19 January 2016

Sedevacantism ...

... and references to our Holy Father as the "Apparent Pope" or the "Copope" or anything similar, I will not enable. Popes have been heretics before, but they did not thereby cease to be popes, even though condemned by an Ecumenical Council and/or anathematised by their own successors. Sedevacantism is nonsense. Not that, even on the most pessimistic analysis, Pope Francis has actually quasi-Magisterially taught heresy. What I'm saying is that if he did, he would still not cease to be pope. This has been, and will remain, the constant policy of my blog.

Readers who doubt whether I know what I'm talking about could try reading a well-argued series on this subject which Bishop Williamson put on his blog two or three months ago.

Or is he, also, a cryptomodernist?

9 comments:

Gillineau said...

I thought co-pope was quite good, quite funny. With continued advances in modern medicine granting ever greater longevity we could have co-co-popes, which would be delicious. Maybe they could each be made to wear slightly paler hues (of creamy white) to denote their order of retirement.

Liam Ronan said...

Well said, Father. Never having been to a conclave myself, I have always had to accept some church historian's word confirming the occupant of the See of Peter or on what colour of smoke was emitted from the chimney of deliberation results.

I sometimes feel that the sedevacantistas let too much smoke get into their eyes.

Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat!

Woody said...

With respect to a conclave, did not Archbishop Lefebvre remind us that the post-conclave acclaim by the Roman clergy and people constitutes a ratification of the announced result so it cannot thereafter be challenged?

P├ętrus said...

I find myself struggling with sedevacantism. Not on my own part, but as a concept. It is very difficult for me to get my ahead around a situation where one might not only believe the Holy Father to be no longer a legitimate pope but also that one is qualified to make such a judgement.

I say this as equally for sedevacantism as for its little brother, sedeprivationism.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Gillineau. Was it Chartreuse for breakfast that was the proximate cause of your thoughts or are you possessed of a wicked wit most of us can not even hope to achieve? :)


In any event, a Old Popes Home is one captious idea that eluded Monty Python.

Opacus said...

It is surprising that people can be much more easily convinced that someone is not a Catholic, i.e. is a heretic, than they can be that the very same person is not a pope, as if being a Catholic were not a requirement for being a pope! The rhetorical question 'Is the Pope Catholic?' is a popular way of expressing that necessary connection which antedates current controversies. Talk of heretical popes is, of course, merely question begging against sedevacantists whose whole position is based on arguing that those who into heresy thereby fall from the papacy. Nor is the idea that no genuine pope was genuinely a heretic a recent fad of sedevacantists since at least one doctor of the Church, Robert Bellarmine, has argued that seeming cases of papal heresy can all be accounted for without postulating actual heresy. What drags down the current sedevacantist argument is not any inherent implausibility in the position itself but rather the fact that it is presented as a package deal which includes in addition rejection of Vatican II, the Novus Ordo mass etc. Novus Ordo Sedevacantism, however, is an idea that may yet have its day if the stream of contradictions of Catholic doctrine coming from the man presumed to occupy Saint Peter's chair continues unabated.

Augustine said...

I'm new to this blog, but I'm curious about your statement that popes have been heretics before. I argued before that John XXII was one such, but others argued that he really, de juris, wasn't, because only his successor made dogmatic the belief that the holy souls do enjoy the beatific vision. Still, he held a de facto heretical belief. Reflecting on this, it seems to me that the Holy Spirit protects the Church from papal error, rather than the person of the pope from error. So, I'd appreciate if you could expand on your statement and, please, let me know if I'm still treading in the orthodox faith or not.

Pax Christi

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Hello, Augustine!

What you say sounds right to me. The most obviously heretical pope was Honorius, who wascondemned and anathematised by an Ecumenical Council and a whole list of his own successors on the Chair of S Peter.

Have you seen the little search engine on my blog, top left hand corner? I have written quite a number of pieces on papal authority; Ratzinger's teaching on it; the statement put out by the German bishops attacking Bismark and Pius IX's confirmation of their teaching ...

Augustine said...

Fr. J,

Indeed, Honorius, who VI, at my first impression, glossed over with a rather biased narrative in order to clear the way to the dogmatic declaration on papal infalibility.

I see no search engine in your blog. I do see a chronological archive, but not even a list of the most frequent tags. I'll google your site for such articles you mentioned.

Thank you.

Pax Christi