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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Refuting Sedevacantism! To Accept it Destroys the Papacy and Hierarchical Nature of the Catholic Church.

A few points from the video -- not my points, mind you, Fr. Tranquillo's:

  • Heresies cannot come from the Catholic Church. That is true. And we must fight them. We agree with the sedevacantists on that.
  • Sedevacantists quote theologians from the past who expressed a "school study" on the possibility of a heretical pope which had not happened. They tried to reach solutions which are difficult in practice.
  • Sedevacantists fail to see the consequences of their opinions. According to the sedevacantists today, we are lacking all the hierarchy. All of the bishops with original jurisdiction, all of those who accepted the new Mass, etc. - "They all fell from their positions." A very problematic situation. How does the Church continue? [N.B. Definition of jurisdiction from Fr. Hardon's dictionary: "In ecclesiastical law, the right to exercise official and public authority in some capacity. Thus a bishop has jurisdiction in his diocese, a pastor in his parish, priests in the administration of the sacraments...." Jurisdiction flows from Christ, the Head of the Church, through the papacy, to the hierarchy. Where do sedevacantists derive jurisdiction since they have dammed the channel through which jurisdiction flows by denying the pope and the bishops in union with him.]
The chair of St. Peter: Is it vacant?
  • When a pope dies and the chair is empty the Church continues through the hierarchy and their "ordinary jurisdiction" until a new pope is elected. The pope's authority disappears, but the ordinary jurisdiction of the bishops continues within the Church protecting her until a new pope is elected. They have the jurisdiction they received from Christ, through the papacy. "Jurisdiction is the power governing the Church." According to the sedevacantists, we can continue forever without the papacy and the jurisdiction of the hierarchy. "It's nonsense for a Catholic...they [the sedevacantists] are saying the Church can exist without the papacy forever." The sedevacantists make the papacy and the jurisdiction that flows from it superfluous to the Church. If we can get along without the pope and hierarchical jurisdiction for 50-60 years, why not forever? [The sedevacantist position seems very Protestant to me.]
  • How do the sedevacantists address this? Some say they receive jurisdiction from Christ Himself without the papacy. But all jurisdiction on the earth comes through the papacy. You need the keys of St. Peter. 
  • The sedevacantist position destroys the institutional Church.
  • A question that must be asked is, "Can churchmen act in a way that is outside their authority while they still retain that authority?" Isn't the answer obvious? When your pastor treats you unjustly, does he retain his authority as the pastor? We saw that frequently during COVID when bishops and priests forbade Communion on the tongue and mandated Communion in the hand. They did not have the authority to do it. Here's what Fr. Tranquillo says: "A better solution than the sedevacantist solution is both simpler and more logical -- we do not deny the possession of authority of the pope, bishops, etc. We deny that he used the authority properly when he said certain things. And this position does not destroy the hierarchy/existence of the Church."
  • There is a juridical process to remove a "heretic" from office. Just holding the opinion doesn't make it so. Who among the sedevacantists has the authority to exercise the juridical process against the pope?
Watch the video; there's a lot more. Quoting a few theologians who were giving their opinions about a possible situation does not make something true. Even St. Thomas Aquinas didn't always get things right. Look at his opinion on ensoulment. Sedevacantists throw the baby out with the bathwater and take us all down drain with the little one. 

Not going there!

[Hat tip to Aqua for reminding me of this episode in the Crisis in the Church series. There are several others that address the sedevacantist issue.]


  1. I don’t want to add anymore fuel into the coming schism, I will remind you that those who think Benedict was pope are not 1958 sedevacantists who say we can lack a pope for more than half a century. There will be a great apostasy before the return of Christ, but apostasy is impossible at the Roman Diocese because Peter is there, according to the dogma of indefectibility. Now the question is, is there apostasy in Rome? How shall we reconcile dogma with reality? How shall we reconcile dogma with prophecy?

    I don’t want to add anymore fuel to the fire, so I will leave it at that.

  2. “Jurisdiction flows from Christ, the Head of the Church, through the papacy …”

    *From Christ*.

    And so the question must be asked, does God will the Order He established be broken?

    Evil can’t prevail against God’s sovereign will, so if what the Sede proposes is true, then God willed the end of His Church and the Papacy upon which He built His Church. And there is no evidence in Tradition or Scripture that He would one day will that we would all be orphans. That would be a departure from Divine Revelation.

    In my talks with Priests (plural) about this situation, the common theme from their perspective is that the RC Church will experience a Passion, similar to that which Our Lord endured on His path to Calvary. There, all who had previously proclaimed Him Messiah just the previous week, now screamed maledictions at Him. They did not know who He was. His kingdom is not of this world, and to them - expecting a worldly kingdom come - His suffering and seeming defeat, His stripes and Cross were evidence not of triumph but failure. And in a similar way, we must see His Body as divine, but suffering … for a purpose we cannot comprehend. But in faith we must endure, share His sufferings, and remain true, in faith, to the end. The stripes, and blows, and deformities inflicted upon us is not, in faith, evidence of failure but, like Our Lord, evidence of future glory after this present trial. They were expecting power and domination. They got meekness and submission. And so their faith was tried and found wanting - because they did not believe in Christ as He was, but rather in how they wished I’m to be.

    This, according to my Priests, in paraphrase. And I believe this, in faith.

  3. Addendum: and to those who say it is impossible that such suffering could be inflicted on the RC Church from within - who was it that crucified Jesus but His chosen people of the ancient covenant, the Jews; and not just Jews, but the High Priests and the Rulers of the holy Temple. Christ was judged and crucified by His own religion and from that, thereby was He glorified, and they were Divinely judged and removed.

    The suffering was not inflicted from without but from within.

  4. Another podcast I’m sure you’d be interested in, something we’ve discussed at length on your blog for some long time - the topic whether Pope Benedict XVI abdicated the Papacy legally, properly, completely. The title is “Crisis Series #38: Is Pope Benedict Still the Legitimate Pope?”

    The link:

    The Priest, once again, Fr. Tranquillo.

    He does such a good job, respectfully and carefully laying out the objections that are to be discussed - which in this case are specifically mine. Then, as with Sedevacantism, he answers them as only an SSPX Priest can (it seems) these days.

    I must say that in general, his case seems weakest when he dismisses the obvious manifestations of what Pope Benedict XVI intended after the abdication.

    However, that being said, his case is strong and his Priestly authority from Sacred Tradition, and that of the Order from which he comes, is from God. Therefor, for what it’s worth … I am changing my opinion about the Papal abdication - not because I agree with everything Fr. Tranquillo said, but in obedience to his authority to say it on matters of faith and morals.

    It will be a good exercise in humility, an essential facet of our membership in the Hierarchic Monarchy of Holy Mother Church.

  5. "Heresies cannot come from the Catholic Church."
    Is Amoris Laetitia heretical?
    Has Bergoglio taught heresy? (4th time asking, if you're keeping count).

  6. You seem to have a problem distinguishing between "the Catholic Church" and "the pope." The pope is not the Church. He Christ's vicar but, yes, some theologians say that he can be a heretic and even a schismatic without losing his authority. One can resist his acts of overstepping his authority without rejecting the fact of his authority. By what authority do you proclaim him no longer the pope and the seat of Peter vacant. You have no authority at all.

    To take a secular example, Henry VIII was still the king of England even when he overstepped his authority and tried to proclaim himself head of the Church. That grievous error did not remove his crown. Thomas More never argued that he was not the king. Neither did any of the English martyrs say that Elizabeth was not the queen.

    I'm not engaging any more with you on this, because I don't think you argue in good faith. You just want to play games. You and Debbie. I stand with the papacy and the Church even when the pope is a bad one and those with authority to do something about it refuse to act. Ultimately, every wrong will be righted. God is patient and often allows evil (the tares and the wheat) to grow together. That's where we are at present. It will be corrected in time just as the Arian heresy was.

  7. Mr Frisbee:

    You are right. I am not keeping count. And since you keep asking I will re-post my reply to your inquiry.

    Between 1378 and 1418 there were three sitting popes. One each in Pisa, Rome and Avignon. Men and woman, who were later raised to the altar disagreed with one another and backed the papal claimants in Rome, Pisa and Avignon. Historians still argue which one was the true pope. Some argue that all three were heretics.

    Then and now whether there is one pope, 3-popes or 33-popes it matters not as long as we love Jesus Christ who told us that if we love Him then we must keep his commandments ( John 14:15).

    "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" Joshua 24:15.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  8. The Church condemns fideism. Altman did not claim to juridically declare what he did, but pointed out that by what Church theology already teaches it had.