly valid. I trust my reader can see that this doesn’t cut it. In fact, I would argue that if Introibo is the best that the pro-validity group can do, then they themselves make a strong case against validity.