31 July 2022

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 same coin as 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 reliable teacher of the Faith;
Bergoglio is clearly not a reliable teacher of the Faith;
Therefore Bergoglio is not pope.

The Pope is a reliable teacher of the Faith;
Bergoglio is pope;
Therefore Bergoglio must be a reliable teacher of the Faith.


(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?

Both the Council, and the Pope who confirmed the condemnation it decreed, anathematised him well after his death. They did not say that he fell from office during his lifetime.

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



Nancy said...

Thank you for this. Some very exuberant bloggers are really joyful and relieved to repeat "Benedict is still Pope" or similar words. I don't understand how that can be comforting given what he did.

Albertus said...

The sententia theologica held by many notable even saintly theologians in the past, that a pope can fall ipso facto from the papal office through manifest heresy or apostasy, has never been condemned.

Will said...

I think your major premise is misstated, at least as far as the Ultrapapalist faction is concerned. As formulated, it implies that there is an objective thing called “the Faith”, which the Pope serves in his role as a teacher. I’m not convinced this correctly represents the position of the Hyperbergoglians. The second syllogism should, in my opinion, read:
The Pope has the exclusive power to determine the content of the Faith
B. is Pope
Therefore B. has the exclusive power to determine the content of the Faith
(“Determining the content of the Faith” of course includes the power to alter or redefine the content.)

DePicchi said...

I am and always have been a strenuous opposer of sedevacantism in all its forms, and I translated in Italian a handful of articles by Salza & Siscoe to repudiate that untenable opinion verging on anarchism.
And yet... as of late, I find it less and less easy not to sympathise with those who say that our Holy Father has publicly left the Catholic faith.
It's not that we judge his heresy in its material and formal aspect, I've always maintained that that is not our place as faithful and lower clergy.
We simply behold the supposed Vicar of Christ habitually engaging in acts of idolatry, first with Pachamama, now with the "Grandmother of the West", "the Holy Goddess", his hand on his heart in a veritable "actuosa participatio".
I'm all for a principled opposition to the present Crisis in the Church and in the papacy. But gee: he makes it real difficult for us.

RaghnCrow said...

Surely a pope doesn't have the power to determine the content of the Faith. The Deposit of Faith is full in itself and no pope and "determine" it, but only as Our Lord's vicar assert it in its fullness and defend it against heresy, an unorthodox interpretation.

Bergoglio has two problems: first, he is changing the Deposit of the Faith, which no pope can do but he is doing so, and the world's bishops (mostly) do nothing to stop him. And second, by undoing Benedict's Summorum Pontificum, he is establishing the precedent that one pope can overturn another's ruling about the Deposit of Faith. Both are disastrous, the first one to the Faith, but the second is deadly to the Church's government, which is stare decisis-based. The build up of tradition can't have a line of bricks taken out from the wall by papal fiat. If Bergoglio is allowed to do this, then the next pope can undo everything Bergoglio did. Or Paul VI. Just Deep Six the entire Vatican II Council. Or perhaps a pope might remove the Council of Trent from the Deposit of Faith. Why not? Delete what Pius V ruled. If the Church works that way, it won't work at all. The Church literally won't survive that.

coradcorloquitur said...

What we are clearly witnessing with our own eyes and ears is apostasy in high and low places---where that leaves the true position in the manufactured chaos of Pope Francis is not for me to know or pronounce on. But on this I, and any baptized adult Catholic, can and should pronounce on: the logical result of papolatry is the turning of Holy Church into a miserable (and dangerous) cult of personality, a usurping cult in which the pope is owner of the Faith and, by consequence, of our souls. This must bring on both perpetrators and silent supporters the wrath of Almighty God. For, if the pope is "owner" of the Church (its morality, its doctrinal teachings, its ascetic life, its liturgy), then the Church is no longer the Church but a filthy pagan cult. As I have said before---and don't tire of saying it because it must be, in justice, a reminder to many---the loyal Marcel Lefebvre, as a dutiful son of the Church and not a lackey in a cult, saw this tragedy coming and acted. And to their shame, the so-called "obedient Catholics" denounced him as schismatic (or worse), they who were and are unworthy to tie the sandals of such a man. Some of those I have, sad to say, encountered even on this fine, orthodox blog.

coradcorloquitur said...

I wonder who will fare better at the Dread Judgment: the "obedient" collaborators with the destruction of the Faith (and therefore of souls), or those who put the integrity and honor of the Church and Her teachings before (WAY before) canonical irregularity in a time of overt apostasy. What do Bellarmine, Athanasius, and sainted Common Sense teach us in this time of need? I think most of us who read and contribute to this blog know the answer.

Tom Broughton said...

These are called syllogisms. And St. John Henry Newman clearly proved that they are not the truth.

armyarty said...

One cannot, in principle, hold that the see of Rome is never vacant, or that we cannot ever have an anti-pope, so one does not need to be a "sede vacantist" to be tantalized by the veritable smorgasbord of inviting theories regarding Jorge the Jesuit.

To behold the antics of this man is to cast your eyes on a feast of possibilities!

Bergolio is: An antipope? An apostate? A usurper? An imposter? A demoniac? Who knows!

Some have even mused that he is THE Antichrist. Perhaps an antichrist, I will grant you, but THE Antichrist? He would not even rate as the Beast of the Apocolypse.

Nobody takes PF seriously, nobody respects him, nobody pays any attention to him, amd NOBODY admires him.

The only people who heed anything that he says are church employees who fear his wrath, for it is only in Wrath thar he really excels.

Nobody should worry about that man. He will be dead soon, and Benedict XVI may well outlive him. One hopes.

Bill Murphy said...

The late Michael Davies, back in the 1980s, described sedevacantism as diabolically inspired madness. This was in response to a situation where there were 4 "Popes" reigning - in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Canada, if my memory is correct. Then there was Pope Pius XIII (aka Lucian Pulvermacher) in the 1990s issuing encyclicals from the wilds of Montana. He had a particular bee in his bonnet about wasting money on useless pet animals. Now we have Pope Michael reigning on the Vatican in exile site. Though he may be on his deathbed.

Albertus said...

Pope Innocent III, in his first homily/speach upon becoming pope, stated that, even though the "Holy See is judged by noone", yet "a pope who attacks the catholic faith can be judged by the Church". In the same homily he lists the duties of a pope: sonething which every occupant of Saint Peter's throne might beneft from reading.