Sedevacantism By Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI.org

Sedevacantism is the theological position of those traditional Catholics who most certainly believe in the papacy, papal infallibility and the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, and yet do not recognize “Pope” Francis [Edit. note: at the time this article was written, it was Benedict XVI] as a legitimate successor of Peter in the primacy. In other words, they do not recognize him as a true pope. The word sedevacantism is a compound of two Latin words which together mean “the Chair is vacant.” Despite the various arguments raised against this position — that it is based on a false expectation that the pope can do no wrong, or that it is an emotional reaction to the problems in the Church — the sedevacantist position is founded on the Catholic doctrines of the infallibility and the indefectibility of the Church and on the theological opinion of the great Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine.

As an introduction to this article, let the traditional Catholic first ask himself why he is a traditional Catholic. Why does he not attend the Novus Ordo Mass? Why does he reject the teachings of Vatican Council II on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism? Why does he reject the new code of Canon Law (1983) in which under certain circumstances schismatics and heretics may, without an abjuration of their errors and a profession of the Catholic Faith, be administered by a Catholic priest the Sacraments of Penance, Extreme Unction, and Holy Eucharist? If the traditional Catholic answers the first question correctly, he would state quite simply that the New Mass is without a doubt a danger to his faith and that due to the radical changes in the Offertory and Consecration, it is questionable whether transubstantiation even takes place. In answer to the second question, the traditional Catholic would properly state that the teachings found in Vatican II decrees of Religious Liberty and Ecumenism have been condemned by previous popes, in particular by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors. Lastly, to the third question, the traditional Catholic would surely answer that such a law in the new code can never be considered as true and binding legislation since the sacraments would be sacrilegiously administered to heretics and schismatics.

How appropriately did the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on the occasion of his Suspension a divinis by Paul VI write the following reflection on June 29, 1976:

“That the Conciliar Church is a schismatic Church, because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship, all already condemned by the Church in many a document, official and definitive.

“This Conciliar Church is schismatic, because it has taken as a basis for its updating, principles opposed to those of the Catholic Church, such as the new concept of the Mass expressed in numbers 5 of the Preface to (the decree) Missale Romanum and 7 of its first chapter, which gives the assembly a priestly role that it cannot exercise; such likewise as the natural — which is to say divine — right of every person and of every group of persons to religious freedom.

“This right to religious freedom is blasphemous, for it attributes to God purposes that destroy His Majesty, His Glory, His Kingship. This right implies freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, and all the Masonic freedoms.

“The Church that affirms such errors is at once schismatic and heretical. This Conciliar Church is, therefore, not Catholic. To whatever extent Pope, bishops, priests or faithful adhere to this new Church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church.”

Let the traditional Catholic, especially the members of the Society of St. Pius X, ask themselves to what extent have the Pope, bishops, priest and laity adhered to this new Church which would, as Archbishop Lefebvre reflected, separate themselves from the Catholic Church. Francis, as did Benedict XVI and John Paul II before him, completely adheres to the Conciliar Church. He enforces the Novus Ordo Mass and false teachings of Vatican II. He follows in the footsteps of John Paul II, who promulgated the New Code of Canon Law (1983), and who boldly practiced false ecumenism and heretical religious indifferentism in Assisi, Italy, on October 27, 1986, by the atrocious convocation of all the false religions of the world to pray to their false gods for world peace!

As unpleasant as this subject may be, traditional Catholics are confronted by the terrible and burning questions:

Is the Conciliar Church the Catholic Church?

Is Francis, as the head of the Conciliar Church, a true pope?

The sedevacantist would unhesitatingly and unequivocally say no.

To believe otherwise, to answer yes to the above questions, would be to imply that the Catholic Church has failed in its purpose, that the Church of Christ is not infallible and indefectible, that the Pope is not the rock upon which Christ founded His Church, that the promise of Christ to be with His Church “all days even to the consummation of the world” and that the special assistance of the Holy Ghost, have failed the Church — conclusions which no traditional Catholic could ever maintain. Consider the following quote from Vatican Council I (1870):

“For the fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, following closely in the footsteps of their predecessors, made this solemn profession: ‘The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true Faith. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ Who said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18), should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied, and its teaching kept holy.’ …for they fully realized that this See of St. Peter always remains untainted by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord and Savior made to the prince of his disciples, ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou has turned again, strengthen thy brethren’ (Luke 22:32).”

Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical Satis Cognitum, taught that the Teaching Authority of the Church can never be in error:

“If (the living magisterium) could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error.”

How can a traditional Catholic on one hand reject the New Mass, the heretical teachings of Vatican Council II, and the New Code of Canon Law (1983), and on the other hand, continue to recognize as pope the very one who officially promulgates and enforces these errors?

To consider yet another question, is the faith and government of the traditional Catholic the same as Bergoglio and his Conciliar Church? Do traditional Catholics believe the same doctrines as Francis and his Conciliar Church on the New Mass, false ecumenism, and religious liberty?

Are traditional Catholics subject to the local hierarchy and ultimately to Rome?

Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical Mystical Body of Christ, taught:

“It follows that those who are divided in faith and government cannot be living in the one Body such as this and cannot be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.”

Are traditional Catholics united or divided in faith and government with the Conciliar Church?

The sedevacantist honestly recognizes that his faith is actually not the same as Francis and his Conciliar Church. He recognizes that he is actually not subject and obedient to him. As a traditional Catholic, the sedevacantist believes and professes all the teachings of the Catholic Church, and this profession of the true Faith includes a rejection of the false teachings of Vatican II (“all already condemned by the Church in many a document, official and definitive” — Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, June 29, 1976).

During the first prayer of the Canon of the traditional Mass which begins Te igitur, the priest in normal times would recite una cum papa nostro N. (one with our pope N.). What significance does this short phrase convey — una cum, one with? One in faith, one in government, one in the Mass and Sacraments — united— this is the significance! Can a traditional priest honestly recite in the Canon of the Mass that he is una cum Francis? In what is he una cum Francis? In the Conciliar teachings, in government, in the official New Mass and Sacraments — is he actually una cum?

One last consideration on this subject of sedevacantism is the manner in which all these things have come to pass. When did they take place? How did they take place? This is an area in which sedevacantists themselves differ. Some hold that the papal elections were invalid based on the Bull of Pope Paul IV in 1559, Cum ex apostolatus:

“If ever at any time it appears that… the Roman Pontiff has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy before assuming the papacy, the assumption, done even with the unanimous consent of all the Cardinals, stands null, invalid and void; nor can it be said to become valid, or be held in any way legitimate, or be thought to give to such ones any power of administering either spiritual or temporal matters; but everything said, done and administered by them lacks all force and confers absolutely no authority or right on anyone; and let such ones by that very fact (eo ipso) and without any declaration required to be deprived of all dignity, place, honor, title, authority, office, and power.”

Some sedevacantists quote the Code of Canon Law (1917) in Canon 188 No. 4:

“All offices shall be vacant ipso facto (without a declaration required) by tacit resignation… #4 by public defection from the Catholic Faith.”

Others hold the opinion of St. Robert Bellarmine in De Romano Pontifice (Chapter XXX):

“The fifth opinion (regarding a heretical pope) therefore is true; a pope who is a manifest heretic by that fact (per se) ceases to be pope and head (of the Church), just as he by that fact ceases to be a Christian (sic) and a member of the body of the Church. This is the judgment of all the early Fathers, who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.”

Pope Innocent III as quoted by the theologian Billot in his Tract. de Ecclesia Christi, p. 610:

“The faith is necessary for me to such an extent that, having God as my only judge in other sins, I could however be judged by the Church for sins I might commit in matters of faith.”

Suffice it to say, the issue of the pope is a difficult one, an unpleasant one, and a frightful one; yet it is a necessary and important issue which cannot be avoided.

In conclusion, let it not be said that the sedevacantist rejects the papacy, the primacy, or the Catholic Church. On the contrary it is because of his belief in the papacy, the primacy, the infallibility and the indefectibility of the Catholic Church that he rejects Francis and his Conciliar Church.

For the sedevacantist, the Catholic Church cannot and has not failed. The great apostasy predicted by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Thessalonians has taken place:

“Let no one deceive you in any way, for the day of the Lord will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God and gives himself out as if he were God…. And now you know what restrains him, that he may be revealed in his proper time. For the mystery of iniquity is already at work; provided only that he who is at present restraining it, does still restrain, until he is gotten out of the way. And then the wicked one will be revealed…” (2 Thess. 2:3-8).

Who is this one “who is at present restraining it… until he is gotten out of the way. And then the wicked one will be revealed”? Perhaps Pope Leo XIII has the answer in his Motu Proprio of September 25, 1888, when he wrote in his invocation to St. Michael:

“These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.”

Joseph’s commentary on this beautiful article. The Catholic Encyclopedia 1912, New York.  States under AntiChrist, that he would most likely be a false pope. Father S. Berry in his book, “The Apocalypse of St. John.” 1921. States on the Star that falls from Heaven, in chapter 9, is some Bishop who becomes a heretic, opens the gates of HELL and in turn leads us to the reign of AntiChrist.” Well, it was pope John 23 who called the council, and it was pope Paul VI who, (by signing it into law) caused the Traditional Catholic movement who many referred to him, as “The Man of Sin.” and believe it or not, you have Father Kramer in his book on the Apocalypse 1956, stating, “The Church is defeated, the Papacy is abolished, pg. 321″ but he thinks this is temporary. Well, again my friends 57 years later we find ourselves in a state unequaled in the history of Christianity with Traditionalists split in 3 divisions. In closing my friends, let me quote Apocalypse 18:4-5. ” Go out from her my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her PLAGUES. FOR HER SINS have reached unto heaven…”  Heaven, my dear faithful, on earth, is the MASS.

Grace be with you, in Christ, Joseph B.D. Saraceno

http://www.catholicendtimetruths.com  why Sede Vacante

The Role of Priests and Laymen in the Crisis Within the Church

Part III: The Best Book on the New Mass

Shortly after the introduction of a new rite of the Mass more than five decades ago, a Brazilian lay theologian, Arnaldo Xavier da Silveira, wrote a lengthy study documenting the doctrinal concerns that were shared by many Catholics. In September of 1973 Pope Paul VI intervened to prevent the publication of the book, but on January 25, 1974, Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer of Campos, Brazil, wrote a letter to Paul VI, and respectfully adopted as his own the concerns expressed by Dr. Xavier da Silveira.  At that time the book had circulated privately in mimeographed form in four languages (Portuguese, Spanish, French, and English), and in 1977 Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre described it as the best book on the new Mass.1

The timeliness of having such a book published now, when the motu proprio of Pope Francis has given rise to a renewed debate about the liturgical reforms, will be obvious to many.  What is in some way unique is that it was written by a lay theologian rather than by a priest.  Receiving the approval of Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer – the two bishops most known for working to preserve the traditional rite of the Roman liturgy – it stands out among the contributions of laymen to their own defense of the traditional rite.

The publication now of this book is another manifestation of the respective roles of priests and laymen in the present crisis in the Church.  The popes of the early twentieth century were very attentive to the role of the laity, that of assisting the hierarchy in defending the Church against modern errors, and against hostile governments persecuting the Church. When, for example, Pope Pius XI was told by French writer Henri Bourdeaux, “Your Holiness, politics should defend religion and Christian ethics,” Pius XI replied, “No, precisely the contrary is the case. It is religion which defends politics.  And every time politics ignores the lessons which religion teaches, it becomes bad politics.”2  In the context of his pontificate it was clear that by religion Pius XI meant not only the hierarchy, but also the lay apostolate collaborating with the priests and bishops, in what St. Pius X and his immediate successors referred to as Catholic Action.

However, because of the crisis that the Church faced in the twentieth century, divisions arose within Catholic Action as Catholics themselves debated the role of the lay apostolate.  Profound political divisions among Catholics served to highlight the nature of that crisis.  On one hand the Popes sought to remain above the conflicts, but after the Second World War Pius XII indicated that the Church cannot always remain neutral, and that the Church’s judgments anticipate in some way the final judgment.3

In the 1950s Pius XII sought to provide further clarification of the role of the lay apostolate, by explaining its multiple forms, manifested by the various degrees in which these apostolates are guided by the hierarchy.4  After his death, with the coming of the Second Vatican Council under Pope John XXIII, the vigilance of the previous popes was replaced by a certain optimism.  And the concept of the People of God included an effort to exalt the role of the laity.  But that in turn brought further debate about the respective roles of priests and laymen.

Archbishop Lefebvre saw a crisis in the priesthood that would put less emphasis on the administration of the Sacraments, and more on preaching and social activism.  And in the midst of the liturgical reform, the new rite of the Mass introduced by Pope Paul VI, as shown by Dr. Xavier da Silveira in his book, sought to introduce ecumenical elements into the Mass.  This in turn had effects on civil society, prompted by an emphasis on collaboration with non-Catholics and governmental initiatives, overshadowing the organized lay apostolate promoted by the popes prior to the Council.

In the midst of these developments, there appeared a growing movement to preserve the traditional Roman rite, participated in by both priests and laity, but in ways proper to their different states of life.  While Archbishop Lefebvre devoted himself to the formation of priests to celebrate the traditional rite, a growing lay apostolate dedicated itself in turn to a doctrinal defense of Tradition, including the Church’s ancient Roman rite.  The book on the problems with the new Mass by Arnaldo Xavier da Silveira is an example of central importance, insofar as it demonstrated what Cardinal Ottaviani had stated in his letter to Paul VI, when presenting the pope with the short critical study of the novus ordo missae by a group of theologians – that the new rite departed from the doctrine of the Mass taught by the Council of Trent.5

Various priestly societies that were founded for the celebration of the traditional Mass, unlike the Society of St. Pius X which preceded them, have generally avoided public debate, concentrating on the central act of their priestly vocation – the celebration itself of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  If they were to engage in doctrinal debates, they might jeopardize their canonical status, and risk suspension or suppression of their communities.  The laity, on the other hand, are freer to discuss the doctrinal implications of the novus ordo missae.  Arnaldo Xavier da Silveira accepted this challenge and responsibility, and his book received the approval of Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, and later of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

The theological and canonical literature justifying such action on the part of the laity is sufficient to demonstrate their fidelity to the Church.  Pope Pius XII was very emphatic in clarifying the multiple forms of the lay apostolate, explaining the different degrees of their relationship with the hierarchy.  And the new Code of Canon Law is explicit in recognizing the right of the faithful to express their concerns to ecclesiastical authority.6 The book by Arnaldo Xavier da Silveira was written before the new Code was promulgated but manifests a natural right to appeal to ecclesiastical superiors.  Preserving Christian Publications, therefore, is now honored to help make this timely book available to concerned Catholics.


Two Timely Issues:
The New Mass and the Possibility of a Heretical Pope

Arnaldo Xavier da Silviera
Translated by John R. Spann & José Aloisio Schelini
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The Liturgical Year
By Dom Prosper Guéranger
Advent and Christmas: Volumes 1-3 – $48.00 #5962

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Explaining the Last Gospel before Advent and the Great Apostasy.

The Great Apostasy has lost its luster since Paul VI instituted the changes of the Vatican II Council. Many, at the time had Paul VI labeled as the AntiChrist or The Man of Sin. Very few saw a line of successors as AntiChrists but thank God for this Bishop of Rome as Francis has helped me with my thesis. However, this is not the reason for this article. In my “Day of the Lord and the Signs of His Coming”, booklet.  I state what the spiritual meaning of what Jesus says in this chapter of Matt. 24:15-35.”When you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place. [29] And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved: [30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty.
Amen, I say to you this (Adulterous, was left out. 1) generation will not pass away till all these things have been accomplished.
I explain, the tribulation is the Vatican II Council which brings in the Great Apostasy, The Sun being darkened, is, Christs word, the new heretical Bibles, The Moon will not give her light, is the new church invalid sacraments, the stars falling from the heavens are the Saints they took off the calendar.   Now tell me this does not make sense. What other reason would the Lord be coming back.So, again my dear faithful, let us reflect as we approach the new year, we are one year less to Christs return and one year closer to the Biblical great chastisement of Fire that needs to happen first. 2. All the world religious are coming together as traditionalist remain divided and Satan is laughing all the way to the Bank.
Grace be with you, in Christ    Joseph B. D. SaracenoFor more info on the “Beast of the Apocalypse” go to Apostasy & Beast at https://catholicendtimetruths.com/category/apostasyandthebeast/ and get the FACTS.

1. Mark 8:382. The faithful will be protected from the fire.The Catechism Explained,1921 Spirago & Clarke pg. 272The Book of Destiny, Father H. Kramer 1956 pg. 367