29 July 2016

SEDEVACANTISM: only for new readers.

I don't want to bore faithful long-time readers of my effusions ... but (happily) new readers do keep turning up. To these I desire to make clear that it is my policy to decline to enable posts which assert or imply Sedevacantism.

I have often written on this distasteful subject, and my pieces can, I presume, be accessed by means of the Search Engine.

Two very brief pointers.

(1) Sedevacantism is the other side of the coin of Ultrapapalism (Hyperbergoglioism?) expressed by a number of the undesirables who surround the Holy Father. In each case, there is the same erroneous major premise.

The Pope is a demigod;
Bergoglio is clearly not a demigod;
Therefore Bergoglio is not pope.

The Pope is a demigod;
Bergoglio is pope;
Therefore Bergoglio is a demigod.

BOTH ARE HERESIES contrary to the teaching of Vatican I about the papal office.

(2) Whichever of the many forms of sedevacantism you are tempted by, subject it to the Pope Honorius Test. He was condemned by an Ecumenical Council and anathematised by a successor. But can anyone produce any evidence that the Council, or any subsequent popes who condemned him, or any reputable ecclesistical writer, has ever argued that Honorius had ceased to be Pope at the moment when he acted heretically?

Whether or not you like Bergoglio, he is, beyond any shadow of doubt, the Pope. 

 You endanger your soul if you risk flirting with such ideas.


ChrisR said...

I have a doubt. Honorius was condemned not for a sin he committed after his death, but for the things he did and taught while still alive. The situation is similar to that of a criminal, where the judgement and sentencing might happen years after the crime has been committed.

Another comparison one could make is the validity of a marriage. It can take years to determine whether a marriage existed or not.

Now, is Pope Francis a valid pope? The question is complex theologically speaking (Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, conciliarism etc.) I think we have to assume he is, bearing in mind that the valid authority could determine he isn't or wasn't.

Ana Milan said...

Sedevacantism is a position of despair & a denial of the promise of Our Lord set out in Pastor Aeternus (Vatican I).

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

At least not so the orthopapist variant of sedevacantism.

Gerard Plourde said...

The position of Pope Leo, who accepted the judgment of the Council of Constanitnople regarding Pope Honorius, was that Honorius had not taught heresy but rather had been derelict in his opposition to it, a very different thing.

Don Dorito said...

Gerald, he was condemned as a heretic: "to Honorius the heretic, anathema." And the council was clear that they were addressing Honorius's writings, not just his actions.

In the thirteenth session, 28 March, the two letters of Sergius were condemned, and the council added: "Those whose impious dogmas we execrate, we judge that their names also shall be cast out of the holy Church of God", that is, Sergius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Peter, Paul, Theodore, all which names were mentioned by the holy Pope Agatho in his letter to the pious and great emperor, "and were cast out by him, as holding views contrary to our orthodox faith; and these we define to be subject to anathema. And in addition to these we decide that Honorius also, who was pope of elder Rome, be with them cast out of the holy Church of God, and be anathematized with them, because we have found by his letter to Sergius that he followed his opinion in all things, and confirmed his wickeddogmas". These last words are true enough, and if Sergius was to be condemned Honorius could not be rescued. The legates made no objection to his condemnation. The question had indeed arisen unexpectedly out of the reading of Macarius'spacket; but the legates must have had instructions from the pope how to act under the circumstances.

Jeff McLaughlin said...

I don't accept the sedevacantist argument for a number of reasons, but it doesn't help to refute an argument that they don't make. I have never heard a sedevacantist assert that the Pope is a "demigod," nor anything like that. Charity in argumentation requires us to understand their argument before responding to it. Most sedevacantists (and admittedly there are many varieties) make the argument that a heretic cannot be elected to the papal office; that the post VII popes are heretics; and that therefore they were never elected validly in the first place. There are a number of side issues (such as their contention that the new rite of episcopal consecration is invalid), but their main argument is as I just stated. Of course, they do not hold it necessary for a heretic to be "officially" judged to be so, but merely that he be guilty of the sin of public heresy. This is the argument that needs to be addressed, not a false assertion that they believe the pope to be a "demigod."

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Jeff Mac Laughlin - in the early Church, as I understand (correct me if I am wrong), a bishop did not need to be judged a heretic, before being publically deposed, and that in turn before one could say with confidence "he's no bishop, he can't have authority in this see" - why? Because it was hazardous to try to get him judged by the Pope and sometimes even by neighbouring bishops.

But since the Pope has no superior, the possibility of getting a Pope judged by a superior does not exist. Since the Pope is bishop over all the world, not just Rome, he cannot be judged by his neighbouring bishops either.

Ergo, what prevailed in the early Church for ANY bishop prevails now also for Popes. If heretic, one cannot wait to act upon that information until they are judged so.