Mario Dersken shows total incompetence in his recent attack on the Rev. Gregory Hesse

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Mario Derksen, a native of the German Federal Republic, who began his public career by being an anti-Catholic protestant like baiter of Catholics, and who has never studied canon law or theology at any institution with credentials, recently took a long shot at the reputation and argumentation of the Rev. Gregory Hesse, STD, JCD, a man who held a double doctorate in Canon Law and Theology. Derksen holds a gradutate degree in Philosophy, I believe.

I do not know of anyone who will come to the defense of Father Gregory Hesse, so I will. Though I never met him, I did have the honor to correspond with him by email and written letter before his passing. He was a highly learned man who sought to navigate through the many errors of the post Vatican II age, while remaining faithful to Christ and His Church.

In this my critique, I will consider each false claim of the editor of Novus Order Watch who has gone completely off the rails, in that he has begun to anathematize persons without any ecclesiastical authority — he is after all a layman.

The Novus Ordo Missae: valid but illicit?

Mario — why he has an Italian first name, as a German is a curiosity to me as an Anthropologist — first puts his foot in his mouth by contesting that the Rev. Gregorious Hess is confused by distinguishing between validity and liceity of the Mass.

The truth is, here, however, that Mario is confused. For he is confounding the validity of a Sacrament with the lawfulness of a liturgical ritual.

As he does not understand this distinction, his critique is utterly worthless. This is inexcusable for someone with a degree in Philosophy.

First, validity of a Sacrament regards the reality of a true Sacrament, which reality comes into being when the correct matter and form of the Sacrament are united in the same ritual act. — The correct matter of the Eucharist is true bread made from wheat, and true wine made from the juice of grapes. — The correct form of the Eucharist is the affirmation of the reality of Christ’s Body and Blood being in each, through a recitation of the words of institution signifying this: “This is my body …. This is my blood”.

The form of the sacrament is the truth contained in the words according to their signification. It is not the words. The words are part of a sacramental formula. In the 23+ rituals of the Catholic Church the formulae are all different. But the signification is the same.

Thus, it does not matter whether any Pope declared that certain words are to be included in the formulae for the Roman Rite, WHEN it is a question of Sacramental validity, that is, whether the bread or wine has been truly transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The decree of a pope only touches the lawfulness of using one formulae rather than another. A pope can no more change or restrict the form of sacramental validity than he can make the sun move or stop, since the Sacramental forms come from God, Our Savior, who instituted them. But a pope can establish a law that a certain formula be used to fulfil the juridical requirements of the priest. This restriction of formula if harmonious with the form of the Sacrament only is binding as regards juridical requirements not sacramental validity.

Thus, the Rev. Gregorius Hess is correct when he says the form of the Sacrament in the Novus Ordo is sufficient for a valid consecration.

But liceity, which I have defined above as lawfulness, also refers in Latin to a wider category of morality, as what is morally worthy of approbation.

And when you study moral theology you know this. Thus the question of the liceity of a mass regards both the juridical and the moral requisites. It is a very broad category. But it has nothing to do whether the Sacrament be valid or not; though obviously if an invalid formula be used, the Mass will also be illicit juridically always and illicit morally if the priest knew what he was doing.

Thus Mario who has never studied moral theology, evidently — a think I must assume to avoid charging him with bad will rather than ignorance — misunderstands what the Rev. Gregorius Hess has said, when he says that the Novus Ordo is illicit but valid. That is, it is not morally acceptable to offer it, from the point of view of what is best and right, compared to what is merely valid and sufficient. Father Hess has high morals, as is right and proper in the care of the things sacred to God. So illicit in his mouth could refer to juridically or morally.

What is always morally illicit to some men is not always morally illicit to all men. Because good and honest men avoid not only what is positively evil, that is which leads astray, but what is merely negatively evil, that is, which does not lead effectively to the proper goals.

To use an example. You may use any pot to cook eggs, but you will never find a chef trained at a school of chefs in France use anything other than a specific kind of pot. What would be a sin for him is not what would be a sin for the ignorant.

Objectively speaking the same holds for the Mass. A priest poorly instructed and threatened might say one form of the mass, which if well instructed and under no duress he would never say.

Further, if a priest believes that the decree of Pius XII applies to all forms of the Roman Rite in the future which ever may come into existence, he might consider the Novus Ordo Mass also illicit, on account of the violation of the prescription of Pius XII. That would not be juridically the most sound of arguments, but some make it. But this still does not effect the validity of the Sacrament.

As regards the validity of the Mass,  it is sloppy if not improper in theology to speak of the validity of a mass, because a mass said is efficacious in the order of propitiation, not validity. So a mass can be efficacious or not, ilicit or not; and of liceity, according to juridical right, canonical order or morality.

Papal authority vs. Papal Idolatry

Father Gregorius Hesse knew his faith well. He knew that there are limits to the obedience that Catholics should show the pope. Mario, however, does not understand this, and that is probably why he is a sedevacantist.

I will show this from a quote from his diatribe above:

If we assume for a minute that Paul VI was a true Pope, as Hesse insists he was, then his magisterial documents were legally effective, that is, they had the power to bind consciences. Then what he taught or legislated on earth was also “bound in heaven” (Mt 16:18), that is, ratified by Almighty God. That is how the Papacy works, and that by divine institution.

Therefore, if Paul VI was indeed Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pontiff of the holy Roman Catholic Church, then the ‘new Order of Mass’ (novus Ordo Missae) he instituted in 1969 was precisely what he decreed it to be, namely, a “revision of the Roman Missal” (‘Apostolic Constitution’ Missale Romanum; italics added) and not the establishment of a new, non-Catholic rite.

Here Mario shows also his ignorance of history, because in his Missale Romanum of 1969, Pope Paul VI only published a Missal. He did not impose it by law on the faithful, but only expressed his desire that it be used universally. But as anyone knows who studies law, a desire of a monarch is not a law unless it be promulgated in legal form of a command.

So Father Hesse is right again.

Can a true Pope change the Mass?

This failure by Mario to understand the fundamental notions of juridical right is the basis of his next argument whether true popes can change the Mass.

Since true popes did publish Missals which contained things which older Missals did not contain, and which did not contain things which older Missals did contain, the answer is an obvious yes.

But Mario denies that, because for him certain changes are alterations of nature. But he defines alterations of nature only as substantial not accidental, that is, which change the essence of a thing.

So if we apply Mario’s logic to apples, a red apple is an entirely different fruit from a yellow apple. And a German native is an entirely different human being than an Italian. So in Mario’s book, I must be of another species than he, since he is German and I am Italian.

Likewise, for Mario every change is a substantial one, and none is accidental. And since he proceeds by that measure, he might as well declare the Missale Romanum of St. Pius V illegal because it did not contain what the Curial Missale of his predecessor of 100 years ago contained.

So you can see that Mario has either lost it entirely — because this refusal to distinguish between things essential and things accidental, in a philosopher as himself is unpardonable — or he is writing out of such anger and bad will that truth has been jettisoned in principles.

But whether a true Pope can change the Mass or not, the real question is whether he ought to, and whether the changes he makes ought to be accepted, when he only whimsically asks, or whether they ought to if he commands. The Catholic position is that by the grace of his office a Pope will never command that a change which harms the Faithful be accepted. But his grace of office does permit him to wish changes which can be harmful, even heretical. And thus, his grace of office allows him to obstruct the Apostolic See by unholy requests which are not contained in definitive legal commands, such as that contained in the Bull, “Missale Romanum” of Saint Pius V.

Descriptive vs. Normative

Finally, Mario rails against Fr. Hesse in his own conclusion, where he claims that Fr. Hesse’s position is that Vatican I taught that God had promised infallibility to the Roman Pontiff only normatively and not descriptively, by which terms Mario wants to signify that Fr. Hesse only held (normatively) that the Pope was infallible when he taught correctly and not when he did not, rather than (descriptively) that a Pope was infallible at all times.

Leaving aside Mario’s terms, the actual Church teaching has always been that when the man who is the Roman Pontiff exercises his petrine authority, he is protected by the gift of infallibility of not teaching error in faith or morals. This means that one first must distinguish whether he is acting as Roman Pontiff or not. Being that the Pope is also the Patriarch of the West, the Primate of Italy and the Bishop of Rome, and a private theologian, whenever he teaches one must clearly discern in what capacity he is teaching if at all.

Thus whatever he declares about eggs at breakfast should not worry anyone. But I suppose Mario would be very shocked and scandalized to find that Bergoglio eats eggs Argentine style, not in the style of Frankfurt, Germany.


And thus the entire rant of Mario is seen for what it is, an absurd libelous calumny, for which, if he does not repent, he cannot be saved no matter who he thinks the Pope is or is not.

His website NovusOrdoWatch is the moral equivalent of a Flat-Earther site which denigrates all cartographers and geologists for saying the world is a globle; or like some nut who insults mathematicians with doctorates for asserting 2+2=4.  He is a total loon, who should not be listened to or quoted by anyone except to show that he is such. — I do not say this out of any spirit of uncharitableness, but because his errors are so gross and his form of argumentation so false, someone has to rebuke him in public for his outrageous article.

Personally, I will be praying for him, because to end up in a moral state as his requires a very great pride and exceedingly great presumption. I ask you to pray with me too. His condition is a very sad one. But the hate which motivates him, because he insists on defining reality as he sees it, is intolerable.

UPDATE: Not wanting to avoid disaster by another publication full of errors, Mario Derksen the day after this article published a defense of Pope Benedict IX, going so far as to reproduce a holy card of the most immoral pope in the history of the Church. — In that article Mario shows complete ignorance of the forensic method in determining a historical controversy, by his citing of sources which were written centuries later which summarize other sources imprecisely, and ignorance of the nature of the juridical controversy at the Council of Sutri, which was one regarding the validity of claims to the papacy, not of the judgment of men as popes. — He also continues to fall into the error committed by many who have no capacity to use language in anything other than simplistic puritanical forms, insisting as he does that to say “Henry III deposed three popes at Sutri” to be false simply speaking, even though it is historically true when once speaks of Henry III’s responsibility in causa. — His favorite source for the Council of Sutri, Dr. Carrol, was in fact a CIA agent, working in the Anti-Communism division and collaborated in their founding of Christendom College, and institution for the recruitment of Catholics into the FBI, CIA, NSA etc.. (See this video for more information) And by his emphatic citation of Fr. Fernand Mourret’s “History of the Catholic Church”, he fails to realize that this work was not intended to be a rigorous academic work, but a textbook for seminaries, and that it was written nearly 900 years after the event, from a anti-conciliarist point of view, which commonly glossed over Sutri because of not understanding its precise juridical controversy. — But what is most worthy of attention is this: what is Mario trying to demonstrate? That a true pope can never be deposed for any reason? If so, then is he saying that Pope Francis is a true pope and that he should never be deposed? or that he is a false pope and should be deposed? — If you look at Novus Ordo Watch, you will find that he has never urged the deposition of Pope Francis, whom he claims is a false pope, and attempts to undermine Sutri as a legal precedent that true popes can be deposed. So in the end his argumentation serves only one end, to keep Pope Francis in power even if he be a false pope. Maybe Mario’s German background has something to do with the Mafia of St. Gallen, which was founded just as Mario emigrated to the U.S.A.. — Let Mario correct his record by publicly calling for Pope Francis to be deposed at a provincial council like Sutri on the ground he is a false pope. But I won’t wait until Hell freezes over to see it; rather, I expect that if he were to respond to such a call, he would publish dozens of reasons not to do it and attempt to convince the Catholic world not to do it.

With Globalist Censorship growing daily, No one will ever know about the above article, if you do not share it.

11 thoughts on “Mario Dersken shows total incompetence in his recent attack on the Rev. Gregory Hesse”

  1. Dear brother,

    In the fifties and sixties there was an influx of Italian guest workers, to work in heavy industries and the mines.
    Many Italians rooted in West-Europe in that time.

    All the best,

  2. I have now read both this and Mario’s article. To be fair, Mario actually presents factual information as taught by the Church; including all of the necessary citations. You on the other hand, have presented none and only share your opinion. Which holds no weight in this conversation. If this was a boxing match, Mario knocked you out in the first round with his first punch.

    1. Colin, you are confusing documentation with reasoning.

      My article is not part of a debate which requires observance of some rule regarding documentation. For just as a mathematics teacher does not have to document why 2 +2 = 4 by reference to rules of symbolic logic, so I do not have to document the fundamentals of sacramental theology in my critique.

      But there are natural rules of reasoning and controversy. By these, you have, by faulting me for lack of documentation, but not contradicting anything I have said, conceded tacitly that what I said is true, but only fails on documentation.

      Our Catholic Faith requires that we love the truth more than have adulation for any man. I may have dashed your adulation of Mario to the ground, but it was so that you can be freed of the idolatry of following him in his errors.

      1. Bravo! Great reply and thank you for your defence of Fr Hesse.
        I found Tradition five years ago by the Grace of God…Deo Gratias! Then I found Fr Hesse and listened and re listened to his wonderful lectures and found so much comfort in his clear and easy explanations of many complicated problems in the Crisis of Church. It was manna from Heaven in finding the simple truth of Holy Mother Church. A wonderful man sadly taken far too early from our earth…may he Rest In Peace.

  3. Love listening to Fr Hesse,he made a valid point that it was Pope Pius X11 that first changed the Liturgy in Holy Week,and also brought Bugnini to the Vatican,Pope John the 23rd got rid of him,and Pope Paul brought him back.I know nothing about theology, but Fr Hesse loved Christ and His Blessed Mother ,and that’s all I need to know.

  4. Why not reach out for a debate with Mario, or another sedevacantist? Maybe even a sedevacantist priest? I’m sure they would love to have a debate.

    The sedevacantists are the only ones that quote pope after pope, saint after saint, and all the R&R’s can do is insult and give opinion.

    1. One is not drawn back to the truth by conflict, but by repentance. My debate with Derksen would do him no good, if a simple explanation of why he is so wrong no longer has any value to his examination of conscience.

  5. One of my objections to the “Apostolic Constitution /Mass ” of PP6th , is that it can be traced back to St Hippolytus’.
    St.Hippolytus was for 17 years from 200ad to 217 ad( and some say 236 ad, ) the first antipope under 3 successive Popes, and had a large following of early Christians., but, his works were condemned by those 3 Popes , the last of which was Pope Pontius. These 2 , Pontious and Hippolytus, were taken into custody and martyred together in 217, and martyrdom automatically confers sainthood.
    Hippolytus’ writings were preserved, and his followers had a Statue of him made and it was placed in an obscure place in the Vatican and was in bad condition. His condemned writings were also preserved at the statues base . Pope John 23rd, no doubt influenced by some in the Vatican, had the Statue removed to a prominent place of honor at the beginning of V2. Those condemned writings of antipope Hippolytus contained his Apostolic Constitutions New Order of the Mass. This info is hard to find, and is sketchy, ; however, I found a book many years ago which reproduced the Canon of St Hippolytus ‘ Mass, and barring only a couple of words, was verbatim the Consecration of the Mass of V2. I compared the two Consecration prayers, and found that the word BLESS had been omitted, in both the Consecration of the bread and wine. Also, the words, ” as often as you do these things you shall do these things ” are omitted before ” do this in memory of Me.” In the 1500s Thomas More argued this to Henry 8th, .

    1. Your argument is a strong one. A stronger argument is, this, that since the Holy Ghost chose to ignore what Hyppolytus wrote as the rule for the formation of the Roman Rite, why should anyone return to it, since we all should be subject to the instruction of the Holy Spirit.

      The aggiornamento of the liturgy, from the first sentence of Sacrosanctum Concilium falls into the error which is common to all pastoral work, namely, that to save souls one must not only teach the truth but hold fast to authentic charity. Since the salvation of souls requires the declaration of the truth, for two reasons, namely, because only the truth sets one free and only the occasion of its declaration is a cause for the understanding which comes from faith and reason, in the one hearing that declaration, any authentic renewal of the liturgy must not only attend to translating the Sacraments of salvation and their liturgical rites into a language which is capable of being understood by those receiving, but holding fast to the rule of truth and communicating all of the truths which the Holy Ghost has inspired and insisted upon from time immemorial in the offering of prayers, praise, thanksgiving and exhortation etc..

      Not everyone with good will has the knowledge to engage in the ministry of salvation. And not everyone with the knowledge required actually wants the salvation of all and each one as intensely as it is required to maintain charity in a difficult situation.

      This is both why Vatican II is founded upon a colossal presumption of knowledge by the persons authoring and signing its documents, and a devious inclination away from charity by those who were greatly negligent in teaching the whole truth, because they no longer admired the whole of the truth.

      This is also why in debates men are rarely saved, and in controversies it is easy to harm souls.

      If you go through the pages of, even in my own articles I fail often in the charity required to save souls, and if you read my articles chronologically, you can see that in many things I have first spoken badly and without many of the necessary distinctions, like when I used to say, that by heresy a man is excommunicated and loses all offices in the Church, without pointing out, that the finding of fact that an individual is pertinacious in heresy and no longer has good will to be corrected must be done by the proper ecclesiastical authorities, if the authority and unity of the Church as Christ intends and wills it, is to be preserved.

      For all those I have offended, I ask pardon. And I thank all who have prayed for me, friends and foes, so that I might see the truth more clearly. I still have a long way to go though as to having the charity necessary for the salvation of souls.

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