The above quote is very relevant to our situation today in that many priests and adherents of those priests would fall under this very same condemnation. First let’s learn a little history about the above condemnation of Joseph Humbert and all his adherents: "A surprisingly large number of German priests and laymen rejected the First Vatican Council’s solemn teaching on the papacy. In September 1870, nearly 1,400 Germans who called themselves 'Old Catholics' signed a declaration that renounced the conciliar teaching. In September 1871, 300 delegates met in Munich to organize a new church. Unable to find a Catholic bishop who would renounce Catholic dogma and join them, the Old Catholics turned to the Jansenist Bishop Heykamp of Devetner in the Netherlands of the schismatic Little Church of Utrecht. He ordained Father Joseph Humbert Reinkens a bishop in August 1873."
Pope Pius IX, Graves ac diuturnae (#'s 1-4), March 23, 1875: "… the new hereticswho call themselves 'Old Catholics'...these schismatics and heretics... their wicked sect... these sons of darkness... their wicked faction… this deplorable sect… This sect overthrows the foundations of the Catholic religion, shamelessly rejects the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council, and devotes itself to the ruin of souls in so many ways. We have decreed and declared in Our letter of 21 November 1873 that those unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church."
Here, Pope Pius IX gives an explicit confirmation that people must consider heretics or schismatics to be outside the Church and that there is no need for a further declaration to decide this. But who can deny the fact that Vatican II also is a “new church”, and that all the validly ordained bishops and priests left in this “new church” also would fall under the same condemnation as Joseph Humbert? Therefore, without a doubt, you may not approach any of the validly ordained Novus Ordo priests for the sacraments of Confession or the Eucharist at all, as the heretics and schismatics teach.
Another striking fact is that almost all of the validly ordained priests left in the entire world (both traditional “Catholic” priests and Novus Ordo priests alike), also reject Vatican I and papal infallibility, by obstinately denying infallible Catholic dogma. The old “Catholics” was excommunicated for this very reason, and one were not even allowed to greet them, and anyone who would adhere to them (for example, receive the sacraments from them) was to be excommunicated just like them.
“We have decreed and declared in Our letter of 21 November 1873 that those unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church." (Pope Pius IX, Graves ac diuturnae (#'s 1-4), March 23, 1875)
Therefore, without a doubt, neither may you approach any of the validly ordained traditional “Catholic” priests left in the world for the sacraments, if they obstinately deny or reject even a single Catholic dogma or hold to even a single heresy, as Pope Leo XIII makes clear:
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9): "No one who merely disbelieves in all can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single heresy he is not a Catholic."
CAN HERETICS HAVE AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH?
What are the requirements for a licit reception of the sacraments? This is a very important question to understand since many claim one can receive them licitly not only from heretics, but from apostate priests as well.
The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. "Sacraments." (1912) Conditions for the licit reception: (b) "For the licit reception it is also necessary to observe all that is prescribed by Divine or ecclesiastical law, e.g. as to time, place, the minister, etc. As the Church alone has the care of the sacraments and generallyher duly appointed agents alone have the right to administer them, except Baptism in some cases, it is a general law that application for the sacraments should be made to worthy and duly appointed ministers."
Sadly, we have come to a point in the history of the Church where even heretics are considered by some to consecrate the Eucharist licitly in the Church; which means, somehow, that heretics are given authority in the Church. But this is of course impossible. For to give or receive the sacraments licitly, means to give or receive them by the authority and permission of the Church. Do heretics have this authority in the Catholic Church (except for the sacrament of baptism)? Do heretics confect the sacrament of Confession and the Eucharist validly or licitly with the permission and the authority of the Catholic Church? Of course not! They do not have this authority either to consecrate the Eucharist licitly, or to absolve from sins validly or licitly, as we have proved! Please look at the following dogmas of the Church carefully, and see how heretics are outside the Church of Christ.
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, "Cantate Domino," 1441, ex cathedra: "The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives"
Here we can see that all Catholics are bound under pain of mortal sin to believe that a heretic is outside the Catholic Church. Here are some other testimonies from the Magisterium which affirm this fact.
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, "Cantate Domino," 1441: "Therefore the Holy Roman Church condemns, reproves, anathematizes and declares to be outside the Body of Christ, which is the Church, whoever holds opposing or contrary views."
Pope Pius XII, MysticiCorporisChristi (# 23), June 29, 1943: "For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy."
Pope Leo XIII, SatisCognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: "The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and aliento the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium."
Pope Leo XIII, SatisCognitum (# 9): "No one who merely disbelieves in all can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single heresy he is not a Catholic."
Pope Innocent III, Eiusexemplo, Dec. 18, 1208: "By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which we believe that no one is saved."
This last solemn profession of faith by Pope Innocent III in Eiusexemplo, demonstrates how foreign to Catholic belief - that is to say, how heretical - is the idea that a heretic can be inside the Church. Nevertheless, this is exactly the idea proposed by individuals who assert that heretics – somehow – have authority to licitly administer the sacraments. And since it is a dogma that a heretic cannot be inside the Church, it is a dogmatic fact (a fact which if it were not true would render a dogma false) that a heretic cannot have any authority in the Church.
Pope Leo XIII, SatisCognitum (#15), June 29, 1896: "it is absurd to imagine that he who is outside can command in the Church."
Therefore, it is most certain that a heretic cannot consecrate the Eucharist licitly or administer the sacrament of Confession validly or licitly, because it is absurd to imagine that one who is outside can command in the Church.
Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 22), June 29, 1943:"Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed."
MAJOR HERETICAL OBJECTIONS
FOURTH LATERAN COUNCIL
FIRST OBJECTION: "Pope Innocent III, in the Fourth Lateran Council, teaches that heretics must first be pointed out before one is bound to stop going to them for religious purposes. So there."
ANSWER TO THE FIRST OBJECTION: The perverted, out of context quote with perverted out of context commentary, as presented by the deceiving heretics:
"Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 3, On Heretics, 1215: “Moreover, we determine to subject to excommunication believers who receive, defend or support heretics […] If however, he is a cleric, let him be deposed from every office and benefice, so that the greater the fault the greater the punishment. If any refuse to avoid such persons AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN POINTED OUT BY THE CHURCH [postquam ab ecclesia denotati fuerint], let them be punished with the sentence of excommunication until they make suitable satisfaction. Clerics should not, of course, give the sacraments of the Church to such pestilent persons nor give them a Christian burial…”"
Notice the smoke and mirrors […] where they whip out the Latin and say: "Look at this part here! Focus in on this only because if you read the whole thing you'll see we are perverting what the pope decreed when we claimed this was referring to heretics!" But now let us see the whole paragraph and let us examine what it REALLY says:
Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council (Tanner Edition): "Catholics who take the cross and gird themselves up for the expulsion of heretics shall enjoy the same indulgence, and be strengthened by the same holy privilege, as is granted to those who go to the aid of the holy Land. Moreover, we determine to subject to excommunication believers who receive, defend or support heretics."
Alright, the pope just said that those believers (not heretics) who receive defend or support heretics are to be excommunicated…
Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, continued: "We strictly ordain that if any such person, after he has been designated as excommunicated,"
Keep in mind that we are still talking about non-heretical believers who have been excommunicated for in some way helping a heretic.
Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, continued: "We strictly ordain that if any such person, after he has been designated as excommunicated, refuses to render satisfaction within a year, then by the law itself he shall be branded as infamous and not be admitted to public offices or councils or to elect others to the same or to give testimony. He shall be intestable, that is he shall not have the freedom to make a will nor shall succeed to an inheritance. Moreover nobody shall be compelled to answer to him on any business whatever, but he may be compelled to answer to them. If he is a judge sentences pronounced by him shall have no force and cases may not be brought before him; if an advocate, he may not be allowed to defend anyone; if a notary, documents drawn up by him shall be worthless and condemned along with their condemned author; and in similar matters we order the same to be observed. If however he is a cleric, let him be deposed from every office and benefice, so that the greater the fault the greater be the punishment. If any refuse to avoid such persons AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN POINTED OUT BY THE CHURCH [postquam ab ecclesia denotati fuerint], let them be punished with the sentence of excommunication until they make suitable satisfaction. Clerics should not, of course, give the sacraments of the Church to such pestilent persons nor give them a Christian burial…"
"If he be a cleric," a cleric who is NON-heretical and has been excommunicated for in some way helping a heretic. Do you see how clearly they have perverted the meaning of this council? The heretics want it to speak about heretics, since it suits their purpose of going to other heretics for the sacraments, but anyone but a liar can see that it is not speaking about a heretic, but a believer "who receive, defend or support heretics."
There are two points to look at here. The first point is that these actions of supporting, defending or receiving heretics aren’t evil in themselves, but rather charitable if done rightly. The second point is that a believer can be in good faith regarding heretics. Helping a heretic doesn’t necessarily mean that the person agreed with the heretic or that he himself was a heretic or that he even knew he was helping a heretic. That’s why the council declares these people as “believers,” who “receive, defend or support heretics...” And since there are many ways of defending, supporting and receiving heretics that doesn’t necessarily involve heresy or schism, one cannot conclude (as heretics do), that one can go to undeclared (excommunicated) heretical or schismatical priests for the sacraments, that one know are heretics or schismatics, until the Church has made Her sentence on them, as their excuse is.
There are many examples one could give to show that a believer who receives, defends or even supports heretics isn’t heretical himself:
For can a believer receive a heretic into his home for the purpose of converting him? Of course he can!
Can the same believer in good faith and charity have compassion on a heretic who doesn’t have the means to financially support himself or his family? Absolutely! (The believer should of course, if he is aware of this person's heresy, wish to use this charity or support as a carrot or incentive in order to bring the heretic, schismatic or apostate into the Church again.)
And can a believer be in material heresy regarding a doctrine of the Church and unknowingly, defend the heretical position of a heretic? Absolutely!
As we have seen, these actions by the believer were neither heretical nor schismatical but charitable (if done in good faith). A believer can thus do well towards others without understanding that he actually might do harm or give greater scandal. That is why, according to the said council, they (the supporters) are to be avoided only after they have been pointed out by the Church, and their true intention have been revealed. For just as a person can do these things unknowingly and in good faith, so too can a person do these things out of compassion - not only for the heretic - but for the heresy held by him as well. A person who thus have compassion with a heresy held by a heretic - rather than compassion for the heretical person - is himself also a heretic, since he agrees with his heretical position and supports it. And if a believer was to become aware that a supporter of a heretic was agreeing with his heresy or supporting it, then he are to avoid him as a heretic since there is no need then to await the Church’s declaration to reveal the ‘supporters’ inner intentions. This is the reason why the Church doesn’t automatically declare these people who "receive, defend or support heretics" – as heretics – that absolutely must be avoided "until they have been pointed out by the Church."
That’s why it’s extremely dishonest for people to use the Fourth Lateran CouncilorSt. Thomas Aquinas (next objection) as an argument for receiving communion or confession from an obstinately heretical priest (whom you know to be a heretic) for the Council clearly doesn’t teach that. In fact, it is a mortally sinful distortion of the truth taught in it!
Furthermore, it's very dishonest to pronounce the sentence of the Church as a basis of avoiding heretics in these times, when the Church and Her hierarchy no longer is visible or accessible for Catholics. Even those instances (like with sinful priests) where the Church would have judged normally, are today abrogated by the law or principle of epikeia, since there are no valid or non-heretical hierarchy in existence in the Church today. Epieikeia or Epikeia, meaning “equity,” is the name for the canonical principle that merely Church laws, a.k.a. ecclesiastical laws or disciplinary laws, can cease to bind in particular cases which were not envisioned by the lawgiver. This term can be found in any book dealing with these subjects. This principle does not apply to dogmatic teachings of faith or morals, but laws instituted by the Church for the governance of its members. That is why we today are even forced to make these judgments about sinful priests by our own judgment and by our own authority since there are no valid Church hierarchy. Thus, when WE see someone hold a heretical belief, we must by our own judgment and reason, judge him to be a heretic, and avoid him as such. Again, if we have the knowledge and reason to know or spot heresy, then we are to use that knowledge; for doing otherwise would be a sin against the Faith.
Pope Pius XII, MysticiCorporisChristi (# 23), June 29, 1943: "For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy."
It’s perfectly understandable if a person lacks knowledge to detect finer or more specific heresies that people can be material "heretics" about and which doesn't entail rejecting the natural law or the essential mysteries that all must know about. However, if you know your priest to be a heretic, then you must avoid him as such. If you don’t know that your priest is a heretic and you haven’t put much effort in finding out if he is, then find out if he is; and if he isn’t a heretic, then you can go to him (as long as he isn’t professing external communion with other heretics, as most priests do, who holds the notorious arch heretic Benedict XVI as the "Pope"). Such a priest is to be assumed to be a heretic (even though he doesn’t seem to hold to any other heresy), for the fact of him professing external communion with a notorious heretic. We assume that priest to be a heretic in the very same way we would assume as a heretic a person who enters a protestant church (who then is to be assumed to be a protestant heretic) for being in communion with other protestant heretics (even if there is a slight possibility of him being only a material heretic). Yes, there is a possibility that your priest is unaware of all the heresies that are promoted by Benedict XVI and Vatican II. In fact, there is a slight possibility that anyone who has been baptized - whatever "Christian" church building he may enter – may be a material heretic (as long as he doesn't contradict the natural law or the essential mysteries), although this scenario is very unlikely.
However, if you would have pointed out the true position regarding Vatican II and Benedict XVI to (for example) an independent priest who seem to hold to no heresy (at least outwardly), and who are not in communion with any other heretical society, and the priest, after having been presented with the evidence, yet obstinately continued to accept Benedict XVI as the "Pope" or Vatican II and the Novus Ordo “Church” as the true Catholic Church, then his heresy would have become manifested and you would be forced to avoid him. Thus, we must both avoid the priest whom we find out to be a heretic, and the priest whom we see profess external communion with other manifest heretics. This is a truth of faith that is further taught by St. Robert Bellarmine:
St Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, lib. IV, c. 9, no. 15.: For men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple, and condemn him as a heretic.”
We do not sin by assuming someone to be a heretic (even if absolute proof is absent) if he by his external works reveals this possibility to be true. For when we make an assumption, we do not judge anything in a conclusive way. This method of thinking is not to be applied with other happenings that may occur to man through life (or even with material heresy in regards to faithful Catholics who can and may be erring on certain finer points of Faith). We are not to assume or judge on those things without clear irrefutable evidence, since most happenings in life are neither heretical nor sinful. But notorious or external signs of heresy or schism on graver points on the other hand, are mortally sinful and separates a soul from God. Heresy kills souls!
However, to judge someone as a definitive heretic for believing in baptism of desire (for example) - would be to go too far and to judge falsely, if you first failed to ask him what he thought or knew about it. For it could very well be that he is a material heretic (if his version of baptism of desire only concerns people or catechumens who already believe in Christ) and not as the heretics believe, who applies it to everyone, including pagans and people who reject Christ. A person becomes a heretic or schismatic by obstinately refusing to accept a position he knows the Church teaches. Thus, if he has been presented false or non-infallible evidence against baptism of desire, and he still is uncertain, it is possible that he is a material "heretic" (as long as he does not deny the necessity of belief in Jesus Christ for salvation.) He may not have fully understood what the Church teaches on this matter, and if he is uncertain and not obstinate, he may still be a material heretic.
A priest, however, who rejects Christ, by believing in universal salvation for everyone, including pagans and people that hate or even reject Christ such as the Jews or the Muslims - such a case would of course be an obvious one - for it is of divine law that every Christian must hold the belief in Jesus Christ as essential for Salvation. The same goes for the doctrine concerning the Trinity and the Incarnation. The number of these so called priests of Satan, who holds the belief in Jesus Christ and his Church as meaningless, are almost innumerable these days. All these so called priests must of course be totally avoided and condemned, even if, perhaps, your very good "friend" tells you otherwise. For you know very well in your heart that this is true.
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Athanasian Creed, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: “Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity. – But the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity…
“But it is necessary for eternal salvation that he faithfully believe also in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ...the Son of God is God and man... This is the Catholic faith; unless each one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”