Sede Vacante Thread

Is the Chair of St. Peter Vacant?

  • Yes

    Votes: 20 30.3%
  • No

    Votes: 25 37.9%
  • Unsure

    Votes: 10 15.2%
  • Not Catholic

    Votes: 11 16.7%

  • Total voters
    66

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
I have noticed an increasing number of "Sede Vacante Catholics" on this forum who believe the Seat (Sede) of St. Peter is Vacant (Vacante). There are a couple of new threads which point directly at some theological points made by "Sede V's". I have attended FSSP & SSPX Parishes, and have found both to have exceptional pastors who deepened my faith. At the same time, I find the appeals of Sede Vacantes to be fairly convincing given the level of apostasy, heresy, and poor pastoral care occurring in the Post Vatican 2 Catholic Church today. I have a friend who I have had extensive discussions about the theology with, and have also watched a number of videos and it makes good sense to me.

This thread is a place for Sede V's on the forum to provide their content and exchange ideas. I don't think it's appropriate to slam Sede V arguments into regular Catholic threads since this isn't a debate forum.
 
I believe its the only logical position to take when you consider the post Vatican II antipopes have consistently TAUGHT and IMPOSED Vatican II on their subjects. Joseph Ratzinger elaborates on the council essentially representing a break from tradition in his book- Theological Highlights of Vatican II.
 
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We Orthodox have been sedevacantists since 1054, and I admittedly have no real dog in the fight this thread is talking about, but sedevacantism seems like an incoherent system if you're going to call yourself a traditional Roman Catholic. Rejection of a Pope is rejection of the body that elected him, meaning it's not just the Pope you're rejecting, but the entire system - and if that's the case, then I don't see how sedes could support the NEXT Pope that same tainted body votes into office, either. Given the traditional Roman Catholic views of the papal office, and submission to the Pope, I don't see how one can simultaneously claim to believe in the RCC and also that they get to independently decide who is a "real Pope" and who is not.

Beyond that, many of the sedes I've seen online are noticeable not "all there." The Dimond brothers are probably the best example of this, as they LARP as monks and living in a "monastery" despite not being monks at all, having no valid tonsure, not being part of the diocese they're pretending to be monks in, and having to resort to the First Amendment in order to justify their use of the word "monk" when they got sued by an ex-member of their organization.

But admittedly the sanity (or lack thereof) amongst sedes is somewhat of a departure from the main point, which is that if you're going to play the "popes cease to be popes as soon as they say a heresy" game, then you have to declare yourself the determiner of heresy instead of the body in charge of that, thereby really making yourself the pope instead. It just seems like a logically inconsistent position, and in addition you have to reject a council that the RCC calls ecumenical - thereby breaking with your own stated ecclesiology. I know the Dimond brothers get around this question by stating that "we are now in the prophesied end times" and subsequently, that the RCC has been fully subverted and they no longer have to submit to it, but even that ultimately comes down to making themselves the authority (ie, the pope) that gets to determine what times we're in and when they do/don't have to obey the church they claim to be a part of as well as what counts as heresy and what doesn't.

It seems like a traditional Roman Catholic would still have to submit to a Pope they don't like if they want to be consistent with their own ecclesiology. Not trying to cause a fight in this thread, just weighing in with my two cents from the outside.
 

Fenaroli

Robin
The most prominent sedevacantists online I think are:

Bishop Donald Sanborn, Fr Anthony Cekada (now deceased) and the guy who runs Novus Ordo Watch. 90%+ of the sedevacantists follow this orbit. Novus Ordo Watch is probably the best sede site I’ve seen.

The Dimond brothers are not in this orbit, as they don’t believe in Baptism of Desire and Blood. Every time they are brought up as examples of sedes I wish it were Fr Anthony Cekada instead, who was the perfect spokesperson.
 

DanielH

Pelican
I can't find this information. Are there any sedevacantist groups with more than one bishop? If so, were they canonically consecrated before Vat2 by at least two bishops who themselves were canonically consecrated? Donald Sanborn was only consecrated by one bishop, so he is not canonically a bishop.

From the Canons of the Holy Apostles
Canon I.
Let a bishop be ordained by two or three bishops.

From Canon IV of the First Ecumenical Council:
Canon IV
It is by all means proper that a bishop should be appointed by all the bishops in the province; but should this be difficult, either on account of urgent necessity or because of distance, three at least should meet together, and the suffrages of the absent [bishops] also being given and communicated in writing, then the ordination should take place. But in every province the ratification of what is done should be left to the Metropolitan.

If there are no Sedevacantist groups without multiple canonical bishops, frankly it cannot be a Church. If the RCC is wrong, then the Orthodox must be right.
 

Marmion

Pigeon
We Orthodox have been sedevacantists since 1054,
Sedevacantism has nothing to do with rejecting the papacy. We accept all popes, but we don’t think Jorge Bergoglio is one, nor are his Vatican II predecessors. And we base that conviction on the teaching and laws of the Catholic Church. We believe in the Papacy and therefore not in “Pope” Francis.

It will be helpful here to review the sedevacantist argument in a nutshell.. The argument is essentially the same for all the post-Vatican II “popes,” even though its force has become much more evident with the arrival of Bergoglio:

1) Officially-sanctioned Vatican II and post-Vatican II teachings and laws embody errors and/or promote evil.

2) Because the Church is indefectible, her teaching cannot change, and because she is infallible, her laws cannot give evil.

3) It is therefore impossible that the errors and evils officially sanctioned in Vatican II and post-Vatican II teachings and laws could have proceeded from the authority of the Church.

4) Those who promulgate such errors and evils must somehow lack real authority in the Church.

5)Canonists and theologians teach that defection from the faith, once it becomes manifest, brings with it automatic loss of ecclesiastical office (authority). They apply this principle even to a pope who, in his personal capacity, somehow becomes a heretic.

6) Canonists and theologians also teach that a public heretic, by divine law, is incapable of being validly elected pope or obtaining papal authority.

7)Even popes have acknowledged the possibility that a heretic could one day end up on the throne of Peter. In 1559 Pope Paul IV decreed that the election of a heretic to the papacy would be invalid, and that the man elected would lack all authority.

8)Since the Church cannot defect, the best explanation for the post-Vatican II errors and evils we repeatedly encounter is that they proceed from individuals who, despite their occupation of the Vatican and of various diocesan cathedrals, publicly defected from the faith, and therefore do not objectively possess canonical authority.

and I admittedly have no real dog in the fight this thread is talking about, but sedevacantism seems like an incoherent system if you're going to call yourself a traditional Roman Catholic.
Sedevacantism preserves the Catholic teaching on the authority of the pope and on indefectibility and infallibility of Christ’s Church, because it treats the doctrinal errors and evil laws that proceeded from Paul VI and his successors as proof that these men did not in fact possess the authority of the Catholic Church. In contrast, the SSPX's "Recognize-and-Resist" ("R & R") position, which holds that traditional Catholics must recognize Francis and his post-Vatican II predecessors as true Vicars of Christ while simultaneously refusing them submission by resisting the false doctrines, evil laws and sacrilegious worship they promulgate, IS an incoherent system, which is exactly why sedevacantists reject it. The average layman who adheres to R&R does so based on the incorrect notion that Catholics are really bound only by “ex cathedra” pronouncements, that neither the New Mass nor the Vatican II errors fall under this heading, and that Catholics are therefore free to reject and denounce these things as non-Catholic, as well as to “resist” the various popes who promulgated them. However, such a system renders papal authority meaningless and attacks the infallibility and indefectibility of the Church. Ironically, those who scream the loudest that sedevacantists are wrong and Francis is a valid Pope seem to waste no time refusing this “true Pope” the submission they owe him.
Rejection of a Pope is rejection of the body that elected him, meaning it's not just the Pope you're rejecting, but the entire system - and if that's the case, then I don't see how sedes could support the NEXT Pope that same tainted body votes into office, either. Given the traditional Roman Catholic views of the papal office, and submission to the Pope,
The Papacy is not the problem — anti-Catholic usurpers of the papal throne are. And unless we firmly reject their false claims to the Papacy, we will be led into serious error by them, either directly (by embracing their false teaching) or indirectly (by rejecting their false teaching but then, by necessary implication, denying the Catholic doctrine on the Papacy, which requires that we submit to papal teaching).fundamental principle of this solution is that it is impossible to identify the Vatican II/Novus Ordo Sect with the Catholic Church. The Vatican II Church is not the Catholic Church of Pope Pius XII and his predecessors, and the papal claimants since 1958 have not been true Catholic Popes.
I don't see how one can simultaneously claim to believe in the RCC and also that they get to independently decide who is a "real Pope" and who is not. Rejection of a Pope is rejection of the body that elected him, meaning it's not just the Pope you're rejecting, but the entire system - and if that's the case, then I don't see how sedes could support the NEXT Pope that same tainted body votes into office, either.
A Catholic is most certainly competent to tell a heretic from a Catholic. The Church teaches that a heretic cannot be pope, If a papal claimant is manifestly not a Catholic, then we know his claim to being Pope is false. The reason is simple: Unity is one of the marks of the Church; that is, her unity in Faith and government is one of the infallible signs by which she can be recognized in the world. If the “Pope” publicly professes (in words or actions) a faith different from the Faith of the Church, that is, from the Catholic Faith, then he cannot be her head, for if he were, then the Church would not possess unity in Faith; but it is an infallible dogma that the Church is visibly one in Faith.
Beyond that, many of the sedes I've seen online are noticeable not "all there." The Dimond brothers are probably the best only example of this,
Ah, the old "the Dimond Brothers, therefore sedevacantism invalid" red herring...
as they LARP as monks and living in a "monastery" despite not being monks at all, having no valid tonsure, not being part of the diocese they're pretending to be monks in, and having to resort to the First Amendment in order to justify their use of the word "monk" when they got sued by an ex-member of their organization.
The "Dimond Brothers" are Feeneyite heretics. Their arguments for sedevacantism aren't even good.

That said, their videos exposing a certain someone for the foul-mouthed, demonically-guided "volcano of sophistry" (touché!) fraud he is were very well done...
But admittedly the sanity (or lack thereof) amongst sedes is somewhat of a departure from the main point, which is that if you're going to play the "popes cease to be popes as soon as they say a heresy" game, then you have to declare yourself the determiner of heresy instead of the body in charge of that, thereby really making yourself the pope instead. It just seems like a logically inconsistent position, and in addition you have to reject a council that the RCC calls ecumenical - thereby breaking with your own stated ecclesiology
Logically inconsistent, you say? I beg to differ...

The Syllogism of Sedevacantism:
Airtight and compelling!
. I know the Dimond brothers
Always with the Dimond Bros.! Forget about them. The epitome of low hanging fruit. Have you ever read/listened to any serious sedevacantist material (Fr. Cekada, Bp. Sanborn, for instance?) I think you would be surprised.
get around this question by stating that "we are now in the prophesied end times" and subsequently, that the RCC has been fully subverted and they no longer have to submit to it, but even that ultimately comes down to making themselves the authority (ie, the pope) that gets to determine what times we're in and when they do/don't have to obey the church they claim to be a part of as well as what counts as heresy and what doesn't.
Eh, not really... This ought to clear up some misunderstandings...
It seems like a traditional Roman Catholic would still have to submit to a Pope they don't like if they want to be consistent with their own ecclesiology.
Precisely! We sedevacantists emphatically agree!!! 100%.
Not trying to cause a fight in this thread, just weighing in with my two cents from the outside.
No offense taken. Thank you for your comments.
 
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NoMoreTO

Ostrich
How do you figure?

Agree. There is a huge gap between Catholic Theology and Orthodox Theology.

What gets me most considering the Sede V position is the term "Manifest Heretic". The laity do have some level of discernment, and while the new canon law instituted after Vatican 2 states the Pope can only be a heretic when declared a heretic the historical assessment was that the Pope lost his seat when he became a manifest heretic.

I struggle with the "gates of hell will not prevail" theology taught to me at FSSP and how it relates to the physical presence of the Church. It does not seem to match with the historic position of many Saints who have said that the great apostasy/antichrist could come from within the Church.

On a practical level, the local Novus Ordo parish in my hometown is fully shut down and the willingness to assist with lockdown measures seems to be overriding the desire to get the sacraments to the faithful. I wonder whether they will shut out SSPX again and Bishops will simply shut down FSSP Churches in the future. At that point we might get alot of Sede Vs. Remember that they have done this before, the latin mass was all but extinct and communion on the tongue has been restricted in my diocesan latin mass for over a year now. (As far as I know, I haven't gone back)
 
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Fenaroli

Robin
Excellent post by Marmion.

I would say to completely ignore the Dimond brothers, sedevacantists really don't bother with them.

To really understand the sedevacantist position, Fr. Anthony Cekada is one of the best:
 

Jeff

Chicken
It ain’t over until it’s over, and then some...
I am referring to the Cadaver Synod of 897.
Pope Stephen VI had the body of Pope Formosus, who had been buried in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome for seven months, exhumed and brought to the papal court for judgment. Formosus was pronounced guilty of perjury, and his papacy retroactively declared null.
 

scorpion

Ostrich
Gold Member
To be Catholic is to profess that the doctrinal teachings of the Church and the Pope cannot be in error, because they enjoy the divine endorsement of direct apostolic succession from Christ, through Peter and all the way down to the current Pope. That being the case, it seems pretty clear cut that you cannot reject everything post-Vatican II and still pretend to be a Catholic. It's inimical to the basic teachings of the Church. Catholicism is not a smorgasbord religion where you can pick and choose which doctrines you like and leave the rest. You're either on board with accepting the teachings of the Church or you're out. I mean, this is why we had the schism and the Reformation in the first place.

Sedevacantism makes no sense. You aren't Catholic. You're Protestants in denial.
 

Fenaroli

Robin
To be Catholic is to profess that the doctrinal teachings of the Church and the Pope cannot be in error, because they enjoy the divine endorsement of direct apostolic succession from Christ, through Peter and all the way down to the current Pope.
Correct. And they haven't changed in 2000 years. Vatican II introduced obvious errors and it's adherents continue to subvert the faith from within.
That being the case, it seems pretty clear cut that you cannot reject everything post-Vatican II and still pretend to be a Catholic.
You can when using basic logic tells you that the teachings are outright evil and contrary to the faith, and it's run by apostates. Like you said, the Church cannot teach error or evil, so these occupants cannot be Catholics.
It's inimical to the basic teachings of the Church. Catholicism is not a smorgasbord religion where you can pick and choose which doctrines you like and leave the rest.
We are not doing that, we are rejecting the evil council of Vatican II, but everything before is the same Catholic faith.
You're either on board with accepting the teachings of the Church or you're out. I mean, this is why we had the schism and the Reformation in the first place.
That's not correct. The teachings don't change! The Catholic Church cannot bless homosexuality, other religions, adultery, religious liberty, religious fraternity. These are infidels! Catholic doctrine is not subject to the whims of the modern culture. It's clear the current apostate Vatican II hierarchy are trying to dismantle the Catholic faith from within.
Sedevacantism makes no sense. You aren't Catholic. You're Protestants in denial.
Rejecting ecumenism and the numerous errors of Vatican II is in line with the Catholic Faith. We can't suddenly pray with muslims because an apostate tells us to. Are we suddenly Protestants because we want to keep the 1st commandment?

Are Sedevacantists just “Protestants”?
 

Marmion

Pigeon
To be Catholic is to profess that the doctrinal teachings of the Church and the Pope cannot be in error, because they enjoy the divine endorsement of direct apostolic succession from Christ, through Peter and all the way down to the current Pope. That being the case, it seems pretty clear cut that you cannot reject everything post-Vatican II and still pretend to be a Catholic. It's inimical to the basic teachings of the Church. Catholicism is not a smorgasbord religion where you can pick and choose which doctrines you like and leave the rest. You're either on board with accepting the teachings of the Church or you're out. I mean, this is why we had the schism and the Reformation in the first place.

Sedevacantism makes no sense. You aren't Catholic. You're Protestants in denial.
Novus Ordo "Catholics":

"Sedevacantists are Protestants!"

.........

Also Novus Ordo "Catholics":

"We recognize a Pope and a General Council whose authentic teaching is that Protestantism is a means of salvation." :squintlol:
 

scorpion

Ostrich
Gold Member
To be clear, I am a Protestant, not a Catholic. And I do sympathize with Sedevacantists and share their criticisms of the modern Catholic church. But the Sedevacantist belief system itself is incoherent. One of the most fundamental teachings of the Catholic church is that it is THE church of Jesus Christ and the ONLY church of Jesus Christ. Catholicism teaches a doctrine of a visible church, not an invisible one. Meaning that to be a Catholic you must be a member of the visible Catholic church. And whether you like it or not, Vatican II is the reality of the Catholic church, and Pope Francis sits on the holy see in Rome. Therefore if you reject the current visible Catholic church, you cannot be considered a Catholic, by definition.

Sedevacantism is a great example of people wanting to have the cake and eat it, too. They want to claim the history and tradition of the Catholic church but disown the flagrant modern heresies that have polluted it. But you simply can't do that by sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting, "WE ARE THE TRUE CATHOLICS" while the actual Catholic church continues to exist. You must either reform the church from within or leave it behind and found a new church that does not teach heresy. This is exactly what happened 500 years ago with the Reformation. The Reformers could no longer tolerate the rank corruption and heretical teachings of the church, and so attempted to reform it and remove the toxic elements. When this proved impossible they were forced to separate and found their own new churches.

Unfortunately for Sedevacantists, the doctrinal errors of the Catholic church itself have hamstrung their ability to either reform or separate. They have grown up in a system that has taught them that Protestants are heretics and that their is no salvation outside of the church. Having internalized this, they simply cannot bring themselves to separate, even knowing that the modern Catholic church is deeply corrupt and heretical. And so they must persist with this bizarre insistence that they are the TRUE Catholics, because they are unable to come to terms with the fact that the church itself could be in error and that salvation exists outside of the Catholic faith.

This is the basic incoherence of Sedevacantism - clinging to some elements of the Catholic doctrine while rejecting others. And unfortunately the elements they cling to render them incapable of actually solving their dilemma. So they remain permanently hamstrung and impotent as the Church they profess to be members of continues on without them. It's like a guy who got cheated on and dumped by his girlfriend who maintains a delusional belief that they are still together and will reunite some day, meanwhile she's already married another guy and had kids with him.
 

FactusIRX

Kingfisher
I once visited a Russian Orthodox priest and told him that I was dissatisfied with the Catholic Church because of some of things it is doing. He told me "Every church has their problems." It's true. Every Christian church is going to be subverted by secular authorities. It happened early to the Catholic Church because of their immense size and influence. It has also started to happen in Orthodox churches, including the Greek Orthodox Church, Orthodox Church of America, and the Ukraine Orthodox Church.

I sympathize with the Sedevacantist position, and I would rather attend a Sede church than a Novus Ordo church, but at the end of the day, it's not a convincing enough position to make the switch. The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church. There was nothing about the selection of the Vatican II Popes that were contrary to ecclesiastical rules or procedures. Until Pope Francis or a subsequent Pope makes a dogmatic proclamation regarding Vatican 2 principles, there's no contradiction in celebrating the TLM, following the 1917 Code of Canon Law, and recognizing Pope Francis as the head of the Church.
 

Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church
As if sedes denied that. On the contrary, this is a very important component of their position, separating them from the Recognize & Resist attitude.

There was nothing about the selection of the Vatican II Popes that were contrary to ecclesiastical rules or procedures.
While this is almost true (I say almost because there is minor, unclear, but existing nonetheless evidence that the papal election was tampered with, the so-called Siri episode), it misses completely the elephant in the room which akes the case for sedevacantism so strong, namely the universal consensus of the Fathers that a non-member of the Church cannot be the head of the Church. In the extremely strong words used in the Cum Ex Apostolatus bull, even the consent of the whole Church could not change that.

I would also add that there is abundant documented evidence that Vatican II was subverted (for example, all the initial plans which had taken years to write were discarded in the beginning of the council).

there's no contradiction in (...) following the 1917 Code of Canon Law, and recognizing Pope Francis as the head of the Church.
Of course there is. In any legal system, it is absurd and laughable to claim to abide by an outdated version of the law/code.

Until Pope Francis or a subsequent Pope makes a dogmatic proclamation regarding Vatican 2 principles, there's no contradiction in celebrating the TLM

That "until" is hardly a remote possiblity. Francis is not exactly sympathetic to traditional Catholics, remember the sweet names he calls them. If the TLM were officially banned today (instead of being tolerated as it is now), the vast majority of "Catholics" wouldn't notice.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Novus Ordo says : " You must accept Vatican 2, it is is the Spirit of the Church, if you do not accept it you are not Catholic"

FSSP says: "Novus Ordo liturgy has less fruits than TLM, but still valid. The Pope has not declared error ex cathedra. V2 was a pastoral council, there was no dogma"

SSPX says: "Vatican 2 requires clarification as it promulgates error, we recognize this Pope but we resist these errors"

Sede vacante says: "Vatican 2 contains heresy, New Mass is Protestant, The Pope is a heretic & Chair of St. Peter is Vacant"

My general intuition around the topic is there is one group which stands out most to me, and that is the Novus Ordo. Everyone else is trying to dance around and reconcile with the confusion and the Fruits of Vatican 2, where the New Mass Catholic flouts it as the cornerstone of the present day Church.
 

Marmion

Pigeon
Always remember:

The only reason "Recognize-and-Resist" semi-traditionalists can be so generous in their acceptance of Francis as a definitely-valid Pope is because they don't submit to him.

Otherwise they would be sedevacantists in a heartbeat.

You can believe in the Papacy or you can believe Francis is Pope. You can't do both.
 
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