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Fr Leonard Feeney: A Sickness of Soul
Introibo Ad Altare Dei (March 16, 2020)

Note:This text was written by the author of the Introibo Ad Altare Dei blog found at:

Though I may not agree with everything the author presents in his article, I do extend my appreciation to him for the excellent work in providing this detailed/shocking information on the controversial Jesuit … Father Leonard Feeney (1897-1978). I trust that others will find this article to be an eye-opener as well.

A Sickness of Soul

Since Vatican II, ecumenism is the driving force behind the sect the Robber Council created. One can easily see how bad things became with the Assisi interfaith Prayer abominations, and "cardinals" (like Donald Wuerl pictured above) with the pagan Dali Lama, totally unconcerned about converting heathens since "proselytism is solemn nonsense." Before the Modernists took control of the once Catholic church buildings, they started sowing the seeds of ecumenism prior to the Council. Modernism was driven underground by the great Pope St. Pius X, who in spite of his most noble and extraordinary efforts, could not extirpate the "synthesis of all heresies" as he called it.

After World War II, Catholics in the United States were exposed to different religions as never before. They became less concerned with what their non-Catholic friends believed as long as they were "nice." It became hard for many to conceive of God letting those outside the One True Church go to Hell. Seeing an opening, the crypto-Modernists in the clergy and religious orders began a brilliant campaign to get ecumenism in the minds of the faithful by distorting a Catholic truth. Fr. "Love the World" and Sister "Mary Sunshine" would tell people that they need not worry about the fate of non-Catholics because they would all (or almost all) be saved by Baptism of Desire (BOD).

In reaction to this distortion of Catholic teaching, a Jesuit priest from Boston, Fr. Leonard Feeney, began a pernicious error; he began denying that BOD and BOB were part of the Church's teaching regarding Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (i.e., "Outside the Church there is no salvation"). I've written on his followers ("Feeneyites") many times before, but this post will be different. I recently read a book, published in 1979, entitled Walled In. I've often wondered why modern day Feeneyites (like the infamous Dimond Brothers) tend to exhibit disturbing characteristics, such as calling anyone who disagrees with them "liars" and "heretics." If you point out an error in what they write, supported by facts, they will simply respond that "it's not true" without any evidence to back up their claim (and after calling you a "liar").

Nevertheless, the book I read by Robert Connor (real name Robert Colopy) whose parents were followers of Feeney, chilled me to the bone. I was so disturbed by what I read, I did further research on the topic of Fr. Feeney and his original followers back before Vatican II. I am convinced by the manifest weight of the credible evidence that Colopy's ordeal (subtitled "The True Story of a Cult") is accurate.

My friend, Mr. Steven Speray, (whose blog Catholicism in a Nutshell I highly recommend) has written extensively against the Feeneyite error. He once told me that Feeneyites have a certain "sickness of soul." I think he hit the nail on the head more accurately than he imagined. This will be the most difficult post I've ever written because the content is truly shocking and ominous, but it is a tale that needs to be told. What you will read is the story of a priest who was either mentally deranged, demon possessed, or pure evil. However, given the large number of people who only know Feeney for his heresy, I believe it is a narrative that needs to be told.

WARNING: The content of this post contains descriptions of child abuse and other behaviors that many will find highly disturbing (as I did).
Reader discretion is strongly advised.

From Loyal Priest to Maniacal Heretic

Leonard Feeney was born on February 18, 1897, in Massachusetts. He entered the novitiate of the Jesuits in 1914 and was ordained a priest on June 20, 1928. In the 1930s, he was literary editor at the Jesuit magazine, America. He became a professor at Boston College, and soon became the chaplain at the Catholic Saint Benedict Center at Harvard Square in 1945. Soon after, he started preaching against Baptism of Desire (BOD) and Baptism of Blood (BOB). He gained a large following. His Jesuit superiors ordered him to leave the Center for a post at the College of the Holy Cross, but after initially going there, he returned to the Center and repeatedly refused to comply with the order. Feeney was summoned to Rome to answer for his teachings, but he staunchly refused to go. On February 13, 1953, Fr. Feeney was solemnly excommunicated by Pope Pius XII.

Despite the claims of many of his followers that he was some learned scholar, Fr. Feeney never held either a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD), or a Doctorate in Canon Law (JCD). His early writings were devotional works. In 1934 he published a collection of essays entitled Fish on Fridays which became a best seller. In it, he made it known he believed that it was possible for a Protestant to be saved (but not as a Protestant, of course, but as a Catholic received in the Church by that rare miracle of BOD). His later works, most notably Bread of Life (1952), set forth his false teachings. Theologian Salaverri, makes it clear that to be considered a theologian, that cleric's works must be known for "...orthodoxy of doctrine...at least to this extent recognized by the Church that their writings are used by the faithful and the schools, with the knowledge of and with no opposition from the Magisterium of the Church." (See Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa, Vol. IB, pg. 327, #857; Emphasis mine). Obviously, Fr. Feeney, a gifted writer, could not be considered either a theologian or canonist ( i.e., Church-approved expert in Canon Law). Once a faithful priest, Fr. Feeney turned from the teaching of the Church which he held on BOD and BOB.

Interestingly, the heresy he left as his legacy, and which bears his name ("Feeneyism"), was never taught as 99% of his adherents teach it today. Feeney taught serious, and illogical, errors involving Justification and Salvation. Justification is the passage from the state of sin to the state of sanctifying grace; salvation is the passage out of this earthly life and persevering to the end in the state of sanctifying grace so as to merit Heaven (either directly, or after time in Purgatory). The Sacrament of Baptism imparts an indelible character on the soul, such that it cannot be repeated. Feeney taught that the character was necessary for salvation. This has never been the teaching of the Church. If a validly baptized person commits mortal sin, they retain the baptismal character, but not sanctifying grace. The two are distinct and separable. In Bread of Life, pg. 118, Feeney writes, "Justification is now being turned into salvation with the aid of water."

If someone is justified, they have sanctifying grace. Baptism cannot turn anything "into salvation." This would mean you are somehow assured of going to Heaven as "justification by faith alone" Protestants falsely teach. On pg. 25 of his book we read: "...Baptism of Water, or damnation! If you do not desire that Water, you cannot be justified. And if you do not get it, you cannot be saved." Finally, as a "Q and A" format, Feeney presents his heretical teaching very clearly:

Q. What does Baptism of Desire mean?

A. It means the belief in the necessity of Baptism of Water for salvation, and a full intent to receive it.

Q. Can Baptism of Desire save you?

A. Never.

Q. Could Baptism of Desire save you if you really believed it could?

A. It could not.

Q. Could it possibly suffice for you to pass into a state of Justification?

A. It could.

Q. If you got into the state of justification with the aid of Baptism of Desire,' and then failed to receive Baptism of Water, could you be saved?

A. Never.

In other words, you can have sanctifying grace, but die and go to Hell unless you receive Baptism by Water! A person in sanctifying grace is a child of God with the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in his soul. How could such a person go to Hell? They can't. Fr. Feeney on pg. 125, "I myself would say, my dear children, that a catechumen who dies before Baptism, is punished." Really? The 1917 Code of Canon Law states in Canon 1239, section 2, "Catechumens who, through no fault of their own, die without baptism, are to be treated as baptized." The commentary on this canon expressly states the reason. "The reason for this rule is that they are justly supposed to have met death united to Christ through baptism of desire." (See canonists Abbo and Hannon, The Sacred Canons, 2:493).

Modern day Feeneyites (such as the Dimond Brothers of "Most holy Family Monastery") realize the illogical position of Feeney, and so teach that without Baptism of water, no one is saved or justified. While more logically consistent (although totally false), they do not believe as Fr. Feeney did, but "improve" upon his teaching---a teaching demonstrably illogical as well as out of line with the teaching of the Church.

Feeney's Fanatics

I'm very careful when using the word "cult." I only use it in connection where there is some form of coercion used to get people in a religion or to prevent people from leaving. Hence, Lutheranism is a false sect, but Scientology is a cult. What Fr. Feeney and his followers did in the 1940s can only be described as a cult.

Fr. Feeney established the "Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary" (a "religious Congregation" known by the Latin initials "MICM") without ecclesiastical approval and aided by a married laywoman, Mrs. Catherine Clarke, on January 17, 1949. She took the name of "Sr" Catherine, and continued to live with her husband, Hank. Most of the members of the MICM were married and had children. They took vows of obedience and chastity, and the vow of obedience was to Feeney himself. As a Jesuit priest, no one can make vows of obedience to him. He was not the General Superior of the Order, nor a bishop with Ordinary jurisdiction, nor did he receive special permission by the Vatican or Pope Pius XII.

Canon 542 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law makes it very plain that "Married persons for the duration of their marriage...are invalidly admitted to the novitiate." (See Abbo and Hannan, op. cit., 1: 559, 558.) This means that they cannot become religious as long as their spouse is alive even though they may be "separated" and even if "the other spouse consents that his spouse may enter religion." (Ibid., 1: 560). A few more points are in order of how contrary this goes against Church law:

  • Canon 492, section 1, requires the approval of a bishop for the Constitutions of a new religious Congregation, and said bishop must first consult the Holy See. If the bishop obtains permission of the Holy See, he must then sign and publish a formal document of erection for the Congregation. (See canonists Woywood and Smith, A Practical Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law, pgs. 206-207). None of this was done.

  • Feeney "established" his so-called "Congregation" (and declared himself a member of it) prior to his expulsion from the Jesuits. Under Canon Law, no one may belong to one Congregation or Order while belonging to another. Even if Feeney had been expelled first, he still could not take valid vows in any Congregation or Order without an Indult from the Holy See. According to canonists Creusen and Ellis, under the heading Impediments to Valid Admission [to a religious Order or Congregation], we read that one category includes: "Those who are or have been bound by the bonds of religious profession. Whoever has left a religious institute after taking vows, even only temporary ones, cannot validly re-enter the same institute, nor be admitted validly into any other institute, without an Indult from the Holy See. It makes no difference whether the person in question was dismissed, left of his own accord, during, or after his time of profession." (See Religious Men and Women in Church Law, [1958], pg. 139). Applied to Feeney, he was a member of the Jesuit Order at the time he "professed" himself a member of MICM, which wasn't even properly established and recognized by the Church. He also never had any Indult from the Holy See. His vows were absolutely null and void as per Canon Law.

  • As to the twelve (12) married couples becoming "nuns" and "brothers," canonist Fanfani teaches that it is no longer permissible (under the 1917 Code) for married couples to validly enter the religious life while their spouse is alive. "Mention is no longer made in the Code of the possibility on the part of married persons of entering religion by mutual agreement. It therefore seems valid to conclude that once a true marriage has been contracted the parties fall under the diriment (i.e., "invalidating") impediment which prevents their entrance into religion." (See Catechism on the Religious State: In Conformity with the Code of Canon Law, [1955], pg. 31). Only a Papal Indult from Pope Pius XII could dispense from such a requirement as the pope can dispense from any prohibition in Canon Law that is not also part of the Divine Positive Law and/or Natural Law. None of the twelve couples ever received such papal permission.

The result is clear. Feeney started a phony, non-Canonical "Congregation," wherein all the vows of the members were null and void as to the married couples and Feeney himself. It is questionable (at the least) as to the validity of vows taken by single men and women to a "Congregation" not recognized by the Church, and as of February 13, 1953, run by a cleric (Feeney) who was solemnly excommunicated by Pope Pius XII and was therefore not part of the Church. He could not licitly offer Holy Mass, administer the sacraments, preach, and he could not validly absolve anyone from sin except in danger of death. I will deal with the Feeneyite canards that their founder was either (a) not validly excommunicated, or (b) excommunicated for disobedience, but not for his teaching denying BOD and BOB in another section of this post.

What is really awful is what happened to the children. There were thirty-nine (39) children of these "married religious" who were raised in a wacky commune built for the "Congregation." The MICM bought some houses and erected a fence around them. Fr. Feeney and "Sr." Catherine (sometimes referred to as "Mother" just as Feeney was known simply as "Father") ran the place in dictatorial fashion. Unlike Catherine Clarke and the others, only Feeney was recognized by the Church as a validly ordained priest who, until his expulsion, was a member of a true religious order, the Jesuits. The rest were all "self-appointed" as "nuns" and "brothers." They continued to call their "community" St. Benedict's Center (SBC).

One such couple that got into this madhouse was Mr. John Colopy and his wife Loretta. They were overwhelmed by Feeney's charismatic appeal and fiery speeches. Loretta, in particular, wanted to join and was willing to leave her fiancee if he didn't join. Married in 1949 by Fr. Feeney, they were given the "religious names" of "Brother Mark" and "Sister Mary Agnes." They had five children by 1954; Michael, Benedict, Matthew, Paul, and Robert. While their family was growing, Feeney had been both expelled from the Jesuits and excommunicated by Pope Pius XII for his false teachings.

Drinking Feeney's Kool-Aid

This section of my post is compiled from several sources, including Feeneyite author Gary Potter, who defends Feeney both personally and as to his teachings in his book After the Boston Heresy Case. ("The Boston Heresy Case" was the name given to the conflict between Feeney and the Vatican by some in the media). The book Walled In: The True Story of a Cult, was authored by Robert Colopy, one of the 39 children who was writing under the pen name "Robert Connor." Two sources, Joseph D. McLellan's article originally published on January 21, 1965, Father Charges Feeney Sect Alienated Tots (See https://thecatholicnewsarchive.org/?a=d&d=CTR19650121-01.1.2&), and Little Sister [2019] by Patricia Walsh Chadwick who was also one of the 39 children, corroborate much of what Colopy wrote. Taken together, it paints one damning picture of Feeney and his twisted followers. Whenever a member of the MICM cult is given the title "Sr." or "Br." I will write them without quotation marks for the sake of brevity; only Feeney's title of Fr. or Father is authentic.

In 1954, Feeney demanded the vow of celibacy from the married "religious." All children born or adopted by his followers (Catherine and Hank Clarke had two adopted children), had to live apart from their parents and Feeney would "raise and educate them" communally together with Sr. Catherine. According to Feenyite author Gary Potter, in his book After the Boston Heresy Case, "The children's parents effectively ceased to exist as parents to the children, and more so as a child grew from three to five to ten and older. Care was taken that the children had no direct or special contact with their parents, save on a half-dozen major feast days during each year when the entire community would gather for socializing. On these occasions the children might chat with their parents, but after a certain time, the parents were seen by the children as scarcely more than another Big Brother or Big Sister." (pg. 171 [1995 ed.]; Emphasis mine).

What happened to them can justly be deemed child abuse, on this basis alone. Children have a right by Natural and Divine Law to be raised by their married parents, and not reared as "siblings" of wannabe "nuns" and "brothers."

The 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1013 section 1 states, "The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children. It’s secondary end is mutual help and the allaying of concupiscence." (Emphasis mine). The raising and education of children is the responsibility of the parents, not Fr. Feeney. The children were referred to as "Little Brothers" and "Little Sisters." Their parents were known only by their religious names, not "mom and dad." As a matter of fact, the children were forbidden to call their parents by anything other than their "religious" names, and they were told it was wrong to be "too attached" to any person. John Colopy (Br. Mark) had one of his children innocently ask him, "Mister, are you my father?"

The Abusive and Strange Happenings in "Feeney-Town"

  • Fr. Feeney was convinced that the "outside world" (i.e., all those not in SBC) were evil and out to get both him and his followers.

  • Therefore, no one was allowed to read newspapers, listen to the radio, watch movies, or have any contact with those outside SBC.

  • As a way to keep their activity secret, they developed strange code words. Morning Mass offered by Feeney was to be called "First Breakfast," Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the evening was called "Tea," and the Blessed Sacrament Itself was called "D.N." for "Dominus Noster"---"Our Lord."

  • Every child was assigned an "Angel" (so-called nun) to watch over them and punish them for the slightest infraction of the rules.

  • Punishment included being sent to Br. Isidore, who was called "B.P." for "Big Punisher." Punishments included being cracked over the buttocks repeatedly with a two by four (wooden plank), being punched with closed fists, getting ten lashes with a long black rubber hose across the bare back and stomach which left left marks, and being repeatedly beaten with a belt in front of the other Little Brothers and Little Sisters to show them what happens when you disobey a rule of Feeney (Father) and/or Sr. Catherine Clarke (Mother). It was done to "save them from Hell."

  • The children were told an angel from heaven would be watching them at "First Breakfast" and if they didn't pay attention, the angel would report back to God so that they would get an especially painful place to burn in Hell forever if they did not confess to Father right away and change their ways.

  • One boy suffered from nocturnal enuresis (i.e., nighttime bed wetting) and instead of being taken to the doctor, was accused of "disobedience" when he was told to stop but couldn't help himself. In order to make him stop wetting the bed, the B.P. beat him in front of the other kids with the belt. When that didn't work, he was given only bread and water to eat for days, then scalded with hot water, and even burned with matches.

  • The children were told not to get close to anyone emotionally, including their parents. "Particular friendships" were forbidden by Sr Catherine. The children were not allowed to have real friendships with each other and were punished if their "Angel" thought they were becoming friendly with anyone. Particular friendships were "worldly" and "sinful."

  • When someone from the "outside world" would criticize something Feeney said (usually when he was out protesting against Cardinal Cushing), Feeney would blasphemously make the sign of the cross over them and say in English, "I curse you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

  • Even prior to Vatican II, Feeney did not allow any member of MICM to attend the Mass of any other priest, as they were all "heretics" and part of the "evil world."

  • Feeney would refer to His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, as a "dirty WOP." (WOP, meaning "without a passport," is a degrading and derogatory ethnic slur used against Italians).

Defending the Indefensible

If the above section seems too horrific to be true, it is actually mentioned in Feeneyite author Gary Potter's aforementioned book. Below is what he had to say on Colopy's book, in his work After the Boston Heresy Case. Potter read the book, and his attempted defense of overt child abuse is so outlandish, it makes you wonder how any person with an ounce of reason and morality could possibly write such absurdities. It is difficult to grasp the extent to which Feeneyites will go in order to sanitize their founder. Potter never claims that Colopy's account of the abuse was either false or exaggerated. He also refers to the abuse as mere "corporal punishment" without further description. Since Walled In was not a best seller, Potter was probably hoping that his readers would not have (or take the time to locate) the book.

  • [Potter] The punishments inflicted by SBC were no different than public schools in California.

    The situation [involving hitting children] was far different in the 1950s. It was not merely Center [SBC] children who were strictly disciplined. children in general were subject to more discipline than today [1995]. Even public school teachers were permitted in most states to inflict corporal punishment in loco parentis. The present writer [Potter] vividly remembers his sixth grade public school teacher, a man in his thirties, sternly reading the relevant empowering paragraphs from the state code to the class. However, in my elementary school, corporal punishment was usually inflicted by the principal, who was a male, at least when it came to the punishment of boys. The principal used a wooden paddle about the size of a heft of a cricket bat. You dropped your trousers and bent over the principal's desk, and there was no talk about "this hurts me more than it does you." Parents were informed of such punishment ex post facto [after the fact]. (pgs. 189-190 of the 2011 edition)

I'm surprised Potter didn't analogize to beating and killing your slave without any problems back in the South prior to the Civil War. Just because something was done in the past doesn't necessarily make it right, and does anybody really believe that what Potter described is in any way similar to the abuse described at SBC?

  • [Potter] The punishments inflicted by SBC were no different than public schools in California.

    "Connor" (Colopy's pen name) undercuts himself by his admission 'I had lived my life under strict discipline for for the first twenty-one years, and when I finally left, that self-discipline helped me to make the adjustment. The habit of hard workand single-mindedness helped me to graduate from MIT, complete a Master's degree at Stanford (in electrical engineering) and land a job at a large electronics corporation.' (He did not mention that his MIT tuition was paid by the Center).” (pg. 191; 2011 ed.)

Some background information. Robert Colopy was highly intelligent and was beaten less severely than most of the other 39 children. He had an unusually strong will produced by the fear of the beatings he witnessed and the fear of Hell, which he says in his book was constantly used to make the children fearful, and became a form of psychological abuse. Everything not to the liking of Feeney and Clarke was labeled "mortal sin." John Colopy, finally got up the courage to leave, and with the help of Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan of Worcester, obtained lawyers to successfully sue to get his five children back in 1965. Robert had a hard time adjusting and remained in contact with SBC against his father's concerns. Robert broke all ties in 1970, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, became an agnostic. (I was unable to verify if he is still alive. If so, he will turn 71 this year). I was unable to verify from any other source that Colopy's MIT tuition was paid for by SBC. Even if, ad arguendo, that happened, it does nothing to vitiate the heinousness of the abuse perpetrated at the SBC. There are many victims of the Vatican II clergy abuse who went on to be successful. (I personally know one who became a high ranking NYC police detective). Does that mean sodomizing children can make them successful? Beatings are somehow OK if you get educated and make money at the expense of losing your faith?

  • [Potter] Raising children "communally" has "difficulties".

    “Unquestionably, his [Colopy's] book offers a picture--probably a fairly accurate one---of some of the difficulties that arise when the communal upbringing of children is attempted by any group.” (pg. 191; 2011 ed.; Emphasis mine)

Bringing up children communally is contrary to Natural and Divine Positive Law (and Canon Law). The parents have an obligation to raise and educate their children not some "commune." Declaring that physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual abuse is a "difficulty" is like saying being held prisoner in a concentration camp is "inconvenient."

  • [Potter] The children at SBC are better off than children of divorced parents.

    “...and after his descriptions of the corporal punishment meted out to Center children, Connor's [Colopy's] real subject is the emotional deprivation felt by a child separated from his natural parents and the difficulties it can produce later in life...Center children, even raised communally (but in a stable environment), could actually have enjoyed greater emotional security than a bride with six fathers (her natural one and five stepfathers) in attendance at her wedding.” (pg. 191; 2011 ed.)

I really had a hard time comprehending how Potter could, in good conscience, call the living Hell at SBC a "stable environment." Potter is not a psychologist and offers no evidence for his assertion that being severely abused is better than being raised in a divorced household with multiple ex-spouses. I guess one could say being beaten until you're permanently disabled is better than being tortured to death, but that in no way justifies the beating or makes it less sinful and morally unconscionable.

More Bizarre and Heretical Theology From Feeney

Apart from his denial of BOD and BOB, Feeney taught other non-Catholic theological nonsense. In Bread of Life, pgs. 97-98, Fr. Feeney writes these most disconcerting words, "I think baptism makes you the son of God. I do not think it makes you the child of Mary. I think the Holy Eucharist makes you a child of Mary. What happens to those children who die between baptism and the Holy Eucharist?...They go to the Beatific Vision. They are in the Kingdom of Mary, but they are not the children of Mary. Mary is their Queen, but not their Mother. They are like little angels. There was a strong tradition in the Church that always spoke of them as 'those angels who died in infancy.' They have the Beatific Vision, and they see the great Queen, but not move in as part of the Mystical Body of Christ...I say: If a child dies after having received baptism, he dies the son of God, but not yet as the child of Mary..."

Baptism makes you part of the One True Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, yet Feeney talks of infants who die after baptism as not moving in Heaven as "part of the Mystical Body of Christ"? They are not true Catholics? Isn't Fr. Feeney contradicting his so-called "strict interpretation" of "Outside the Church no salvation"? The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of Christ, the Invisible Head of the Church, and by extension, to each member of His Mystical Body. How dare Feeney call baptized infants who die before First Communion "not a child of Mary." Note well he never cites to even one approved theologian, canonist, Encyclical, or other authoritative Church declaration in support of his novel ideas--and with good reason: there aren't any. More heresy.

Fr. Feeney was Truly Extra Ecclesiam

The Feeneyites, even today, desperately try to defend Feeney as a "martyr for the Faith." When his excommunication is bought up they will defend both him and his errors by claiming either (a) the excommunication was not valid and/or (b) it was for false charges of disobedience not his theology.

Both claims are false.

  • The decree of excommunication was allegedly defective because it was only signed by a notary.

A notary, in the Church (before the Robber Council), is a type of ecclesiastical lawyer who draws up legal documents. The decree against Fr. Feeney was an oraculum vivae vocis , defined as a legal act which the pope or a Roman congregation first gives orally in an audience or a Plenary Congregation. Such an act is taken down in writing by one of the curial officials present, who afterwards puts it into an appropriate legal form. The oraculum vivae vocis is a standard form for many Roman decrees, including excommunications. For examples, see Acta Apostolicae Sedis, xii (1920), 37; xiv (1922), 379–380; xxii (1930), 517–520.
(See http://www.traditionalmass.org/articles/article.php?id=1&).

  • Fr. Feeney was only excommunicated for disobedience and not for his teachings.

The Letter of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office to Archbishop Richard Cushing of Boston states the following:

This Supreme Sacred Congregation has very carefully followed the beginning and the continuation of the serious controversy raised by certain associates of the St. Benedict Center and of Boston College, concerning the interpretation of tie maxim: "Outside the Church, no salvation".

After having examined all the necessary and useful documents on this subject — among others the file sent by your chancellery, the appeals and reports wherein the associates of the St. Benedict Center expound their opinions and objections, besides many other documents referring to this controversy, collected through the official channels, — the Sacred Congregation has reached the certitude that this unfortunate question was raised because the principle "outside the Church no salvation" has not been well understood or examined and the controversy has become envenomed as a result of a serious lack of discipline on the part of certain members of the aforementioned associations, who have refused to give respect and obedience to the legitimate authorities. (Emphasis mine).

The decree of excommunication against Feeney reads:

Since Father Leonard Feeney remained in Boston (St. Benedict Center) and since he has been suspended from performing his priestly duties for a long time because of his grave disobedience to the Authority of the Church, in no way moved by repeated warnings and threats of incurring excommunication ipso facto, and has still failed to submit, the most Eminent and Reverend Fathers, charged with the responsibility of safeguarding faith and morals, during a plenary session held on February 4, 1953, have declared him excommunicated with all the effects that this has in law.

On Thursday, February 12, 1953, Our Most Holy Father Pius XII, Pope by Divine Providence, has approved and confirmed the decree of these Most Eminent Fathers, and ordered that this be made a matter of public record.

Given in Rome in the general quarters of the Holy Office, February 13, 1953.

Marius Crovini, notary (Emphasis mine).

Note well two facts:

  1. The Holy Office is charged with safeguarding faith and morals, not enforcing discipline.

  2. The decree of excommunication was approved and confirmed by Pope Pius XII and ordered to be published.

Proof of #1 above: According to canonists Abbo and Hannon, "The Sacred Congregation for Religious is exclusively competent in matters affecting the government, the discipline, the studies, the property, and the privileges of religious of the Latin Rite, including religious of both sexes, those of both solemn and simple vows, and members of societies livining in common without vows, as well as members of secular Third Orders." (See The Sacred Canons, [1952], 1:308; Emphasis mine). Hence, if Feeney's problem was merely and exclusively one of disobedience, it would be a disciplinary matter to be handled by The Sacred Congregation for Religious. The Holy Office would not (and could not) involve itself in a purely disciplinary matter.

Proof of #2 above: "In one respect, the Holy Office differs from all the other Congregations in that it exercises both judicial and administrative power, or, at least, may only use judicial power at the request of the parties interested. Thus, the Holy Office in dealing with all matters which directly or indirectly concern faith or morals, will not judge only heresy, but, where it pronounces an adverse judgement, will also apply the canonical punishments incurred by heretics and schismatics." (See theologian Williams, The Catholic Church in Action, [1958], pg. 92). The Holy Office has the authority to excommunicate any person. The Prefect is the pope himself, a "Pro-Prefect" heads the Congregation on a daily basis, but the pope must personally approve all decisions and order them published. Pope Pius XII personally approved the decree of excommunication emanating from the Holy Office and ordered it published.

The letter of solemn excommunication against Father Leonard Feeney was duly published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official publication of the Holy See. Its reference number is 45-100. All laws promulgated through it have binding force with no other form of publication/promulgation being necessary.

The inescapable conclusion is that Fr. Feeney was properly and validly excommunicated for his false teachings.

Who Would Want A Monster like Feeney? The Vatican II Sect.

Eventually, the SBC compound came down. Feeney and Clarke should have been brought up on charges, but they did a good job of hiding behind the First Amendment and the Free Exercise of religion which made the authorities highly reticent to investigate. Ironically, the First Amendment (written by Masons) runs counter to Church teaching regarding separation of Church and State, placing all religions on equal footing. "Fr. EENS" had no problem using it to hide behind and berate the Holy Father, Pope Pius XII.

Once Montini came in, he liked the false pope (notwithstanding being a "WOP" ). Fr. Feeney died "reconciled" to the false Vatican II sect under Paul VI (Montini). He was never made to recant his errors. This "hero" of the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus refused to acknowledge that BOD and BOB are part of that very same dogma! He now finds favor with false pope Paul VI and was spoken of in glowing terms by arch-heretic "Cardinal" Avery Dulles. These heretics promulgated documents which, among other errors, declare false sects to be "a means of salvation." Yet just as Feeney could hold inconsistent views on other topics, so too, he was able to embrace the false sect of universal salvation and offer the Novus Bogus "mass." Leonard Feeney and the Law of Non-Contradiction, never were on speaking terms. ( The Law of Non-Contradiction maintains that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense and at the same time, e.g. "It is raining in NYC right now" and "It is not raining in NYC right now").

As Vatican II sect canon lawyer, Peter Vere (a married layman), responded in a letter to Brother Andre Marie, MICM--a modern Feeneyite and defender of Feeney--which letter was dated May 29, 2007:

There is no question Fr. Feeney died in full communion with the Catholic Church. (sic)

Pope Paul VI lifted Father’s [Feeney's] excommunication while Father was still alive, and there is no evidence that Father recanted his understanding of EENS, BOB, or BOD. The actual lifting of Father’s excommunication was executed by Fr. Richard Shmaruk, a priest of the Boston Archdiocese, on behalf of Bishop Bernard Flanagan of Worcester.

While visiting Boston about ten years ago, I spoke with Fr. Shmaruk and he personally corroborated the events that led to him reconciling Fr. Feeney with the Church. On pages 259 to 262 of his book They Fought the Good Fight, Brother Thomas Mary Sennot diligently chronicles the reconciliation of Fr. Feeney, as well as the subsequent reconciliation of several of Father’s spiritual descendants...Brother Sennottt also notes that Father’s memorial mass was celebrated by Bishop Bernard Flanagan in the Cathedral of St. Paul, Worcester.

This would have given rise to scandal had Father not been fully reconciled with the Church. Br. Sennott’s book received an imprimi potest from Bishop Timothy Harrington of the Diocese of Worcester, meaning the book is free from doctrinal or moral error.

Thus unless one is willing to declare oneself sedevacantist or sedeprivationist, the evidence is overwhelming that Fr. Feeney died in full communion with the Church without recanting his position...

Most of Fr. Feeney’s spiritual descendants have been reconciled with the Church without having to renounce or recant their interpretation of BOB, BOD, or EENS.

(See http://www.catholicism.org/downloads/Peter_Vere_SBC.pdf--- Emphasis mine).

Therefore, the Vatican II sect will allow you to believe that everyone goes to Heaven, or virtually no one goes to Heaven, but only the truth of BOD, BOB and EENS as properly taught by the One True Church is excluded.


This was one of the longest and most difficult posts I've ever written, but I feel it needed to be done. It exposes the founder of the Feeneyites for what he was and was not. He was not qualified as a theologian or canonist, excommunicated for mere "disobedience," and some ersatz "martyr" for sound doctrine.

Feeney started a non-Canonical cult made up of married couples pretending to be "brothers" and "nuns." He made the couples renounce their marital rights and took away their God-appointed duty to raise and educate their own kids. The children were subjected to overwhelming emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual abuse. Colopy lost his faith as did the other author, Chadwick, who now supports "LGBTQIA++" perversion.

Yet the sanitizing falsehoods (and information not given) by modern day Feeneyites---e.g., https://catholicism.org/author/srcatherine, continue unabated. Under the heading of "Sr. Catherine Goddard Clarke," we read:

In 1942 the well-known and loved Jesuit priest, Father Leonard Feeney, became associated with the work of the Center, counseling students, lecturing, and eventually becoming — by general demand, and by appointment from his superiors in the Society of Jesus and the Archdiocese of Boston — the spiritual director of Saint Benedict Center. An author and poet in his own right, Father Feeney was hailed by his Jesuit Provincial as "the greatest theologian we have in the United States by far," and was also acclaimed publicly as "America's Chesterton." Before long, Father was lecturing on Holy Scripture to a packed Center every Thursday evening, while Mrs. Clarke enjoyed equal success with her Monday evening lectures on Church History.

Feeney did not qualify as a theologian by a long shot. They refer to Clarke as both "Sr" and "Mrs" like it is normal to be a "married nun." No mention is made that she abandoned her own two adopted children to "communal living" and presided over the abuse of thirty-nine innocent children. Furthermore, what can honestly be said about a priest who did all these Satanic things? Was Feeney mad, possessed, or just incredibly evil? Let the Feeneyites consider their "beloved founder" in light of the truth. Ironically, Feeney died extra ecclesiam and in the embrace of the Vatican II sect. Whatever may have driven Fr. Leonard Feeney to do such evil, I think my friend Steve Speray said it best---Feeney and his followers have a "sickness of soul."

- Pax Tecum


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