Fr. Leonard Feeney
by Adam Miller
(Tower of David Ministry)
Fr. Feeney was a priest of the Society of Jesus until, in 1949, he co-founded the religious order, Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Mancipia Immaculati Cordis Mariae), whose acronym is MICM.
This priest was a defender of the unchangeable traditional teaching/doctrine of the Catholic Church. He fought against the false doctrines of Americanism, Liberalism and Modernism, all rampant well before Vatican II Council (1962-1965). Early in his priestly career he was referred to as "the greatest theologian in America" by his Jesuit peers.
Fr. Feeney recognized that the root of the church's inner problems and failure to convert America to the true Faith(and elsewhere throughout the world) was the result of a suppression of the thrice-defined dogma that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. Father Feeney and the members of St. Benedict Center began to preach with great effectiveness this salutary dogma. Many conversions to the Church followed, including the sons and daughters of influential Protestants of the Boston-Harvard area. He was soon after persecuted and villified by his own fellow Jesuits, by fellow churchmen, and by his superiors. He was threatened and expelled from the Jesuit order, censored, threatened with excommunication and left out to hang with what is called a "dry martyrdom". Yet, he did not give in to the enormous pressures to "soften up" on what the Church has infallibly defined as necessary for salvation.
Two books giving an account of this priest's treatment are The Loyolas and the Cabots, by Catherine Goddeard Clark, and After the Boston Heresy Case, by Gary Potter. Published and sold by Catholic Treasures. Another such book is Fr. Feeney and the Truth about Salvation. Brother Robert Mary, MICM, Tert., by the same publisher.
The following is a concise and precise record and outline of the facts of the Father Feeney case.
Fr. Feeney: A Fact Sheet I. Letter of the Holy Office
Fr. Feeney: A Fact Sheet
I. Letter of the Holy Office
On August 8, 1949 a Protocol letter came from the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. It censored Fr. Feeney and the St. Benedict Center for teaching the dogma of no salvation outside the Church in the literal sense (this is, of course, how all defined dogmas must be understood). This letter was signed by Cardinal Marchetti-Selvaggiani and was identified as Protocol No. 122/49. It was formally defective in that it was never published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Acts of the Apostolic See). It is this register alone which confers an official and binding character on a document. And even then, only so long as it meets the proper forms. Consequently, this letter is without any binding effect as an act of the Holy See or any type of official Church document. Its status, then, can only be that of the opinion of one bishop, expressed in a letter to another bishop.
Fr. Feeney was charged with disobedience.
It should be noted that in the demands and threats from this member of the Roman Curia there were six (6) direct violations of Canon Law. Both the appeals and canonical rights of Fr. Feeney were ignored and disregarded. Thus, this whole ordeal is not only suspect, but fallacious and immoral.
II. Decree of Excommunication
On February 13, 1953 a letter of excommunication was released, having no statement at all in it on doctrine, but had as its reason "grave disobedience of Church authority." Though this letter was registered into the Acta, it is formally defective and thus invalid for the following reasons:
III. The Reconciliation
In 1972 Fr. Feeney was supposedly "reconciled" to the Church. If Fr. Feeney truly needed to be reconciled, he would have had to recant his position. Yet, he was never asked to do that. Anyone who is truly excommunicated for heresy must withdraw what they once held and proclaim belief in orthodoxy. But Fr. Feeney was never asked to take back or repent from his teaching on "Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation." Why not? Because those of the Archdiocesan establishment who arranged for the reconciliation knew the facts of the case and that Fr. Feeney was not excommunicated for heresy, but for disciplinary reasons.
In fact, as part of the reconciliation ceremomony, Fr. Feeney was asked to profess one of the three Creeds of the Church. So, without any objection, he devoutly recited the Athanasian Creed. This ancient and venerable creed begins and ends with these solemn words:
Whoever wishes to be saved needs above all else to hold the Catholic Faith; unless each one preserves this whole and entire, he will without a doubt perish in eternity. … This is the Catholic Faith; unless everyone believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.
Therefore, Fr. Leonard Feeney was not excommunicated for teaching that outside the Catholic Church and without submission to the Roman Pontiff no one can be saved. He couldn't be, because the Church herself has dogmatically defined this.
Rather, Fr. Leonard Feeney was unjustly treated and persecuted by fellow churchmen in positions of authority who abused the authority of the offices they held and brought up uncanonical charges of disobedience to this priest of Christ's Church. We conclude, then, with the following summary of those binding and infallible definitions of the Church Magisterium concerning salvation that Father Feeney simply affirmed, taught, and defended as they were solemnly declared:-Outside the Catholic Church there is positively no salvation (Lateran IV: DNZ.430; ; Pope Boniface VIII: Dnz.468-69; [870, 875]; Council of Florence: Dnz.714; ; Pius IX:1716-17; [2916-17])
-The Sacrament of Baptism makes one a member of the Church (Florence: DNZ.696; ; Council of Trent: DNZ.895; );
-Anyone NOT Baptized (sacramentally) is NOT a member of the Catholic Church (Trent: DNZ. 895; ), that is, he is not "truly incorporated into the Church"(Pope Leo IV- Council of Valence III: DNZ. 324);
-Baptism is in water ONLY, the two (water and Baptism) are inseparable, and neither is separable from its link with the other (Pope St. Leo I: Tome-Council of Chalcedon I), and this truth must be confessed as such (Council of Vienne: DNZ.482; ; Trent: DNZ.858; );
-The Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation (Pope Benedict XIV: DNZ 1470) for adults and for children alike (Vienne:DNZ.482; ), and is optional for NO ONE (Trent: DNZ.861; ).
The facts presented in this short article need to be made known so that the good name of Father Leonard Feeney, M.I.C.M., can be restored among Catholics and the immutable dogma of no salvation outside the Catholic Church be once again proclaimed from the housetops.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>(Taken from the Tower of David book, Dogmatic Deception: click Tower of David and scroll down to booklet section)