Steven Speray Replies to John Salza and Robert Siscoe’s Nutty Article
February 7, 2016 by Steven Speray
John Salza and Robert Siscoe have done it again. They have completely misrepresented me, got all the facts wrong, and have become the very definition of hypocrisy. The title of their latest childish article is:
SPERAY’S CATHOLICISM IN A NUT HOUSE:
Cracking His Nutty Arguments about
St. Robert Bellarmine One at a Time 
Salza/Siscoe have complained over and over again about sedevacantists using ad hominem attacks, but have no problem of doing the same to me. I personally have no problem with ad hominem, but to use it (and use it excessively) after deriding others for it is hypocritical.
They begin their nutty article with an utter lie. They write:
In fact, Speray ups the ante by even claiming that “Bellarmine’s position requires private judgment.” You read that correctly. Steve Speray claims that St. Robert Bellarmine requires (!) Catholics to individually judge (and decide for themselves) whether or not the Pope, who has been elected by the Church, is the true Vicar of Christ, even if their judgment is contrary to the public judgment of the Church.
What they don’t tell their readers is that I was referring to what John of St. Thomas says against St. Robert Bellarmine. The full quote reads, “John of St. Thomas is also saying that Bellamine’s position requires private judgment for which Salza/Siscoe condemn sedevacantists.”
Just as John of St. Thomas gets Bellarmine wrong about private judgment, Salza/Siscoe get sedevacantists wrong about private judgment. I’ve explicitly repeated in many articles that private judgment is not how popes get into office or how they lose their office. Salza/Siscoe argue throughout their entire article against a position I don’t hold.
I’ve also defined what private judgment means in my article, The Gates of Hell and the Gates of the Church (The Best Defense for Sedevacantism). However, you won’t find Salza/Siscoe defining what they mean by the phrase, because they know they’re actually guilty of doing so against their church. Again, they’re hypocrites.
Salza/Siscoe end their first nutty straw-man argument:
Thus, contrary to Steve Speray’s delusional assertions, Bellarmine, far from requiring Catholics to declare bishops depose by their by private judgment, actually condemns such a practice, and affirms that such a judgment must be made by the Church.
I’ve never said or implied that individuals depose bishops. I totally agree that only the Church deposes bishops. In fact, I’ve explicitly written to Siscoe several times that the Church can’t even depose a pope, much less by private judgment. But Salza/Siscoe have no problem bearing false witness against me in public.
Salza/Siscoe continue to malign me with the tired old argument that Bellarmine required two warnings by repeating his fourth opinion. They write:
Bellarmine explains that one who remains in heresy “after two warnings” thereby shows himself to be “manifestly obstinate,” and, consequently, can be considered a “manifest heretic.” It is clear that this proof of obstinacy (pertinacity) is established by virtue of the “two warnings” (refusing to “hear the Church”) which is the Scriptural authority upon which Bellarmine relies.
As I’ve explained a dozen times, Bellarmine was answering what happens to a manifest heretic. Cajetan is already speaking about a manifest heretic, so there’s no reason for Bellarmine to use St. Paul to demonstrate what is already presumed in Cajetan’s objection. Salza/Siscoe continue by trying to refute the rest of my argument by quoting Bellarmine, then me, and twisting it:
“For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly be taken from him: 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.” (On the Roman Pontiff, 29).
Speray then concludes: “If two warnings are necessary to prove obstinacy and thus a manifest heretic is made, why would he say that a pope doesn’t even have to be a heretic at all, but only appear as one to lose his office? The reason is that St. Robert Bellarmine never said or implied that two warnings were necessary.” Yes, Speray actually argues that a Pope loses his office automatically if he simply appears to be a heretic. He argues that this takes place not upon the judgment of the Church, but according to the private judgment of individual Catholics, and he attributes such an absurdity to a saint and Doctor of the Church.
I didn’t say he lost it automatically. I was pointing to the fact that two warnings aren’t necessary; the point that proves Salza/Siscoe wrong about Bellarmine requiring two warnings.
Salza/Siscoe continue their nutty argument by claiming Liberius lost office by “sede impedita (the inability of the Pope to function as Pope). Liberius was not available to answer any charges of heresy.”
The problem is that’s not what Bellarmine taught. He taught,
“For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: 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 [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic.” 
Salza/Siscoe can’t admit they’re wrong, so they twist the facts and mock me in the process. They continue by saying that I “didn’t want you to see” that the authorities stripped Liberius. It didn’t happen by private judgment. But that wasn’t the issue in the article. The article was dealing specifically about two warnings. However, I wrote about the entire event in my book “Papal Anomalies and Their Implications” providing the full quote on page 37 that Salza/Siscoe claim I didn’t want you to see. They have the book and quoted from it in their article “Sedevacantists Reject Pre-Vatican 2 Popes” misrepresenting me in it as well.
Again, Salza/Siscoe seem to have no conscience lying about me in public. They continue to misrepresent me on Wernz/Vidal and Pope Innocent III. They also misrepresent Wernz/Vidal and Pope Innocent III, so I’m in good company. They don’t deal with the actual teaching of Wernz/Vidal at all, because W/V taught that Salza/Siscoe’s position is indefensible. Again, Wernz/Vidal:
The fourth opinion, with Suarez, Cajetan and others [John of St. Thomas, Fr. Laymann, etc.], contends that a Pope is not automatically deposed even for manifest heresy, but that he can and must be deposed by at least a declaratory sentence of the crime. “Which opinion in my judgment is indefensible” as Bellarmine teaches.
Salza/Siscoe don’t stop there. They play God by judging me guilty of mortal sin. They end their article with, “Steve Speray should either rename his apostolate ‘Speray’s Catholicism in a Nut House,’ or better yet, shut it down completely.”
This translates as I’ve proven them wrong on every point and they can’t stand it. They want me to shut down so that they’ll stop looking like the “gates of hell” that they are. The first thing that came to mind when I read this last sentence was the passage in Holy Scripture that reads, “And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 
Now, I better qualify it, because Salza/Siscoe will twist it to mean that I think I’m Christ now. What I mean is that the devil wants me to quit, like he wanted Our Lord to quit.
 (Book IX, Ch IX, n. 15)
 (Mark 15:29-30)