S&S’s Theory of “Universal Acceptance” is Masonic

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Everyone by now knows of the absurd strawman argument of John Salza and Robert Siscoe. It goes like this. I will mark the argument here and there with NDT, to indicate the terms which need to be defined with precision if the argument means anything at all:

The whole (NDT) Church (NDT) immediately (NDT) after the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio accepted (NDT) him as the pope.

Universal (NDT) acceptance (NDT) of a man as pope is an infallible (NDT) sign (NDT) of his legitimate election.

Therefore, it is infallibly (NDT) certain (NDT) that Bergoglio is the pope and that his election was legitimate (NDT).

There are 11 points in the argument which can be changed at any moment to avoid objections, by simply redefining terms. That, in itself, is Masonic, because it is a fundamental rule of the Lodge to speak in ambiguous terms. But let us examine how the ideological structure of their argument is also masonic.


Infallibility according to Catholic Theology is a natural property of the true God alone. No creature by nature is infallible. Infalliblity means the inability to fail. It is the characteristic of a substance as regards its action.

However, truth itself is infallible, because truth is defined by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas in a way which makes its infallibility necessary. Here I speak of truth as the truth known by the mind and expressed in a proposition, because of such truth Saint Thomas says the definition is:  the adequation of a created intellect with the object known, or in other words, the right and just relationship between a knowing mind and the thing known by that mind.

Examples of infallibly true statements are 1+1 = 2, and The Sun is the star of our solar system. Infallibility pertains to all propositions which regard the natural or supernatural world, when they are true in what they affirm. This is the wonderful way in which Our Creator, Who alone is infallible, has enabled us, fallible creatures, to draw near to Him, through knowing and accepting truth.

But men by nature are not infallible. Hence men can err or fail. Nor are we infallible in the knowledge of things. We can err. We can err also in what we believe is true on the basis of what other men tell us.  Thus human opinion based on things like human testimony is the most fallible of all kinds of knowledge.

But for John Salza and Robert Siscoe the universal acceptance by the Church of a man as pope is an infallible sign that his election was legitimate!

I hope you can see the ontological problem in that assertion. It moves infallibility from God and true propositions to men. And that is totally Masonic.

7 Slippery aspects of the argument

A common sense Catholic responds by saying, the Church does not teach or approve of such an absurd theory, as can easily be seen: because the Church has laws which say when and how a pope is validly elected and when and how a man elected is not legitimately such. Now the Church would be double faced if she taught a theory which said, there is no need for laws on papal elections, there is only need that everyone accept a pope. Also, Holy Mother Church recognizes as valid popes many men who were elected according to the rules but who were never universally accepted during their pontificates (e.g. the Roman Popes during the Great Western Schism). Thus the Church has never resorted to universal acceptance as a sign of a valid election.

It also does not make sense. Because if the election was legitimate, who cares if everyone accepts it or not? The truth of legitimacy is in an entirely different order of knowledge than that of popular opinion. Every Catholic can understand that. But Masons reject that. Truth for them is only at the ballot box, if even then. Moreover, the Masonic Lodge which seeks to overthrow God and all Monarchies in the name of exalting the common man and the masses would find such a trick delightful. It’s their own world view. Universal Acceptance basically is another way of knowing truth, one which the Church rejects in Canon 332 and in the Papal Law, Unversi dominici gregis. Therefore, whence comes this appeal to Universal Acceptance against or in spite of the laws and teaching of the Church? Such an appeal is gnostic and masonic.

Second, the word universal in Latin has a proper sense of each and everyone. However, I do not think any historian has every proven that after any papal election each and every Catholic in the world accepted the man elected as the pope. John Salza and Robert Siscoe evade this obvious fault by inventing a special meaning for universal: morally universal, by which the mean, nearly everyone. This nearly can be expanded as necessary for any argument. To John Siscoe in debate yesterday, I mentioned I know 13 persons who never accepted it. Siscoe responded that absolute universality is not necessary. And he claimed their dissent was secret, so nobody knew about it. So universal, for S & S, is what they want it to mean. And as such, the theory itself means nothing, but what they say. So in effect, it means that you must accept them as infallible arbiters of who is the pope. And that is masonic.

Third, we come to Sisco and Salza’s idea of acceptance. They never really define it. Without a strict definition, their theory means nothing at all. Does it mean I do or do not like his face, his theology, his attitude, his episcopal lineage and therefore I hold that he is or is not the pope? Of if a Catholic holds that he is de facto pope but not the legitimate pope, has he accepted? Immediately upon the publication of the Declaratio by Pope Benedict scholars said it was invalid and that an antipope would be elected in the upcoming conclave. There was no acceptance, there, in any defined manner. Also, if I hear the news claim so and so was elected pope, does that mean that I accepted it. Does not acceptance mean examining the facts of law and history and then making a judgement? S & S seem to imply that acceptance has nothing to do with Canon 41 or truth, it is merely listening to the TV. But that is not a Catholic concept of acceptance, but it is very masonic. I guess the next step will be to announce that their candidate is the pope on TV and then dispense with any Conclave or Canon Law. How convenient!

Fourth, we come to Salza and Siscoe’s concept of Church. As every Catholic knows, the Church is one thing, and its members another. This touches upon the formal definition of the Church and the material definition of the Church. As you will see, Salza and Siscoe will play with these two aspects. Arguing in their major premise, regarding the principle of universal acceptance, using the formal definition, but arguing in their minor premise as regards the facts of the present case, in the material sense. I pointed this out in my article on Siscoe’s triple shell game. If you do not hold Bergoglio was the pope, then S & S will just put you outside the definition of the Church which they happen to be using at the moment. They play this game especially with dogmatic facts. A dogmatic fact regards the formal definition of the Church, but they assert human opinions which regard the material definition of the Church as dogmatic facts. And that is masonic.

Fifth, we come to S & S’s concept of immediacy. When does the vague universality of the vague acceptance need to take place. In one minute, in one day, in one week, in one month, in one year? They do not say. I think it would not be unreasonable to speculate that after every legitimate election, there is a delay even when there is canonical acceptance. It is never immediate. There are missionaries in remote regions of the past who never knew the name of the pope, because he died before the news arrived. I guess there was no infallible sign of their being the true pope, according to S & S! The level of absurdity here is manifest. They set up another criterion for true popes. And that is masonic.

Sixth, we come to S & S’s concept of certitude. This is closely allied with the concept of infallibility. We can be certain that a truth is true, because truth is of itself infallible and the assertion of truth is infallible. Certitude as quality of notion does not apply to opinion, because opinion by definition is the assertion of a thing with knowledge that its contradiction is a possibility. But human recognition of a man as the pope, when based solely on human testimony without any facts of history or law being established, is the most uncertain kind of news: it is common opinion! To say that any news in the modern world is certain, would take a very strict definition of terms, especially since journalists and news outlets are notorious for their mendacity. But to say opinion is certain is simply a contradiction of the very definition of the word. But contradiction and double speak is the very hallmark of the Freemason, who is told he can lie to everyone except a superior level mason. And that is masonic.

Seventh, we come to S & S’s concept of legitimacy. Legitimate means done in accord with a right which inheres in the subject by nature or grant. It differs from legal, in that it does not require positive law. It differs from lawful, because its measure is not in accord with the terms of any law. Of papal elections some were said to be legitimate others canonical others legal.  This is because throughout history the election of popes was at the beginning done in accord with Apostolic right, as I have previously mentioned, and since there was no law or canon about how to do such things, a legitimate election was every election in which the part of the Church of Rome regarded as valid immediately, and which all of the Church of Rome, long afterwards regarded as valid, even if there were rival claimants at the time. When the Councils established canons for episcopal elections, then some papal elections were said to be canonical or uncanonical in accord with whether the canons were followed. However, of some of these elections, the Church has regarded as valid and legitimate men who were uncanonically elected. This is because the Church of Rome has never accepted any law or canon established by Councils held outside of her jurisdiction as binding on Her ability to elect the Roman Pontiff. THIS HISTORICAL FACT IS IMPORTANT, and this explains why many theologians speak of universal acceptance of a papal election despite whether it was canonical or not. Because in such a case they are not speaking of obligatory canons, just customarily observed canons. Finally, some papal elections can now be legal or illegal, because Pope John Paul II published a law on papal elections which regulates what the College of Cardinals should do in such matters. Violations of this law make an election by the Cardinals illegal and invalid. Elections in Conclave perfectly in harmony with the norms of this law make an election legal and valid. Such elections are also legitimate, when they are legal and valid, because the Cardinals have the right to act lawfully. — Thus we can see that the theory of universal acceptance, by the mere fact that it is employed by S & S now, when it arose in ages past to be applied to times when there was no papal law for elections, only canons or the lack of them, is misapplied. Its applicatoin by S & S is anachronistic, in the technical sense of the term, because it does not apply to elections governed by papal laws. This is especially true when the current Papal Law EXPRESSLY says that no election which violates it is valid regardless. The current high bar of validity and legitimacy is what is lawful, not what is accepted. To reject that is masonic, because the freemason rejects Papal authority in principal.

Salza and Siscoe’s Theory as applied is Masonic

In summation, I would say that John Salza and Robert Siscoe’s theory, as applied, is Masonic for the following reasons:

  1. It rejects the binding norms of the Papal Law of Pope John Paul II which alone determine when a man elected by the College of Cardinals in a Conclave is legitimate, legal and lawful, excluding all other things as signs or causes of the validity.
  2. It is founded upon badly or poorly defined terms which can be held to mean whatever you want them to mean on any occasion.
  3. It places infallibility in human opinion rather than in God and His words to Peter: Whatsoever you bind upon earth, shall be bound also in Heaven, words which obviously apply to all papal laws on elections.
  4. It ignores all facts of history and places the criterion of truth outside of historical fact, thus divorcing truth from reality.
  5. It is designed to force Catholics to accept whatever the Masonic Lodge in the Vatican says is true, regardless of historical facts or papal laws, and this is in accord with the Masonic principle that the higher lodges rule the lower lodges.
  6. It effectively makes the facts of a papal election a gnostic deposit of knowledge which no Catholic who is not initiated has the right to examine or seek to know.
  7. Salza and Siscoe use the theory as Freemasons, because as I have experienced on several occasions, if you point out errors in it, they response: You do not understand what universal acceptance is and then proceed to point out how you have not the right knowledge to comprehend it, as if you were some sort of intellectual inferior or non-initiate. At times they say the sign is an effect not a cause, but they treat it as a cause not an effect. Oh, and they ignore all examination of legal doubt.

John Salza admits he joined the Lodge. He also admits that Masons do not publicly contest his writings. I do not know if Robert Sisco is a member or has been a member. I do know that it is a rule of the Lodge never to argue in public with another member. I also know that many converts from non Catholic religions never quite reject some of the errors they learned there.

I must conclude, therefore, that Sicoe and Salza’s theory of Universal Acceptance is masonic because it inverts the notions of infallibility, universality, acceptance, Church, legitimacy, and plays games with the notions of immediacy and certitude. And just as everything which is of Hell, inverts the order of things which God has established, their theory reflects a diabolic way of thinking about the papal claims of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, whose own intelligence officer admits is a Freemason. Is that the real reason that Salza and Siscoe seek so zealously to defend his claim to the papacy? To defend a brother in the Lodge?

I hope this essay of mine own, helps both John Salza and Robert Siscoe see their errors and repent of them. But also, so that all the faithful see their theory for what it is.


CREDITS: The Featured Image is a 1805 water color of a rite of initiation into the Masonic Lodge at Paris.

+ + +

Donate to support FromRome.Info

Make a donation to Save Old St. Mary’s Inc., a non profit which is supporting Br. Alexis Bugnolo’s Apostolates like FromRome.Info -- If you would like to donate more than $10.00 USD, simply increase the Quantity below from 1 to a higher number.




9 thoughts on “S&S’s Theory of “Universal Acceptance” is Masonic”

  1. Cultural Marxist Antonio Gramsci praised Freemasonry as “an effective political organization which has had and continues to have an important role in [Italian] history.”
    Today, public opinion polls have been completely integrated into our society. The idea of “public opinion” is not new, but nobody thought to measure public opinion for decision making until less than a century ago. A “scientific survey” of what people are said to think about anyone can be produced overnight. Some decisions are now completely shaped by polls. Politicos and social scientists try to create issues which are may be meaningless, but which they know will look good in the polls, purely for the purpose of universalizing a popular image. The belief that public opinion can determine truth is philosophically insane. It precludes the idea of the rational individual mind. It is Christophobic.
    “The principles through which Western Judeo-Christian civilization was built, are now no longer dominant in our society; they exist only as a kind of underground resistance movement. If that resistance is ultimately submerged, then the civilization will not survive—and, in our era of incurable pandemic disease and nuclear weapons, the collapse of Western civilization will very likely take the rest of the world with it to Hell.” (archive schillerinstitute,com)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Brother, I don’t know how you continue to combat these people. You, along with Ann Barnhardt, seem to be the only people standing up to these self-appointed high priests, while the trad wing all nod and agree with their sagacity. Taylor Marshall gives them air time and plenty of promotion but not the truth? What is he afraid of? The Truth? Is he controlled by Opus Dei? Most likely. He goes to their meetings. You get under their carefully crafted holier-than-thou cassocks. Cannot forego those 6 figure incomes now, hey. Keep up the good work.

    How can they ignore a canon on the resignation of a pope prescribed by the Pope, JPII, and not carried out by his successor Pope Benedict XVI for reasons not yet known. Universal Acceptance as they promote cannot, must not take precedence over Christ’s Vicar on earth, laws that he promulgates that binds Jesus Christ. It just negates the role that is the Rock of the Church instituted by Jesus Christ two thousand years ago.

    Where is the humility? Where is the wisdom that St Thomas Aquinas gave the Church?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A truly persuasive argument Brother Bugnolo, bravo!

    John Salza claims to have been a former 32nd degree Mason. Perhaps that is true and it is conceivably so if he is now a 33rd degree Mason ( I have no evidence that he is) having “earned” his elevation to this ultimate, elective degree by having sown discord amongst the opponents of the lodge, and in so doing earned the approbation of his peers for having sufficiently advanced their common interests. With Masons, this is all too possible, deceit and dissembling being their watchword. And the rest of us? Can never really be certain, though we can entertain reasonable suspicions.


  4. Basically, the solution is quite simple. Universal and Peaceful Acceptance ( of a Pope)–U. & P. A for short, aka “Consensus Fidelium” (Consent of the faithful, through whom the Holy Ghost works in order to prevent the the Faithful from adhering to a particular elected Pope who has not the Faith–infallibility being immunity from error)–C. F. for short, is in fact a long recognized teaching in the Church. U. & P. A. tends to be the description used with Canonists, while C. F. is used by Theologians.

    J. M. Herve in his Manual of Dogmatic Theology, indicates that there must be moral unanimity of the C. F. and there are various conditions for determining that such a unanimity exists. However, in today’s crisis in the Church, it is recognized by a great part of the Faithful as well as being part of the Third Secret of Fatima, that we are experiencing a mass apostasy WITHIN THE CHURCH! Under these circumstances, since the Holy Ghost does not force apostates, who have not the Faith and yet who have positions within the Church, to be immune from error, it would be impossible to have a moral unanimity which would constitute what is called in Theology an “infallible dogmatic fact” that Francis is Pope.

    In other words, whether one wishes to invoke U. & P. A. or C. F., the recognition of a true Pope cannot be just a “democratic” vote!!! Hence, with regard to the election of Francis, the argument from U. & P. A. or if one examines the conditions necessary for unanimity of C.F., no one, I repeat, no one can argue that Francis is Pope by having recourse to either of these methods to determine that he is in fact Pope. His Papacy, therefore, can certainly be questioned, and indeed must be questioned, in order to determine who is truly Pope. Fr. David R. Belland


  5. Br Bugnolo,

    Surely a prerequisite for any appeal to “peaceful and universal acceptance” must be a vacant seat.

    Siscoe tried to get around this in the past by claiming that, if Benedect was indeed still pope, then upon Bergioglio’s accepted election, Christ took the office from Benedict and gave it to Bergoglio.

    What nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s troubling that the SSPX uses the UPA position and tauts Siscoe and Salza’s book “True or False Pope” to explain why they insist Francis is the pope.
    Also, if a freemason is not allowed to share secrets of the lodge, under penalty of death, why is it that John Salza walks around freely?


Leave a Comment (See About Page for comment policy)

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.