UPDATED: Balestrieri’s response

UPDATED: Balestrieri’s response

I asked Marc Balestrieri to respond to Fr. Cole’s and Fr. DiNoia’s statements (see below) that they did not know who he was, that he had no contact with the CDF, that he misrepresented who he was. Here is Balestrieri’s reponse in full:

[Update]: Balestrieri has released an updated version of this narrative to include some more detail and background.

This opinion is free to be released to all, because it is the truth. I expect the truth to be spoken and taught high and low in all circumstances, even if the consequences are dire in defense of the Faith and Sacraments.

During the last week in August of this year, I went to Rome to consult a dozen experts, both inside and outside the Vatican, with the goal of building support both theoretically and practically for the case filed against Senator John F. Kerry, in as much as he was a baptized Catholic publicly and stridently professing heresy.

Until then, I had consulted just about everyone except the Vatican in the matter. At the end of my trip, before leaving, I decided to go the the Palazzo del Sant’Ufficio, in the Vatican City State, and request an appointment with the Very Rev. Augustine di Noia, O.P., Undersecretary for the Congregation. This was on 30 August 2004, per Fr. Cole in his letter. Wholly unexpectedly, I “made contact” and was received by the Rev. Diaz Pedro Miguel Funes, 2nd Class “Addetto di Segreteria” as listed on page 1081 of the 2004 Edition of the Annuario Pontificio, the official directory of the Holy See.

As an official member of the Congregation, Fr. Funes explained to me that Fr. di Noia had just come back from the States, and was not available for a meeting. I explained to Fr. Funes that I was a Canon lawyer submitting these dubia strictly seeking a theoretical clarification of the two issues concerned, and confirmation of the conclusions of my research. No names were ever mentioned in the conversation. He and I had a one-half hour long meeting whereby I verbally submitted my dubia to the Congregation. He diligently took them down by handwriting. Fr. Funes then said he would transmit the dubia to Fr. di Noia.

Upon my return to the States, on 9 September 2004, I received a call at approximately 0800 from Fr. Basil Cole, O.P., explaining, I cite, that he had been “delegated” by the Very Rev. Augustine di Noia, O.P. to respond to my queries. That term had been used, as I noted in my journal. Fr. Cole asked me to clarify what the two dubia were which I submitted to the Congregation as he had received a fax from the Vatican which he said was difficult to read. At the completion of our conversation, he further stated that he would have a response for me completed in three days’ time. I sent him an e-mail with the two dubia in Latin as my e-mail records show. I received the Response from Fr. Cole, O.P., as promised. We exchanged correspondence by e-mail on numerous occasions.

  • I also note that everyone in Marc Balestrieri’s account are identified and on the record.

    Another thing I noticed is that apparently there’s been no “contact” disclosed from the Archdiocese of Boston and the Congregation.
    Wouldn’t there have been some contact on the substance of the petition if we are to believe that it is being taken seriously by the Archdiocese?

  • I suspect that Satan is in full force with regards to this issue. When it comes to “Catholic” politicians and abortion, chaos rules. First there was the McCarrick/Ratzinger letter fiasco and now this. The devil is working overtime to confuse and obfuscate.

  • It is incredible what is going on here.

    It is really simple when you really study the whole issue.

    This is all about acting upon the belief of the Faith. The some bishops seem to have doubts.

    No Catholic should receive Holy Communion while in the state of mortal sin. Simple. 

    The priest, true, may not know this so he cannot pass judgement on his own and refuse the Sacrament.
    But, when a Catholic publicly avows his complete endorsement of the whole process of abortion, that Catholic is publicly annnoucing the state of his immortal soul.  One who endorses the murder of innocent life in the womb, is in contradiction to Magisterial Teaching. Is this so difficult for our spiritual leaders to understand.  The faithful do.

    And one who stubbornly and consistently adovates this intrinsically evil moral action is putting oneself into the area of heresy. This according to canon law.  One in heresy is a heritic. Simple.

    The Church does not have to officially annouce that fact.  It is automatic.

    How come some bishops cannot own up to this? At what level of spirituality are they at, anyway????

    Marc Balestrieri certainly outshines many bishops in his level of his relationship with his Lord and Master.

  • Dom,

    While I am sure that this will most certainly work itself out, none of this is formal until there is a pronouncement from a bishop.

    I think that once that happens, then it will be worth the effort.  At this point, I would assert that this is still in the “fact finding” stage.

    I would think until a writ of habeas corpus is guaranteed there should be the utmost respect given to both Kerry and to the Church.

    Again, we have to wait until the bishop states it as so.  Then excommunication can and will be formal.

    While I understand that latae sententiae does not require anything other than the action of the sinner, but we cannot make that determination…that is up to the compitent authority….the bishops.


  • Could the fact that they “did not know who he was” mean that they did not know that he was involved in this canonical process of complaint about Mr. Kerry with the Boston archdiocese?

  • Ditto Blanchard!!

    I can read canon law tho I do not have a degree in canon law.  It doesn’t take a word from “the Vatican” to make this “stick”.  Kerry’s own dioceasan bishop needs to deal with this situation as well as his local parish pastor.  They would have to deal with Kerry personally.
    Therein lies the problem- Kerry has traveled the US attending and receiving Communion in all those dioceses and parishes thereby causing grave scandal not only to CHRIST in the Blessed Sacrament, but also caused scandal for all those Pastors and Priests that have given Kerry Communion.  Also not to mention the scandal and confusion that all have received in the pews in those parishes and pews around the world.  Heresy is heresy.  It’s that simple!

  • The LA archdiocese has stated that Mr. Balestieri has not had the position there he claims to have had.  He was never issued the papers necessary for the position.

  • Chris K:

    It’s Balestrieri and not Balestieri.  Did the Archdiocese of Los Angeles state why there could be confusion over his employment?  Or that Balestrieri needed standing as employee of the tribunal to send a complaint to the Archdiocese of Boston?  I didn’t see anything on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles web site that would confirm or deny his employment.

  • The way the excommunication for abortion works as I understand it, is this:

    Canon 1398 provides that, “a person who procures a successful abortion incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication.” This means that at the very moment that the abortion is successfully accomplished, the woman and all formal conspirators are excommunicated.

    An abortion is defined as “the killing of the foetus, in whatever way or at whatever time from the moment of conception” (Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, published in the “Acts of the Apostolic See” vol. 80 (1988), 1818).

    Conspirators who incur the excommunication can be defined as those who make access to the abortion possible. This certainly includes doctors and nurses who actually do it, husbands, family and others whose counsel and encouragement made it morally possible for the woman, and those whose direct practical support made it possible (financially, driving to the clinic etc.).

    Who could deny that Senators John Kerry, Kennedy and hundreds of others are not complicit in the promotion of procured abortion?

    Someone else besides the USCCB’s Catholic News Service needs to contact Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ask for an interview, and ask the same questions to see what kind of answer they get, substantiating with names of persons and defined titles of their office.

    Moreover, my Canon 751 reads differently than Catholic News Service’s report.

    My Canon 751 reads: “Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and Catholic faith.” (Wilson & LaFleur Itt_author_url>https://www.bettnet.com
    2004-10-20 09:10:47
    2004-10-20 13:10:47
    What happens if Archbishop Ofallible, when they, either assembled in general council or scattered over the earth, propose a teaching of faith or morals as one to be held by all the faithful.”

    There is no difference, there is no conflict in the statement.  Just misreading.

    Of course you are right, about the Holy Father, but also when he is acting in unity with the bishops, he can be infallible too.  That is the Magisterium of the Church and it is infallible as well.


  • You said that if Archbishop O’Malley erroneously denies Communion to someone, then the Church would have been wrong on faith and morals.


    The Church’s teaching is correctse.

  • Part Three (final) to my answer:

    Regarding Camilam’s comments: ‘angry extra-ordinary minister of Holy Communion,’ Camilam is saying EOMHCs have no right to refuse anybody. 

    (This is why the use of EOMHC’s is such a very bad idea to begin with.)

    EOMHCs cannot refuse people who commit ‘private sin’ without the permission of their pastor.  Only the pastor, after counselling with the private sinner, can make that decision.  But, this is entirely different from ‘manifest sinners,’ and ‘private sin’ does not relate at all to Canon 915 and manifest sinners. 

    Remember, the sin must be manifest (known, public), it must be grave, and obstinately persisted in.  If someone who fit this description were coming into town, like a John Kerry, and the EOMHC knew he would come up for Holy Communion tomorrow, the EOMHC would be obligated to refuse this person because the EOMHC cannot follow her pastor nor her bishop in sin.  The EOMHC should resign his position (they are to be used as extra-ordinary ministers only in extra-ordinary instances anyway), rather than sin against God by knowingly giving the Eucharist sacrilegiously to a manifest sinner such as described in c.915.  We obey our pastors and bishops in everything except sin.  The EOMHC, when he stands before God, naked as a JayBird, with no bishop or priest around to defend him, will be responsible for his own actions before Jesus the Just Judge.  Canon 915 puts the burden of deny the Eucharist on the ministers.

    I am sorry, but Ican’t spend anymore time on Camilam’s remarks right now. There are too many that are incorrect.  This is very troubling that there are so many things Camilam is confused on. 

    Please read the articles I suggested; I have written more on this subject than anyone else (over 22 articles since the first one, on the most sorrowful day in Boston of July 30, 2003, when O’Malley allowed sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist by Kennedy and Kerry).  I have had many interviews with Archbishops, bishops, canon lawyers, theologians and have gained much insight on this problem.  I am not bragging, I am asking you to use my experience in this area and read my articles at: [url=http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/kralis]http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/kralis[/url]

    Please know I’m not promoting myself; I promote the truths of the Church contained within these articles.  If you do not realize this, I care not what you think of me.

    Camilam, if don’t know the Church’s teachings, I would suggest you not write, anywhere, as if you had knowledge of the fact, as you do often times.

    You should present your words as questions, and let someone answer your questions for you, because you are wrong so much of the time, that anybody who is uncatechised and reading these threads of conversations would become very misinformed and more confused. I don’t wish to hurt you nor stop your inquiries, but you should become more informed before you write something.  The written word is powerful and we all will be held responsible before God by what we write and say, including myself.
    Barbara Kralis

  • “Even the pope isn’t infallible unless he’s speaking ex cathedra”  Wrong!
    Papal infallibility is an analagous concept, not a univocal concept: it admits of more or less.  The pope is absolutely infallible when he speaks ex cathedra on a matter of faith and morals for the universal Church.  He is less infallible when he speaks to a part of the Church, e.g. the United States.  He is even less infallible when he speaks about the Iraq war. 


  • ELC, I was trying to make the point that in any other way, we can be assured the Holy Father is just as human (and prone to error) as the rest of us.  But I concede that on strict theological parsing, you caught me on that one – we do not know explicitly the extent of the pope’s infallibility; at this time we only know that ex cathedra he is, and in all other things he is not Perfect.  Better? grin

  • Xpost.

    Renatus, I think you went too far there.  As ELC said, infallibility other than ex cathedra has not been defined.

  • Has anyone seen this?

    In the Catholic News Service article, Father di Noia is quoted as saying:

    “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has had no contact with Mr. Balestrieri.”

    In a new article from Reuters:


    … Father di Noia is quoted as saying:

    “I thought I was advising a student who was working on a project. I referred him to a reliable theologian on the matter. I was acting in my capacity as a theologian trying to be helpful to a young person. I had no idea his aim was actually to build a heresy case against John Kerry or against anyone else. I feel that we have been instrumentalized.”

    Is it just me or did Father di Noia contradict himself in the second statement?

    If there is some reasonable way to explain the apparent contradiction in his statements?

  • Barb,

    With all due respect…

    “You clearly put, in this above statement, the bishops above the Pope.  This is wrong.”

    No, I am speaking of collegiality in the matter of the role of the bishops with the Holy Father.  He, of course holds the primacy of Peter.  I have never denied that nor have I put the bishops fist over the pope.

    “You do not understand the canons pertaining to the discipline of the Eucharist.  Canon 915 is only for trying to tell you that, AND AS USUAL YOU ARE NOT LISTENING.

    BTW, individual bishops are not infallible.  Dom is right.  They can and do make horrible blunders all the time, as Boston, Milwaukee, suburban Chicago, ought to have shown you if you were paying attention.

    The fact of the matter is that the Pope is infallible when formally teaching ex cathedra or in council and the bishops corporately (as a body only) can cooperate with him in that.

    Under no circumstances are the bishops infallible, either individually or in groups of any size, without the Pope.  Read the Catechism my friend. 

    Barbara is correct.  You really should try to understand CHurch teaching before you go spouting this nonsense you gush.

  • michigancatholic,

    You advise is right on.  Yes, Cam should read the Catechism plus Vatican II—the chapter IIIa—the Church is hieraarchical—nos 18 thru 22.  Also Fr. John Hardon’s presentation found in his book—The Catholic Catechism.

    And Cam must understand that “ex cathedra” refers not only to the Pope as he teaches “solemnly”, but also as he teaches from the chair of Peter in his ordinary teaching capacity.

  • michigancatholic,

    “Latae sententiae does NOT require public pronouncement.”

    You are correct, I have even said so.  What you don’t see and where you are incorrect is that it is binding in “the tribunal of conscience.”  It is not binding in practice until a legislator deems it to be so.

    According to the teaching of Benedict XIV (De synodo, X, i, 5), “a sentence declaratory of the offence is always necessary in the forum externum, since in this tribunal no one is presumed to be excommunicated unless convicted of a crime that entails such a penalty”.

    What part of this are you not reading or understanding.  Let me see if I can make it clearer for you.

    One incurs latae sententiae excommunication, by having an abortion.  She tells no one that she has had the abortion.  She feels in her conscience that she did the right thing.  So, she continues to participate in the sacraments.  This goes on for years. (It is an incorrect view….she should be abstaining according to a rightly formed conscience.) Finally, she tells her priest, in a converstation, that she had an abortion and that she harbors no regret for doing so.  The priest then tells her that she has incurred excommunication and that he will be forwarding this information on to his bishop.  The bishop learns of the situation and then he makes a judicial statement.  Then she is to be kept from the Sacraments.

    That is how latae sententiae works.  It remains in the tribunal of conscience until proclaimed by a legislator, ie. the bishop.

    As far as individual bishops are concerned, get off the bandwagon….you are not reading the whole thread.  I have clearly said that the bishops acting with the Pope are infallible.  That is dogma.


    I have read the Catechism….I have even stated on this thread, “….the Holy Father, but also when he is acting in unity with the bishops, he can be infallible too.” 

    I very often on this blog have talked about the authority of the Holy Father and the bishops.  Both ex cathedra and in the Ordinary/Extraordinary Magisterium.

    I assure you, that I am very knowledgable about the Catechism.  Oh, btw, while Fr. Hardon was alive, he and I were friends….I do know a thing or two about him.

    The Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra.

    The totality of the Bishops is infallible, when they, either assembled in general council or scattered over the earth, propose a teaching of faith or morals as one to be held by all the faithful.

    Dogma, both of them. 


  • Cam,

    The Holy Father is the only one who has the charism of “infallibility” because of the office of Peter and exercises this fully and completely independent of all bishops.

    It is the bishops who enjoy this charism of infallibility only when they are one with the Holy Father.  The bishops, even if united as one, do not have “infallibility” independent of the Holy Father.  Can you understand this.

    “Infallibilty” belongs only to the Holy Father.  All others share in this only when they proclaim matters of faith and morals in unity with “Peter”.

  • This issue of “infallibility” should be discussed in Dom’s discussion forum, don’t you think????

  • cam, working with your scenario, when our “abortion-with-no-regret” Catholic writes in op-ed in the New York Times, it’s out of tribunal of conscience and into the domain of public opinion.  It would be correct for a Catholic to believe she has excommunicated herself.

    Even if the bishop doesn’t offcially declare it, a Catholic doesn’t commit calumny in stating that she has excommunicated herself.

    Assume for a moment that I worked for Planned Parenthood and then came to my senses and repented of all my sins—and I gave a list of Catholics who had had abortions or cooperated in them to a bishop—would he then issue declarations that they all have incurred a latae sententiae excommunication unless they have obtained absolution?  (short answer is no)

    Where I think the bishop’s declaration becomes significant is where one is imposing a penalty on the excommunicate that would not be imposed otherwise on a member of the Catholic faithful.  (i.e. denying permission to teach religious education, lead a parish religious group, etc.)

    but in terms of meeting them in the public fora—they are excommunicated.

  • Blanchard,

    Let me ask you this…what is the Pope?

    The Pope is a bishop.  To be exact, he is the Archbishop of Rome.  If the Pope is not with them of course there is no infalliblity, because they would not be in totality.

    We are speaking around the same point.  Do I understand?  Yes, I understand.  I have understood all along.

    Infallibility does not belong to the Holy Father alone though….that is an erroneous statement.  The Holy Father is a participant in the other two forms, insofar as he is a Catholic and a bishop, but the infalliblity is not given to him alone.  The faithful joined together, including the Holy Father, can be infallible, that is the sensus fidelium.
      The bishops, including the Holy Father, form the Ordinary/Extraordinary Magisterium.

    CCC 2034: The Roman Pontiff and the bishops are “authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people entrusted to them, the faith to be believed and put into practice.”  The ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him teach the faithful the truth to believe, the charity to practice, the beatitude to hope for.

    CCC 2051:  The infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed.

    CCC 889:  In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility.  By a “supernatural sense of faith” the People of God, under the guidance of the Church’s living Magisterium, “unfailingly adheres to this faith.”

    CCC 891:  “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council.  When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,” and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.” This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.

    The last sentence shows and proves that this is not only the Holy Father but also the bishops and the faithful who can be infallible…..which the Holy Father is obviously a part, a very important part.


  • Cam,

    Now I am convinced that you have a faulty understanding of the whole question of “infallibity” and until you take the time to clear this up, discussion is nothing but confusion.

    The Pope is The Vicar of Christ, first among all the bishops with complete and supreme authority as Head of the Church.

    “Infallibilty” is unique and distinctive to him and him alone. when teaching as Chief-Shepherd of Christ’s Church. No one else has the gift of “Infallibitly” as regard teaching doctrine and morals of the Church.

  • penalty on the excommunicate that would not be imposed otherwise on a member of the Catholic faithful. </i>

    Patrick, that’s exactly what Cam has been saying all along!  It is in the hands of the bishop to impose penalty.  It is not up to they laity and that is where the disagreements are coming on this thread.  It is on the issue of who imposes the penalty. 

    This is what Cam has been talking about in this thread and what he and I have spoken to in countless threads before.  To be specific, Canon 212.

    “Oh but Jaime!! Canon 915”

    You have yet to see Cam or myself argue against any canon law.  We are arguing against ignoring some of them.  Donindex.php?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newadvent.org%2F”>http://www.newadvent.org/
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07790a.htm <—specifically infalliblity.

    I suggest that you read part III of the above link.  It speaks of the “Organs of Infalliblity.”

    A. Ecumenical Councils
    B. The Pope

    Now, I have never denied the need for the Holy Father nor have I denied the idea of his infallibilty.  You have inferred that upon me.  It is an incorrect inferrence.  I have and I will continue to say that it is the bishops and the Pope together that form the Ordinary Magisterium.

    To be clearer….make the Catholic conception of ecclesiastical infallibility still clearer. Three organs have been mentioned:

    1. The bishops dispersed throughout the world in union with the Holy See;
    2. Ecumenical councils under the headship of the pope; and
    3. the pope himself separately.

    Don’t take half a sentence and try and glean an answer…it is not very scholarly, nor is it very wise.  Look at everything that I have posted and you’ll see that, I was not neglecting the magisterium ordinarium, but rather I was putting it off to the side to show the two points of ecumenical councils and ex cathedra.

    Who is confused now?

    “Evidently, you are not willing to see that there is p:comment_author_IP>
    2004-10-21 15:18:34
    2004-10-21 19:18:34

    “Will you acknowledge this to be the case?”

    Do I need to do it still?  I have been doing it all along.  It is you who do not see that I have been saying it all along.

    1. “We don:06:14 Thank you, Cam.

    I will have to take time out to understand just what Dr. Ludwig Ott means here.  I will get back to you.

  • Blanchard,

    If you notice at the end of no. 241 it says, “(de fide).”

    This means, “The highest degree of certainty appertains to the immediately revealed truths. The belief due to them is based on the authority of God Revealing (fides divina), and if the Church, through its teaching, vouches for the fact that a truth is contained in Revelation, one’s certainty is then also based on the authority of the Infallible Teaching Authority of the Church (fides catholica). If Truths are defined by a solemn judgment of faith (definition) of the Pope or of a General Council, they are “de fide definita.”

    That is what he means by that.


  • EGO diligo vos Jaime,

    Vos es nimium , plurimus mos non vel polleo intellego quis EGO sum sententia vobis quod mos reputo ut EGO sum res super caput capitis.


  • Blanchard,

    This has become circular.  I am sorry to admit this, but we will get no farther.  I hope that you assent to dogma, I assume you do.  It is good for your soul.

    I will pray for you as I continue my prayers for all.  God Bless.


  • Will the circle… be unbroken

    Not to exacerbate the “thread that won’t end” but I have to ask you a question Blanchard.  When did the Holy Father sing with Diana Ross? 

    Oh wait… Supreme Being..not Supremes. Ok let me rephrase..

    Could you show me where the Holy Father has been given the title of Supreme Being?

    Just curious

  • Now this is becoming a bit ridiculous.

    I did not say “Supreme” in reference to the Holy Father.

    I stated that he is the supreme teacher of doctrine and morals in teaching the faithful in the Church.

    Take the time to read with understanding and good common sense.

    This is now the end of my discussion on this issue.

  • I’m just sayin that you may want to hold back a bit on whacking others with the Muddle Stick. 

    Your posts can be as confusing as the next